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“Very Nice, Affordable Santa Monica Hotel”
Review of The Ambrose

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The Ambrose
Ranked #3 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Reviewed September 24, 2013

Stayed here a few days with my mother, and overall had a very pleasant experience at this hotel.

What we liked about this hotel:
- Price: It was much more affordable than the hotels right on the beach, and there was no "resort fee" of any sort, which I liked

- Car Service (Complimentary): They have a nice car service that is free for hotel guests that will take you to & from the beach, the 3rd street promenade, and another attraction (that I can't think of off-hand). It is not a shuttle bus but actually a nice luxury SUV with leather seats and a driver who opens the door for you. One of the drivers, Jose, was great. He seemed to know the area very well. They're all very friendly people. And we never waited more than 10 minutes to be picked-up.

- Service: Everyone who worked with customers seemed very friendly.

- Design: The hallways and rooms themselves have a Japanese feel to it, which is unique. The grounds are well-kept. They had real bamboo in the bathroom, authentic wood floors. I liked those details.

- Clean: No bugs, No Dust, & No empty wrappers or other random items left behind from previous guests. The housekeeping seems on their game in this place. Towels / blankets / robes / pillows, all very clean and crisp.

- Internet + Continental Breakfast: No complaints, both free for guests.


What we did not like about this hotel:

- When checking in, they don't tell you parking in their underground garage is $20/day. I was already expecting this from reading reviews on Tripadvisor- but I thought it was a bit shady nobody mentioned it during check-in. They just ask you if you need to park a car, and then hand you a parking permit with a smile. If I wasn't expecting this fee from Tripadvisor reviews and then saw how much I owed for parking without being warned beforehand, I would have flipped out at them. Not good practice.

- The room the first day had an old wood smell. Not necessarily dirty, just old. Like grandma's old house type of a smell. Not very sexy if you're on a honeymoon (fortunately, I was not lol). After we moved our stuff in and aired it out a bit, the old smell was gone.

- I booked a room through a travel site for 2 beds in a "studio suite." Come to find out, that doesn't exist. The hotel must have mis-informed the travel website (I think it was Expedia or Travelocity) about what they offer. The second bed was actually a pull-out sofa bed. They upgraded us to a room with a beautiful terrace and outdoor fireplace for the inconvenience (which I appreciated very much)- but still, the sofa bed was not comfortable at all. So you've been warned if you book a "studio suite" with 2 beds, you might want to call ahead and confirm what it is you actually just booked.

- For a hotel in LA, I was surprised they were still rocking the old school TV's. They have a modern surround sound system in the studio suite room (I think I even saw a speaker in the ceiling in the bathroom), but why the old school TV?


Overall, the advantages greatly out weighed the disadvantages of this hotel, and I would happily stay at this hotel again (as long as they don't bump up their rates to the levels of the other hotels right on the beach). We had a nice, relaxing time- and at the end of the day, that's what it's really about for me.

Hope my review helps.

Room Tip: Confirm what you booked. Some rooms with 2 beds is actually a room with 1 bed + pull-out sofa.
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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Thank justpumpitlouder
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded October 10, 2013

Thank you "justpumpitlouder" for both your positive and critical comments on our hotel.

We strive to provide accommodations that exceed our guest expectations on every visit, every day for every guest.

Your feedback makes it all worth our efforts.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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687 - 693 of 1,267 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2013

This small boutique hotel is within walking distance of UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center (about 5 blocks) and is 20 blocks to the Ocean. The hotel rooms are nice, well furnished, though a bit 'dark' in decor. The mini-bar has very few selections (no diet drinks). The morning breakfast consists of fruit, cereal and pastries. No real protein. The front desk staff were 'first-rate' and extremely helpful. The bed was very comfortable. The room was also very quiet. All in all, a nice stay, reasonably priced. We are planning a return trip in a few months, and will definitely be staying here, again.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank jtimhall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded September 23, 2013

Thank you jtimhall for your positive comments about the Ambrose Hotel.

We appreciate your patronage and invite your return. We have a renovations plan in place for 2014 and the entire hotel that will address the areas of your concern.

Please reach out to me directly at gm@ambrosehotel.com for repeat guest discounts.

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Reviewed September 12, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for four nights over the spring vacation. The hotel is located close to Wishire Blvd in Santa Monica not far from beach and Westwood Blvd and within easy access to San Diego Freeway. Ample parking was available free of charge.

Our room was clean and comfortable. The furniture and drapes were, however, dated and in need of replacement. The carpet was stained and showed its age. Breakfast was included in the bill, but there were not a lot of choices. The breakfast room did not have enough chairs so one had to find some other place to sit. The hotel staff were helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ManouchehrG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2013

Thank you ManouchehrG for your positive comments about the Ambrose Hotel.

We appreciate your patronage and invite your return. We have a renovations plan in place for 2014 and the entire hotel that will address the areas of your concern.

Please reach out to me directly at gm@ambrosehotel.com for repeat guest discounts.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

I was very pleasantly surprised by my recent stay here. After reading some of these reviews I was actually a little apprehensive. The reception was pleasant and efficient, my room was large, well decorated, very clean, the bed and pillows were comfortable and the linens a very good quality. I have worked in the hotel business and I am really very picky about beds and linen. Everything in the room worked (not always the case in many five star hotels), the bathrobes nice and comfy and the breakfast in the morning had good pastries and fresh strawberries. What not to love? A few minor flaws: at 6:00AM a very loud garbage pickup in the alley seemed to linger forever, the clock in the bedroom was not set and I am a total dope at doing things like that, the coffee at breakfast was very weak resembling a light tea and no flavor, and the bathtub drain didn't really drain well. However, within half an hour of mentioning this at the front desk, there was a maintenance man at my door. All in all, this hotel really is a well run and delightful place to stay in Santa Monica.

