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“Great location but that's about it”

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Casablanca Inn on the Beach
Ranked #24 of 54 Hotels in Santa Cruz
Europe
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Great location but that's about it”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

This is a hard review to write because there doesn't seem to be a lot of solid options for hotels in the area. As my wife and I drove around, we kept an eye out and the reality is there are simply mostly motels and inns.

The Casablanca is in a GREAT location. Across the street from the beach, a block down from the famous boardwalk in one direction and a half a block from the wharf in the other direction. About a mile walk and you are downtown. Sleeping to the sound of the ocean, sea lions barking, and the occasional seagull flying by is definitely a wonderful experience.

Now to the cons. The room, as has been mentioned here, is very outdated. It looks like an old tiny apartment that has been changed to a motel. There is a small kitchen with a sink, a fridge, microwave, and stove. The kitchen is more like a narrow hallway to the small bathroom. The room is very small. The locks on the door mostly don't work and the chain simply fell of the doorframe, so it was useless. The hotel needs to invest in some CLR and get the grime off the shower head. Pretty gross. The bed was not very comfortable and extremely squeaky, although the pads on the back of the bed posts to keep them from damaging the wall when being banged back and forth gave my wife and I a laugh. The furniture is minimal with a small table with 2 chairs, and a larger sitting chair which blocked the path to one side of the bed. The closet is hard to get to because of the table/chairs, and the safe in the closet did not work.

There is a very simple continental breakfast put on in the lobby. When getting some food, my pregnant wife who was with me so we could get away and relax saw a sign about the State of California acknowledging chemicals on the premises that could cause birth defects. Wonderful. We were told this is a requirement for anyone using chemicals to clean, so it was understandable. What bothered us was this sign was hidden behind a potted tree. Makes you wonder...

In the very early morning around 3 or 4 AM, we found out there are raccoons that sometimes raid the trash. How did we find out? Because we heard them? No, that would have been preferred. We found out because someone else heard them, called the front desk, and the staff member talked very loudly about it right in front of our room and woke us both up. Now, I understand the guy working the graveyard shift was probably excited to actually be able to talk to a guest, but seriously. Could you whisper or talk in the lobby?!?

This was supposed to be a relaxing stay for my wife and I because of some recent medical issues, but because of the bad room and loud staffer, I come home exhausted and actually had to pull over when driving back to the Bay Area to avoid falling asleep at the wheel.

It's hard to write this because the location is so great, but I have to tell the truth.

This is a review of a beach view room and not a bungalow which, according to other reviews, seems to be the place to stay but with no view. I got this room on Hotwire but had I paid the full price of $250 I would have been upset. My wife still felt ripped off.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank unejam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco A, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 27, 2012
Allow us to first thank you for staying with us, it was truly a pleasure. With regards to the issues that you raised, we do have to remind you that we are a historical property which will be celebrating our 100 years of existence soon which explains the old fashion way our building was built, but rest assured with the other matters that are within our control we shall give it our immediate attention.
With regards to the signage about the chemicals, it is a requirement in all hotels which is why it must be posted, and it really is mostly because of the cleaning chemicals that is used for cleaning rooms, etc. No, it was not intentionally hidden as you seem to claim but we shall check on this issue as well.
We are sorry that you did not get the relaxation that you had wanted during your stay with us, but as always we take all the guests comments and criticisms very seriously which helps us in improving our facilities and services more. We do want to assure you that the rate that you got from HOTWIRE is a very much discounted rate compared to what our other guests paid for their rooms, so you were definitely not ripped off as you claim. It may be wise for you to check on the rates of all the Beach front hotels to properly know the going rate in the area. We do wish you and wife well and hope that one day soon you will be able to find a hotel which would better suit your budget and your requirement.
Our best wishes to you always...
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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (156)
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Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
23 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

We arrived in Santa Cruz late afternoon and most places we tried were full we drove past Casablanca and it had a vacancy sign so stopped in reception first impression of it is it looks a bit old and tired but we asked if any rooms were available a friendly lady advised us only the captains room was available She kindly offered to show us the room it had huge views of the beach and whilst quite masculine in decor a very tidy and clean room so we took it .She then offered to book us in to the restaurant for dinner even though it was fairly heavily booked . We had really good service and excellent food. The hotel could do with some feminine touches but the friendly staff more than make up for it.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank PBTHOLS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco A, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Allow us to thank you so very much for your wonderful comments about our hotel, our staff and your stay, it is certainly very much appreciated and we are grateful. It truyl is wonderful guests like you who make our existence in this industry truly worthwhile. We shall take your suggestion very seriously and give our rooms a bit more of that soft feminine touch to make the ambience a bit more cozy. We do hope you will come back again soon cause we did enjoy being of service to you and making your stay a truly pleasant and wonderful one. Our sincerest best wishes to you always...
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Fresno, California
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2012

The good...this hotel is only a short walk from the boardwalk, the beach, the pier, and a number of restaurants. In addition, it was a perfect location for us participating in the Santa Cruz Sprint Triathlon...the hotel being only a 10-minute walk from the transition area. The bad...the room was simply old, outdated, and uncomfortable. First, our room was street level...we could hear everything and everyone that passed by. If you decide to stay here, you may want to request a room away from the street. The hotel's response to the room temperature was..."open the windows". The front security gate to the room broke and we had to help the hotel staff remove the deadbolt to exit the room. The bathroom was filthy, most evident in the uncleaned commode...to say it courteously. We would not recommend this hotel and would stay somewhere else next time we visit Santa Cruz.

