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“Some great things, some not so great things” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cal Mar Hotel Suites

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Cal Mar Hotel Suites
Ranked #26 of 35 Hotels in Santa Monica
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Some great things, some not so great things”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 16, 2013

We came to Santa Monica with our 3 year old son to visit friends. Overall, a great experience.

Pros: super awesome to have a whole 1 bedroom apartment that feels like it's around 800 sq ft, has a full kitchen, dining room, living room, and bedroom. Plenty of space for luggage, and a lot of people. Laundry machines on-site. Whole Foods within walking distance to stock up on foods. You save a lot of money by eating breakfast at the hotel! Many delicious restaurants also deliver here, in case you're too relaxed to get out for dinner. Nice front desk staff. Pool is very warm, almost like bath water. It was a dream to swim in, and very clean. The location is prime.. just a block to the 3rd Street Promenade. Everything you need is within a few blocks (ocean, Santa Monica Pier & Amusement Park, groceries, restaurants, shops, double-decker tourist bus stop, coffee!). Comfortable bed and pillows in the bedroom. Parking is inexpensive ($15/day) and easily accessible. The room and hotel was very clean.

Cons: Sofa bed was insanely uncomfortable. Fortunately, it was just fine four our 3 year old who weighs only 40 lbs, but as an adult, I could never sleep on it. Yeah, it's noisy here. We asked for a room away from the alley like other posters recommended. We booked for the second floor but were placed in a 1st floor room. Big mistake. We heard *everything* the people upstairs did. Every footstep. Every piece of luggage wheeled across the room. It was extremely annoying, and we didn't feel right complaining because they were clearly just going about their normal business.. not stomping/partying/doing anything excessively. We were facing the pool, but our bedroom was facing 3rd Street and we heard people and traffic all night. I would have preferred just one early morning garbage truck to the constant noise of cars pulling out from the intersection and people walking home from the Promenade. Night shift front desk guy was not very helpful (daytime ladies were awesome).

So given all of that, would we do it again? We sure would, but ONLY on the top floor. And you know what, paying $200/night for a whole apartment vs. $400/night for a tiny hotel room is definitely worth it. As long as you bring your ear plugs and/or are not very noise sensitive!

Room Tip: DEFINITELY choose a top floor room. First floor rooms can hear every footstep or movement from the r...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank sherrihowe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, June 11, 2013
Thank you for your comments they are very important to us.The Cal Mar Hotel Suites is not a 5 star hotel and if that what you expected.This hotel has a 1960's flair just 2 blocks to the beach. Our pool is heated. Our suites are like a 1 or 2 bedroom apartments with a full kitchens set up for extended stay which is different from other hotels. I'm sorry you didn't give us a chance.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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386 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (66)
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
78 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

We stayed at this hotel for a night, the staff were extremely polite and nice. Just a pleasure to talk to them. The hotel itself is an older apartment block converted to a hotel, so the bedrooms and living room have new furniture, comfortable beds, but the rest of the apartment such as kitchen and bathroom need some updating.
It is very clean, but there is no air conditioning and the windows are single pane so you can hear everything going on outside of your apartment. Location is very good, relatively quiet considering how close it is to the Promenade.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank asha d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, May 9, 2013
Thank you for your comments good and bad.
This will help us give better service to our customers.We appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2013

We didn't know what to expect but the moment our taxi dropped us off in front of the hotel we knew we were in the right place. The front desk person was so accommodating, check-in was a breeze, and as we entered the courtyard pool area, flowing with exotic flowers, we were brought back to a time in Southern California reminiscent of a more innocent 1950's vibe. The pictures on the internet do not do justice to the place. We were surprised at how large, comfortable and clean the apartment-like accommodations were with a fully stocked kitchen, dining room, big bedroom with comfy king bed and a variety of soft pillows.The pull out sofa bed in the living room was perfect for our part time guest The bathtub was large and the water pressure was excellent. No air conditioning but we didn't need it at the end of April. Two good size TVs with lots of channels. Location is prime, a block from the promenade, the beach and Whole Foods. Not as elegant as the properties next door but half the price and with more authentic character.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank kathysoasis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, May 7, 2013
Thank You very much !The Cal Mar staff appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 28, 2013

My husband and three sons (10,8,6) stayed here because our first preference was booked out. What a blessing in disguise!
The location is perfect. Two blocks away from the beach and shopping strip in both directions. The area is quiet and safe. They have a self serve laundry and each room has a kitchen should you wish to prepare meals.
I was a bit nervous as the photos don't exactly present a palace. The rooms/decor are pretty tired and dated but immaculate and perfectly acceptable to anyone not on a big budget.
I couldn't fault the place.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ACIAnge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 30, 2013
Thank You very much !The Cal Mar staff appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fargo, north dakota
Level Contributor
50 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2013

We recently spent 5 days at the Cal Mar Hotel while visiting the Santa Monica area. It is a very clean hotel with a beautifully heated pool and relaxing outside area. The rooms are big and have a full kitchen, equiped with all the things we needed to make breakfasts and lunches. The staff was especially friendly and accomodating. Only downside is that it can be a little loud at times due to the structure of the building but otherwise....a great stay and a great price for this area.

Room Tip: rooms away from the pool would be quieter
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank onechicktraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Sweet Hotel,Thank you for your comments and how you rated us. This will help us give better service to our customers.We appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
24 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2013

These are old apartments that are now rented as hotel "suites", so you get a fully stocked kitchen, living/dining room (w/TV/DVD), bathroom, bedroom, closet, etc. The 5 of us stayed one night but it would be a great place to stay for a week or so - especially with kids as the pool is very clean and can be seen right from your hotel room. The tile in our unit was old, and the beds were doubles (not queens) but you can get a roll a way or even sleep on the couch. It's not fancy, but everything was in working order, and very clean. If you are taking a tour of Santa Monica, Universal Studios, Hollywood/LA area, this is a good location to use as a home base. Only 5 blocks from Santa Monica beach and pier, easy walking. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 278Helen1963278
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments and how you rated us.I'm glad you liked the kitchen and suite layout. Your comments will help us give better service to our customers.WThe Cal Mar staff appreciate your business.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
70 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

I read through the reviews here and saw the high ratings but I was terribly disappointed in the quality of this place. This area of Santa Monica is very expensive so I should have known better. On this same trip I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and the Cal Mar is a couple of notches below that. Very old, small beds, shabby furnishings. Lucky I asked to see the room before I signed and gave my credit card and the front desk man was nice enough to let us cancel without charging. We ended up at the Wyndham on the pier for about $50 more per night. Probably more with parking. It's no palace but is higher quality with better, newer furnishings and normal sized beds.

Cal Mar might work for some but beware that the high ratings here could be deceiving.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank SuzyQTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robert N, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, April 18, 2013
Thank you for your comments they are very important to us.The Cal Mar Hotel Suites is not a 5 star hotel and if that what you expected.This hotel has a 1960's flair just 2 blocks to the beach. Our pool is heated. Our suites are like a 1 or 2 bedroom apartments with a full kitchens set up for extended stay which is different from other hotels. I'm sorry you didn't give us a chance.
Robert Nicholas
General Manager
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 Cal Mar Hotel Suites

Property: Cal Mar Hotel Suites
Address: 220 California Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403-3606
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#19 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:3 star — Cal Mar Hotel Suites 3*
Number of rooms: 36
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Also Known As:
Cal Mar Hotel Santa Monica
Cal Mar Santa Monica

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