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“Beware of this place”
Review of Casa Tropicana

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Casa Tropicana
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in San Clemente
Reviewed November 12, 2006

The good:
1- Nice location but it goes down hill from there.
2- Rooms were decent size.

The Bad:
1- Staff was attentive until you complain then all bets are off.
2- Breakfast choices are limited, to say the least, unless you're into having eggs all sorts of different ways.

The Ugly:
1- No shower available. There's a big jacuzzi bathtub, and it's got one of those pull out showerheads but it was broken. When I made the reservation I specifically asked about shower availability. I was told no problem. When I checked in the supposed shower was broken. I was told it was 4 to 6 weeks to get the part; they must be crawling to the hardware store. My take was that they may or may not fix the "shower"; it looked like it had been broken for awhile; the one part I looked at had rusted. Once I brought this up, I basically had the option of going to a much smaller room or living with no shower. Took the latter choice but I want to warn the world about this place now.
2- The accommodations and overall stay was not worth a price tag that is comparable to a Ritz Carlton, etc.
3- The toilet ran and shut off when it wanted to.
4- The "View". For being 100 yards for the shoreline and about 50 yards from the Amtrak line, the views from most of the rooms suck. Their ad talks about great views and if you're not in your room you do get a great view, but sleeping on their patio may not be the ideal option. The way the building is done your "view" from most of the rooms is blocked by stairwells, pillars, chairs, tables, balcony wall, etc.

Bottom line - Take some time and review you choices carefully. Unless they drop their prices significantly your just not getting a value equal to your cost.

  • Stayed: October 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank PT92614
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casatrop, Rick Anderson, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2008


The Good:
Great!

The Bad:
1-I have talked to all of my staff and actually they are mostly new. Thanks for letting us know we need more improvement, we will keep trying.
2-Breakfast, at the time we are over hauling our kitchen, it is out of service and should be open again soon with new fresh menu selections.

The Ugly:
1- The shower, it’s fixed! It didn’t take all of the 4 weeks to get the part though. Not only that but I have installed a new fixed rain shower head in the center of the large Jacuzzi tub so now, thanks to your comment the hand held shower is OUT! I agree, it wasn’t too practical. Ya live, ya learn.
2-We believe we do provide a great value to our guests, the location, amenities and experience. Check out our website and let me know. I also know it might not feel like it when you’re feeling like you get, “the good, bad and ugly,” from anything. I forgive you, can you forgive us?
3-Yep, we got the toilet fixed too, thanks…

4-Views, I don’t understand how you can be elevated 150 yards from the Pacific Ocean, on the second and third floor of an un-obstructed San Clemente California ocean view Bed & Breakfast Inn, except palm trees, with the 5 miles of clean white sandy beaches, wooden 1200 foot long pier, fantastic Catalina sunsets, and claim no view. I guess if you lived on a boat, you wouldn’t appreciate what we have to offer here. We do have a train though, it can also bring you right to our door! Check us out again, I know you’ll be a lot happier. Rick Anderson, Owner

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196 - 202 of 204 reviews

A TripAdvisor Member
San Diego, CA
18
Reviewed May 14, 2006

I chose this B&B based on the glowing reviews on this site. Turned out that my stay was very disappointing given how expensive it was.

I was concerned about one of the other reviewers complaints about construction noise, but I chalked that up to bad luck. I had a bad experience that was a little more typical, I believe. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's a terrible place to stay, but it certainly isn't cheap. I paid $412/night for a Sat. and Sun. night. Bottom line: Wasn't worth it.

First, the good:
-Location, location, location. If you like the beach, then you might like this place. It's literally 100 yards from the ocean and right across from the San Clemente Pier, which has a great seafood restaurant on it.
-Tasteful decor. The furnishings, paint, and accessories were very good.
-The staff was nice.

Now for the bad:
-In the words of the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. . .The noise. The noise, noise, noise, NOISE! The walls are very thin. So are the ceilings/floors. We turned in early (9:30 or so) on the first nite and were awakened several times by the people above us walking around.

The there were the trains. If you didn't know, the train tracks run right by the beach. In fact, San Clemente Amtrak station is right across the street. There must have been 5 or 6 trains that went by during the night, honking their horns as they approached the track crossing. When I mentioned this the next day to the staff, they said that's a common complaint and they provide earplugs in the night stands. Unfortunately, nobody mentioned this when showing us the room.

Another noise problem was the toilet that wouldn't stop running. A running toilet in a $400+/night room? Ridiculous.

Between the people upstairs, the trains, and the toilet, we got about 3-4 hours of sleep that night. And not all in a row. The earplugs helped the next night, but not much.

The noise bothers me more because when you first see the place it appears to be 30-40 years old, which would tend to explain the poor sound insulation. However, I learned that the building was built in the early 90s. The only explanation for the poor sound insulation in this case is a cheap design. No excuse for it at these prices.