Room Tip: Find another hotel.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bonsai3s
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco A, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, August 13, 2012
Allow us to tell you that we are deeply saddened that we were unable to make your stay with us a pleasant and wonderful one. It is truly unfortunate that you did not take the option of taking one of our other roomns or suites which has been greatly appreciated by most of our guests. The street level room is normally taken by very young group of people who like to be directly across the beach area, or simply people who are on a limited budget since this room is the least expensive in the property. Upon check in, had this room not been to your liking after visually seeing it, you would have had the option to go somewhere else more suitable to your taste and budget, but apparently you decided to take it and consumate your stay. As always, we take all the comments of our guests very seriously so we shall look into your concerns, but rest assured, we do have our valued and loyal guests who will time and again come back, and appreciate the value of our historical property. We do wish you well, and hope that you find something which would be able to meet your requirements. Our best wishes to you always...
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Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Over the past 10 years Ive stayed in many of the motels, Inns and even the beautiful Dream Inn...but this was by far our FAVORITE of all! The staff (including front desk, the owner, maid, lounge) that i spoke to in passing were very friendly. We stayed in a bungalow on beach st. & have to say...i hated to leave. Thank you Casa Blanca!

  • Stayed July 2012
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank kcantelinenunes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco A, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, July 20, 2012
Allow us to thank you for your truly heartwarming comments about our hotel, our staff and your stay, it is so very much appreciated and we are sincerely grateful. It is wonderful guests like you who make our existence in this industry truly worthwhile, and we hope that you will come back some time in the not so distant future so we can be of service to you again. Our best wishes to you always...
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Platte, Nebraska
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed July 13, 2012

Well we just back from our vacation to Santa Cruz and other areas in California and had a wonderful time showing it to our three granddaughters. We try someplace different each year.
I wanted to let you know our hotel experience will be something to remember, we showed up with out a reservation to be told only one room left, the girls where tired and I let the front desk person know there would be 5 people, she said had one room left which had a king size bed and a day bed with a trundle beneath it..PERFECT...we stayed for two days and nights and enjoyed ourselves, and loved waking to the sea lions barking by the pier..The beds where very nice and comfortable and room was clean and well furnished with kitchen items if needed..we didnt because I was not cooking.. I was on vacation, but nice if needed..The attractions close by include two light houses, which show a lot of history, but did not make it to the surfboard museum , we wanted to see the surfboard that Mike and Frank donated from the show Pickers..
The Ocean was very pretty and the girls played in the surf..This hotel offered a lot of amenities and suggestions, we want to thank the staff for making this vacation one the girls will remember

Room Tip: Rooms where a bit pricey but when you want right by the beach and no reservations, you can't com...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Penny B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, July 16, 2012
Please allow us to thank you for your wonderful comments about our hotel and your stay, it is very much appreciated and we are truly grateful. It is wonderful guests like you who make our existence in this industry, despite the challenges of the times, truly worthwhile. We are truly happy that we were able to make your stay with your grand daughters a fun and memorable one. We look forward to having you again with us some time in the not so distant future. Our heartfelt best wishes to you and your family always...
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Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed June 20, 2012

This is the first time in my life I've ever checked out of a place and told them it was horrible. I say this to explain that I DON'T tend to nitpick. But, my visit to Santa Cruz will always be colored by my terrible experience at the Casablanca Inn.

Not that it was all bad. The room decor was decent enough, and the staff at the desk was friendly. That's where it ends, though.

One side of our room abutted an enclosed lounge, which overlooked the ocean. So, we had a great view -- for a few minutes, till people came and sat in chairs in the lounge right in front of our window! Not only was our view blocked, but we were now privy to their whole conversation, AND we felt like animals in a zoo, right on display. We had to close our curtains. Bye bye, ocean view; hello, dark and oppressive room. (We could still hear everyone talking in the lounge, meanwhile. And, all our windows rattled every time someone closed a door in that area.)

Then...I would love to find out what was above our room, because it sounded like people were dragging furniture along the floor up there. Over and over again. Lovely and oh so relaxing.

And, as if all those noises weren't enough, we were right next to the lobby, leading to the wonderful experience of being awakened at 1:15 a.m. by a loud guest. I kept thinking the person surely had to shut up, or leave, at any moment -- but it went on for 20 minutes, till I finally called the front desk. Thankfully, that did the trick.