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank Fleurbloom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2013

We couldn't have said it better...

Thank you Fleurbloom for your positive review and comments about the Ambrose hotel.

Our first time guest's frequently find our hotel and accommodations like their own home.
Our staff strives to provide service & accommodations that exceed our guest expectations on every visit, every day for every guest.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2013

We stayed there for 4 nights in August and left a little unsure how to rate it. The room was great: plenty of space, very comfortable bed, proper pillows, big bathroom, quiet location - all we wished for. The hotel provided fee shuttle to the beach and beach towels - really nice touch. Underground carpark had plenty of space as well and we were able to access our car at any time without any fee (we booked it several months before the trip). What really let this place down was the breakfast arrangements. There were only a couple of tables avaialble and the guests had to eat standing up! The food was really nice but the experience of having to 'fight' for a chair was rather stressful. They kept running out of food items, plates, knifes etc - there was only one grumpy waitress who had to be told to bring the missing items in ( and she took her time!). The room was not serviced well either - rubish was not removed from the bin, towels were missing, they did not hoover our room during our stay and did not change the bed sheets either (not even after 3 nights). Shame really because the place seems to have a great atmosphere and plenty of potential.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank OnTheFence123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2013

Dear WolfChemGirl...

We’re very sorry to hear that your stay experience was not to your complete satisfaction.

The comments you mentioned about our positive influences are certainly appreciated... but we are especially concerned to hear of the shortcomings you experienced.

We attempt to exceed every guest expectation on every stay and I am terribly sorry that this did not happen for you.

Our breakfast can certainly get awkward when so many guest's attempt to eat at the same time. We're working to alleviate this with a Delivery Service Breakfast - Room Service style that may add some hot items as well.

We appreciate your positive comments and look forward to your future stay. Please reach out to me directly via email at; gm@ambrosehotel.com for repeat guest discounts.

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Reviewed September 5, 2013

This was a great place to stay in Santa Monica.
Great room - Very spacious and decorated well. Very comfortable bed and great bathroom.
The hotel had a very nice feel about it - Calming and quite.
The buffet breakfast was good quality, however, there could have been more tables to sit at.
The woman at the check-in desk was very helpful and had extremely good local knowledge.
It's just under 2 miles to the beach but the hotel provides a car to get there and back.
A very nice hotel which I would absolutely use again.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank farts_fo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded September 6, 2013

Thank you immensely, from " down under " !

We greatly appreciate your comments and genuine review of the AMBROSE Hotel.

Our first time guest's frequently find our hotel and instantly get to know our Southern California " vibe" throughout the entire hotel, staff and accommodations... like their own. We strive to provide a calm, quite oasis and accommodations that exceed our guest expectations on every visit, every day for every guest.

Your positive feedback makes it all worth our efforts.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 1, 2013

My wife had been to a stressful family event in Central America and I decided to treat her to an expensive boutique hotel in Santa Monica, expected to get her some friendly and comforting pamping.

The hotel interior is a Japanese inspired design, wooden beams and white panels, and a small water garden in front. Appearances were thus very favourable until we reached the desk. The staff were polite but insisted I pay the $20 parking charge despite it being included on the Expedia price (yes, Ambrose, I have proof). Okay, in view of the $400 odd cost including taxes for one night, twenty dollars wasn't worth the hassle and I didn't want to hold up the line.

The room was fairly basic, average toiletries, and bottled water was of course charged for. Note the hotel has no restaurant or bar, or at least I could not find either. Breakfast next morning was fruit, yogurt, bread, cakes and coffee, adequate for most people but perhaps a little meagre given the steep price. But what upset us, was that another couple tried to enter the breakfast room about 5 minutes after it had closed and were refused breakfast. But the cleaning staff didn't turn up until 15-20 minutes later and they cleaned away a good deal of untouched food. A more friendlier hotel would have let them in just this time, maybe wagged a finger at them. After all there wasn't any cooked food available and chefs waiting around.

We were planning on staying for two nights but decided to leave and we booked a Best Western in the Simi Valley. And despite being packed out, half the price and twice the service.

Room Tip: Looks like I paid too high a price given the other comments on this hotel. Closely look at pricing i...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank morris_minor_travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
General M, Manager at The Ambrose, responded to this reviewResponded September 3, 2013

We’re very sorry to hear that your stay experience was not to your satisfaction.

We attempt to exceed every guest expectation on every stay and I am terribly sorry that this did not happen for you.

I'd certainly welcome a follow up email at gm@ambrosehotel.com to review your comments and contact you personally.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Ambrose

Address: 1255 20th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404-1351
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Santa Monica
#10 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
#12 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#13 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range: $319 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Ambrose 3.5*
Number of rooms: 77
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located at the corner of 20th and Arizona Street, The Ambrose is in a quiet and unassuming neighborhood and is known for being an eco-friendly property. Having just completed an extensive, multi-million dollar renovation of all 77 guestrooms and public spaces, the distinctive California Craftsman design has been revitalized to reflect the essence of a large private home. Luxury linens, C.O. Bigelow bath products, complimentary in-room HSIA WiFi, complimentary continental breakfast, complimentary fitness center access and complimentary house car service await all guests! ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Ambrose Hotel Santa Monica

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