My experience with the Hotel Casablanca was the only defect in an otherwise delightful weekend in Santa Cruz, California on August 9 through 11, 2013. My wife and I were part of a large group of people attending the wedding of the son of our good friends.
Months before, the couple reserved a large block of rooms at the Hotel Casablanca for their out-of-town guests. They assured us we were on the list. We still called the hotel to verify the reservation. The hotel assured us that we had reservations and would have a room right next to the groom 's parents. Not having received a written communication from the hotel, we called twice to verify our reservation with the hotel. Each time we were assured we had reservations.
We awoke before 5 AM to drive to the home of the groom's parents, flew from Newark, NJ to San Francisco, got into a rental car, and drove over an hour to Hotl Casablanca. What did we find there?
No reservation for my wife and me!
Not only did the desk clerk say they had not one room available for us, the said we never were on the reservation list! They then showed a list to us which did not contain our names. His list was not credible because this allegedly authentic list did not contain the name of the groom's sister, who had also flown in from the East Coast with her husband and two children. The only remaining spot in the Hotel Casablanca was a two-bedroom suite, which clearly had been reserved for the sister's family, even though her name was not on the reservation list. Interestingly, the groom's sister's family and my wife and me were the last two parties to check in.
We had no place to stay. We told the front desk felt we had no choice but to secure transportation back to the airport and to fly home. Having traveled with the groom's parents, who had to leave for the wedding rehearsal, we had no car of our own. The Hotel Casablanca assured us there would be a room at their hotel for us the night after the wedding if they could locate a room for us for that night.
Somehow, they then located a room--but not at the Hotel Casablanca. The other hotel was about a half-mile away-and cost $75 more a night. We got transportation from a relative of the bride. That room merits its own review, but would take away from this one.
Upon our return to that room after dinner, we again called the Hotel Casablanca to verify our reservation for the following evening. The desk clerk said we had no reservation. I asked for his supervisor. He said the supervisor had left and would not return until the next day. I informed him that he had better reach his supervisor and straighten things out immediately. He put me on hold for several minutes and got back on to tell me that there was in fact a reservation for us. I told him we had a wedding the next day, and that we had to be dressed and ready to leave by 1 P.M.
After occupying ourselves for the morning, we showed up at the Hotel Casablanca at 11:45 AM, 45 minutes after checkout-and which should have been enough time to clean up the room. We found two interesting things.
First, the maid had barely begun to clean the room. We had to set up suitcases and change-forget showering-in a total mess.
The second thing we found was more interesting-a gift basket!
Why would the Hotel Casablanca have a gift basket for a party which didn't have a reservation?
What other explanation could there be other than that the Hotel Casablanca double-booked its rooms and then trashed our reservation when we lost the game of musical chair reservations?
But the fun didn't stop there! When we returned after the wedding, we found that there was no air conditioning. Since it was a mild night, we were willing to open the windows. However, at least two of them were held shut by pieces of metal, and some others were painted shut. We got enough of the windows open so that, between the breeze and the ceiling fan-which could only be used on low speed because of the loud vibrations at full power-we were able to sleep.
Upon awakening, we found that, if you believe that protein should be part of breakfast, you would be out of luck. Fortunately, there was a wonderful place nearby that we found the first morning, which I will discuss in a review of its own.
If you are offered a stay at the Hotel Casablanca, bring a sleeping bag and sleep on the beach. At least you will know where you are staying!
- 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
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Casablanca Inn & Bistro Hotel Santa Cruz
- Casablanca Inn And Bistro
- Casa Blanca Hotel
- Casa Blanca Motel