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“Perfect Getaway”

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Cal Mar Hotel Suites
Ranked #27 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Riverside, Ca
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Perfect Getaway”
Reviewed September 8, 2009

We needed a relaxing Labor Day weekend and we got it. The hotel was everything I hoped from the other reviews. Thankyou.
The hotel is in an excellent location, within walking distance of the beach, the Promenade, restaurants and grocery, and is very reasonably priced for the area. All the rooms are suites (apartments) and there is covered parking. Our room (109) had oak flooring, wooden furniture and was very clean and comfortable with a balcony overlooking the pool. The hotel was quite and had a very relaxed atmoshpere and the staff was very nice and accomodating. Thankyou very much.
It worked perfectly for us. We were looking for something comfortable with a suite so we could prepare some of our meals duing our 4 day stay. We brought our bikes and rode down to Venice beach; walked to the local beach (north of the peir) and to the Promenade for dinner and drinks. It was the base camp for one of our best vacations!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank EmbraceThisMoment
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 9, 2009
Thank you “EmbraceThisMoment2) for posting your comments and verbalizing our accessibility, cleanliness of our guest rooms, and value in Santa Monica.

We honor our staff in their attention to detail to ensure that each of our guests has a comfortable, relaxing stay and all of our guests will leave knowing how very much we appreciate their time with us. We like to think of our property as "a little piece of heaven" in Santa Monica. Again, thank you for your time and care in posting your comments.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2009

I stayed at Cal Mar Hotel Suites for 2 nights at the end of the summer season on my way back to Melbourne Australia in a corner room. At first glance before I opened the door I sighed but then was blown away. The Hotel is situated one block up 5 minutes from the top end of the Santa Monica Mall so it's very close to everything. It has such a relaxed home feel about it which is different to staying in a big hotel. The corner apartment had a stove, refridgerator (full size), microwave and coffee machine with coffee, all cutlery, plates, glasses, cups, wine/bottle opener (bonus) in a seperate kitchen with a dining table and in the lounge a TV with video and dvd player with a 3 piece lounge suite which folds out into a bed. The bedroom had a large wardrobe, two double beds plus another TV all rooms were clean, had overhead fans and all with polished wooden floors. The bathroom served its purpose but I was very impressed with the water pressure. Friendly and extremely helpful staff work in the office 24 hours who made every effort to pass on messages that I received and help me. Im so glad I chose this place to stay as I felt relaxed, safe and secure. I found a cafe 5 mins walk away and an organic food store two and a half blocks away where I picked up some great cheese, produce, beer, wine and cold meats to prepare myself what a relief as staying in hotels you tend to eat junk food or go mad at the awkward hours buffet and overeat. My friends stayed down the road three and a half blocks near to the Santa Monica Pier, they payed twice as much as I did and got a small pokey room to sleep in with no amenities. I could have stayed longer really I had such a good time. When I checked out the great staff looked after my suitcase for the day which is locked away in a room and I hit the beach only two and a half blocks away with my mates. If you are after the Ritz for pampering this isn't it, but if you are after a home away from home then you are on to a good thing booking this place. There is a fitness centre near by but why would you go there when there is a fantastic beach to run along and also muscle beach so close.

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank yay4me
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manger at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, September 10, 2009
Greetings yay4me6 and thank you for posting your detailed comments regarding your recent visit to our property. We appreciate the fact that you felt safe, secure, relaxed and will have fond memories of your experience during your stay. We are delighted that you have found your "home away from home" in Santa Monica. We treasure your feedback and look forward to hosting you in the future.
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Leiden
Level Contributor
29 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 10, 2009

We stayed for three nights at the Cal Mar. Staff are extremely friendly, it is safe and quiet, and old-days crisp and clean. All amenities are there, Santa Monica is around the corner, a lovely pool. All in all, a really very nice place to stay!

  • Stayed May 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MomandKiki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, July 11, 2009
Greetings MomandKiki1! Thank you for sharing your experience during your recent stay in Santa Monica! We appreciate your positive feedback as we strive to empower our guests through our friendly, caring, detail oriented staff to enhance their stay at the Cal Mar and enjoy the peace and serenity that has been a tradition over the years.

We look forward to welcoming you back!

Warm personal regards!
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North Carolina
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2009

Walking through the entrance of the Cal-Mar and into its light, airy courtyard seemed a bit like stepping back in time to the 1950s or 60s. The building and facilities showed their age, but this friendly, relaxed hotel is a great spot for laid-back travelers who want to experience something of the old Santa Monica atmosphere at a reasonable price. We stayed for four very pleasant nights. There were a few negatives, but they were outweighed by the many positives. The positives first.

The Cal-Mar is in a wonderful location, only a block from the north end of the Third Street Promenade with all its shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. A Whole Foods grocery and a post office are three blocks away. The historic Santa Monica Pier is about seven blocks. Despite the presence of quite a few homeless people in the general area, the hotel seemed to be in a safe section of town, around the corner from the ritzy Fairmont Hotel and on the edge of a nice residential neigborhood. It was great for walking. There was a fair amount of street noise in the evening - our living room had windows on Third Street and we kept them open as much as possible - but the noise slacked off after about 11 PM and did not interfere with sleeping.