-No shower. There's a big jacuzzi bathtub, and it's got one of those little pull out shower head thingies (like the thing you have in your sink to rinse your dishes), but it pulls out about 2 feet, which means to take a shower you have to kneel and bend over in the bathtub. Unacceptable given that the place is so close to the beach. Who doesn't wanna shower after swimming at the beach?? You can sort of shower off, but all the sand went to one side of the tub (it wasn't level), and it took me about 5-10 minutes to get it all down the drain so that we could use the bath.

Again, considering how comparitively new the building is, there's no excuse for not having a better shower arrangement. Especially for a steep price.

-Last bad point. . .evidently 'Bed & Breakfast' doesn't necessarily mean that you get breakfast!! Probably the most irksome thing (even though it might be small thing) is that you are only afforded one complimentary breakfast PER STAY (which was NOT mentioned on their website, to my knowledge. But they sure touted the 'compimentary breakfast'). Therefore, I stayed 2 nights but only got one breakfast. Would it really bite into profits that much to provide me another bowl of granola with about 1/3 cup of milk like I got the first morning?? Again, for $400/night I expect MUCH more than that.

Bottom line, the room was nice. But in my opinion, it was a $120 room that I paid $412 for. I could have gone to the Ritz Carlton for $400/night and felt much, MUCH more pampered. Yes, it wouldn't have been next to the beach, but that doesn't justify the expense to me. Maybe my expectations were a little too high, but I don't think so. I've stayed in MUCH nicer places (and near the beach, too!), for not even close to $400/night.

Decent place. Worth the price? Not. Even. Close.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casatrop, Rick Anderson, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2008

Sorry about all of that noise. The two lots behind me were developing new condo units from the ground up. They are done now and that is no longer an issue. As far as the trains, yes we have them and they do pass at night. We try to tell our guests and do provide the ear plugs. Honestly we found this to be more of an issue in cases like this when a portion of the stay was noisy over all. I am not denying the concern, but want to say most of our guests don’t comment or do enjoy the trains. I built this 5 story building in 1989 from the ground up. I am a general contractor and want the world to know the suggestions of, “poor sound insulation and cheep design,” are far from true. This building is constructed with R- 19 insulation in all common walls, floors and ceilings. Rooms are framed from 2”X6” studs or cement full grouted block they have ½” sound board behind 5/8” type X sheetrock, (drywall.) All floors have 1-1/2” poured-in-place light weight concrete below the carpet or hardwood finishes. Ceilings also have R-19 fiberglass insulation between the joists and the 5/8” drywall is on sound channels to provide additions space insulation from floor and ceiling joist to reduce sold sound transmissions. Doors are solid core, and all windows are dual glazed glass for additional sound reduction. There is nothing that existed in 1989 to reduce sound that was not used in the design and construction of this building. That said, I do apologize for the noise you heard upstairs. From the description of the room you are commenting about, I know above you is where I live. We are very sensitive to our guests below. I can only think at the times you experienced noise from above, we either had a dinner party in our kitchen above, or any one of our 6 grand kids could have been giving Thomas the Train a workout above you, sorry. We really do try to keep it down, but this time, it was us! I did replace the hand shower in that room to a full shower head. I did receive a lot of comments about it. Thank You. I really don’t know what happened to your breakfast. That is a mystery to me. We give every guest a breakfast every day they stay, we just messed up in your case. Come on back, I know you will be lot happier! Rick Anderson, Owner

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Reviewed May 7, 2006

My husband and I stayed last weekend on May 5th after deciding to make an impromtu trip up the coast. I read the reviews here on Trip Advisor (my travelling bible) and booked a room. I agree with the last review that it is a bit over priced and we did not feel we got our "money's worth", but overall a good stay. We stayed in the "Casa Escondido" is what I think the room was called. It is on the second floor with a lovely view. Keep in mind that the train is RIGHT THERE and will blow every hour or so. If you are noise sensitive, this will bother you. Also, the jacuzzi above us was on for a long time at night and created a very disturbing sound in our room. As the other guest stated, soundproofing has not been considered here. If you stay in the room we stayed in also keep in mind that your front window will be filled with dining guests by 8am. We had not been made aware of this either, although we did think the staff was kind, when you could find them. I found the bed to be very comfortable, we loved the flat-screen HD television and thought the overall decor was decent. It is 3 star accomodations at 4 star prices. Coffee was not made for us in the morning, we made the coffee, which I don't mind, but again if you are paying those prices it would be nice to have it made for you. Breakfast was okay. Overall, we would not come back, but enjoyed our time.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
3  Thank Appleshaker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
San Francisco
16
Reviewed April 4, 2006

We stayed one night here on April 2nd. The room was beautiful and the view of the ocean from the 3rd floor shared deck was breathtaking. The bed was incredibly comfortable and inviting. So much so that I was able to easily fall back asleep after being woken up by the staff clomping up and down the wooden steps and deck outside the room.

Unfortunately, construction was happening on the street in back of the hotel and though we were in the front, we could still hear it. I could easily overlook these things.

But when it came time to check out, my boyfriend brought our bags down to the lobby and asked the front desk person to keep an eye on them while he got the car and while I did a final check of the room. I came downstairs a few minutes later to find the lobby unattended and the front doors propped wide open. We loaded up the car and waited...and waited...a line formed with other guests waiting to check out. 20 minutes later, the front desk person reappeared unapologetic.