By the way, obviously we were only privy to what our own room looked like. But, being right next to the lobby enabled us to hear a woman complaining to the front desk that when she booked an accommodation with a "living room," she didn't expect that to mean an area with nothing but a couch, and that this was a huge letdown.

Oh, and I haven't even mentioned the small parking lot, which had no spots when we first arrived. What a welcome, in an area with no street parking! We came back about 15 minutes later, to find a space, and then were afraid to leave again, lest we get shut out once more. So, there went our planned dinner with relatives.

But, the worst part: the manager. You know how management can make or break how you view an experience, in hindsight? This guy just made everything far worse! From the minute I called, after my return home -- BEFORE I even explained the nature of my call -- I was treated with such suspicion and arrogance! What company was I from? What? I was a guest? Now? No? When? What was my name? What was my room number? (Pause, while all this was verified through paperwork, apparently! I mean...do they get a lot of people calling, pretending to have stayed there?! You'd have thought I was calling his personal home number.)

After that bad start, it went downhill. The manager basically couldn't care less about any of my complaints. He stated that they'd done all they could about the loud guest at night. (True enough that when I called the front desk, the conversation abated, but when you know there's a room right next to the lobby, why don't you make sure people are quiet at 1:00 a.m. in the first place?!) And he had no comment about the noise from above our room, or from the lounge. He also felt our non-view (due to having to close the curtains) wasn't out of line with the price we'd paid, since other rooms with better views cost more. Well, we travel often, and it is no stretch to say that this was one of the worst "values" we've ever received for our money.

This manager could take some lessons in friendliness and helpfulness from his own front desk staff.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank Travelfan32655
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, June 24, 2012
Allow me once again to apologize to you just as I did during our last conversation when you mentioned about the issues that you had with the view from your room, and a problem with one of our guests who was checking in quite late at night who supposedly made a lot of noise, which our Front desk staff took care of. We have tried everything humanly possible to take care of every single issue that is brought to our awareness especially if it is within the parameters of what we are responsible for. Unfortunately during the summer weekends all beach front hotels in Santa Cruz will obviously be extremely full which can sometimes cause a bit of noise to other people, such as yourself, and at that point provided the noise is not made after 10 p.m. then we really cannot do much except to tell them to quiet down. If I recall the conversation with you was quite civil, and not at all unpleasant especially after explaining our stand on the issues that you brought to my attention. Had the given view, the volume of the conversation of our other full paying guests, and the noise that another checking in guests made late at night, been within our control then we would have done a whole lot more, unfortunately as I had told you we can only do so much. We are saddened that you have had an unpleasant stay with us, and I do hope that sometime in the not so distant future you find another hotel which will be able to meet your requirements and expectations. Our sincerest best wishes to you always...
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London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed June 18, 2012

My first thought upon entering was "What's that smell?" but felt hopeful after meeting the incredibly friendly and helpful staff at check in. Sadly, my hope was short-lived. Our room overlooked the sea, a blessing in that it allowed me to look out the window and try to ignore my room. The room was tiny (and I live in Europe - if it was tiny by European standards, it's miniscule by American) and so very not nice. I've stayed in nicer, cleaner hostels.

If you're 18, going to Santa Cruz with friends and want a place close to the sea basically just to sleep, it's fine. If you're in your 30's and on your honeymoon, avoid! Up your budget and stay elsewhere.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank parklife77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Francisco A, Manager at Casablanca Inn on the Beach, responded to this review, June 19, 2012
Allow me to say thank you for your feedback about your hotel room, our staff and your stay, it is very much appreciated, and rest assured that we take your comments very seriously. We do have a variety of rooms and suites in the hotel which are quite large, and overlooking the Santa Cruz Beach. Depending on what your budget was, and the type of room that you chose, it does sound like you got one of our standard rooms, and we only have 2 of these particular type which we normally reserve for a particular wholesaler which also promotes our property, or guests who wishes to have the least expensive accomodation that they can find. We do hope that you will come back again soon, and this time choose one of our suites which may be more to your liking, so we can make your next stay with us a much better one. Our best wishes to you always...
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Additional Information about Casablanca Inn on the Beach

Property: Casablanca Inn on the Beach
Address: 101 Main Street, corner of Beach and Main, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-5422 (Formerly The Casablanca Inn)
Location: United States > California > Santa Cruz
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Cruz
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Casablanca Inn on the Beach 3.5*
Number of rooms: 32
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The historical Casablanca Inn is strategically located across the street from the Santa Cruz beach, a block away from the wharf and the boardwalk. All our rooms are beautifully decorated and have a breathtaking view of the beach. Some of our rooms have a unique design which reflects the distinct character of the historic Cerf Mansion. Over the years, the Casablanca Inn has been fortunate enough to cater to some of the most influential and famous personalities of our time, which has immensely appreciated the elegance that our hotel has to offer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Casablanca Inn & Bistro Hotel Santa Cruz
Casablanca Inn And Bistro
Casa Blanca Hotel
Casa Blanca Motel

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