So - it's still worth a try since it seems to be the best in town. You might find it overpriced for what is offered. Something is missing for the rates they charge but I'm not sure what it is. We will not return because of the poor soundproofing and checkout experience.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
casatrop, Rick Anderson, Owner at Casa Tropicana, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2008


First I am glad you loved that you stayed with us! I am happy to announce the construction behind us is now finished and along with my morning employees, there will no longer be loud noise in the morning to wake anyone up. The employee who left the desk and your luggage unattended is no longer with us, however, as you know this is a five story building and their job duties require them to often leave the desk and go up onto the decks. We now have installed a communication system at the front desk that guests and visitors can page the on duty employee to avoid any of the unnecessary waiting you experienced. Thanks to suggestions like yours, we have corrected the problem. I have also installed a gate and re-configured the lobby and now luggage can be placed behind the desk in a more secure area. We’re getting it! Come see us again. Rick Anderson, Owner

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A TripAdvisor Member
Virginia
15
Reviewed September 18, 2005

Stephanie,



I would like to send many heartfelt thank you(s) from myself and Bryan. You, Scotty, and the Casa Tropicana in its entirety helped make the much anticpated homecoming from Iraq even more special, welcoming, and relaxing than we ever thought possible. The Casa Blanca has served us well twice now and we will most certainly be back. As I find myself now back in Virginia, sunny California and your wonderful spirit and accommodations are only a short thought (and plane ride) away. I look forward to seeing you again. In the meantime, I will continue telling everyone on the east coast how Tropicana and San Clemente are little jewels of the O.C.

p.s. next time we'll have to check out the spa!

  • Stayed: August 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
5  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2005

The Casa Tropicana is the best place to stay if you want to be close to the beach, but feel like you're staying in a 5-star hotel! We liked it because it is an intimate bed & breakfast, but you're treated like royalty. The staff is completely in sync with each other and ready to meet your every need. The rooms are all uniquely decorated, and has been done in a very upscale taste. We loved the flat paned TV with digital cable. We could listen to digital music all night long! It was great! You must seek out their website to see the room pictures.

I hate to tell everyone which room we stayed in because it's surely going to get booked up fast once everyone knows about it! Ok here goes....check out Casita Arena. It has a killer four poster bed with beautiful colors throughout. From our window we could see the ocean. It's so beautiful.

Then, to top off such a great room, we signed up for their new couple's massage program. The Casa Tropicana has done such a great job of incorporating a beautiful spa into the b&b. It's got a nicely decorated and peaceful waiting room, where you can relax before receiving your treatment. We were served champagne before and after. Their massage therapists were outstanding. They claimed that we were their first massage in their new spa, but you could have never figured that. The setup was completely professional and upscale and they use very experienced therapists that knew what they were doing. It was a great experience.

Oh, I almost forgot, here's another great thing that they do. Each room has a well stocked mini-fridge. Everything inside it, from champagne, wine, water, soda, etc. is completely complimentary! We've never had that before. Also, the breakfast is to die for! They offer many breakfast choices and you should definitely have them serve you outside on the patio.

Casa Tropicana does all of the little touches and offers inclusive amenities that will put them light years above any property. We've been staying in Laguna Beach, but now we'll always stay at the Casa Tropicana in San Clemente.

The staff was great...Many thanks to Marjorie, Stephanie, and Jeff for making our stay so wonderful!

  • Stayed: July 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
9  Thank magic_houdini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
orange county
14
Reviewed March 7, 2005

had a wonderful time at the casa tropicana stayed in the coral reef room and the view was awsome the bed was sodt and inviting and the fireplace was nice the breakfast was good and the minifridge was great with a bottle and glasses . now the downside the parking was awful it was an added expense and later after we had checked out we parked just on the otherside of the street to get a bite at the resturant on the pier we both got tickets . we had put coins in the meter were gone less than the time and still got tickets and there was still a min left and the meter maid was long gone. . othere than that bad experience it was great there is some parking but it is less thn perfect there is no elevator so if you have a disability try somewhere else. but the sound of the waves seem to lul you into a ramantoc trance .

  • Stayed: March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Casa Tropicana

Address: 610 Avenida Victoria At the Pier, San Clemente, CA 92672-5369
Location: United States > California > Orange County > San Clemente
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #11 of 18 Hotels in San Clemente
Price Range: $219 - $391 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casa Tropicana 3.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spanish-inspired architecture, ocean views, stylish comfortable decor and a relaxed atmosphere. We invite you to enjoy sunset from an ocean view deck Casa Tropicana Hotel in San Clemente is located steps from the beach and close to many local faves – Casa Romantica, San Juan Capistrano Mission and Disneyland. Offering complimentary amenities - beach bags and chairs, flat screen TVs, fireplaces, robes, wifi, and Jacuzzi tubs. Great off season prices. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casa Tropicana Hotel San Clemente
Casa Tropicana San Clemente

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