The hotel buildings and accommodations are basically as portrayed on its website. There is nothing fancy about the suites and everything does appear to be somewhat worn, but we found the rooms to be clean and comfortable, allowing enough space for us to spread out a bit. It was nice to have separate TVs in the living room (where there was also a VCR/DVD player) and bedroom. We really enjoyed having the small but full kitchen, equipped with enough dishes for four and with pots and pans, dishcloths, coffee service, and even salt and pepper. The beds were very comfortable. Our teenager reported that the sleeper sofa in the living room was "fine." The bathroom was small but perfectly adequate. It did show signs of age, with some cracked plaster, some grout between floor tiles that needed deep scrubbing, and some metal fixtures that showed signs of corrosion. But none of those things was a big deal.

Hotel staff were uniformly pleasant and helpful. We were able to check in early, and on check-out day, we were able to leave our car in the hotel's parking facilities while we went to the Promenade for lunch.

The main negative was that almost all of the amenities mentioned on the hotel's website are available only at an additional cost. Parking was $9.95/day. Internet access was $9.95/day (and in our corner room, we had real trouble getting the wireless signal). Access to the nearby fitness center, which we did not try, cost $12/day. The on-site laundry facilities consisted of a single, coin-operated washer & dryer that cost $2.50/load both for washing and for drying. (The good news was that the front desk can give change and sells small, single-load boxes of detergent for $1.00/box.) Another negative for some people might be the lack of an elevator. Be prepared to haul luggage up some stairs, even if your room is on the lower level. I should also mention that we had some problems with the oven in our kitchen. The first time we tried to use it, it didn't work. A staff member came and lit the pilot light for us, and the next day a maintenance man worked on it. However, that night the oven failed to work again and we smelled gas when we tried to turn it on. Since it was our last night there we just turned off the stove, reported the problem and didn't press for on the spot repairs. The staff apologized for the problem and said it would be fixed the next day.

Despite the negatives, we enjoyed our time at the Cal-Mar and would definitely stay there again.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank NCtraveler51
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
susansomers, General Manager at Cal Mar Hotel Suites, responded to this review, June 25, 2009
Thank you NCtraveler5, we appreciate very much your posting your great comments relating to our property. Thank you for commenting on our close proximity to the Third Street Promenade and historic Santa Monica Pier. We our proud of our great team that works to ensure that our guests are comfortable and have all the necessities available to them to enjoy the comfort of our cozy rooms. We apologize for the inconsistencies you mentioned as well and by receiving your comments and concerns we are always able to tweak items that will continue to enhance our guests' experience; we do daily room inspections and strive to complete all maintenance issues as well.

Again, our thanks to you and we look forward to your next visit to our property!
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Isle of Man
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed March 2, 2009

Just spent 5 nights there, the staff were very friendly and extremely helpful. A few of the reviews on here lead me to believe that it's a bit dated but I didn't really see it myself. Very spacious, the maids did a great job every day. I can't believe that 1 or more of the reviewers have taken time to take pictures of small, minor marks on the walls or carpets. You're on holiday for christs' sake, chill out. When you're lieing on the beach, or having dinner in one of the great restaurants in Santa Monica, are you really fretting about a stain the size of a quarter on the wall back at the apartment, and what it's doing?

Santa Monica itself is very nice. We have 2 children with a bit of an age gap (15 & 6) so was sometimes difficult to find things that eveyone wanted to do, especially in the evening. In the day, we visited the pier, shopped on 3rd street, hired bikes and cycled down to venice beach. We also took trips to Universal and Seaworld. It is quite expensive for every day items but I expected this, due to the area. The only bad point was a take away from Thai Dishes which was, frankly, not very nice at all (and they forgot to put half the order in the bag which had to be delivered half an hour later) but never mind, these things happen.

When I was there, I got to thinking that I wish I'd moved there when I was young, free and single (sorry kids, for that one). It's definitely that sort of place.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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Helpful?
Thank CliffHazard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kalamazoo
Level Contributor
15 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 7, 2009

We had initially booked at another location right on Ocean Dr. We were very dissatisfied with the room, cleanliness, and free breakfast. So we went to take a look at the Cal-Mar and were impressed with the knowledgeable and friendly staff and the cleanliness and spaciousness of the three room suite. The kitchen and baths are definitely 50s in style, but they are adequate. The pool and the hotel was very quiet at night. The location, as others have mentioned, is great, 1.5 blocks from the linear park that runs along Ocean Dr. (a wonderful place for walking and watching sunset) and just a couple of blocks to the Third Street Promenade, the main shopping area and three movie theaters. A farmers' market takesplace twice a week close by, so you can get the freshest fruits and vegetables should you decide to prepare some of your own meals (we did). Great value for your $$ including fresh flowers supplied every Wednesday.

  • Liked — Having extra space and the location.
  • Disliked — Kitchens and baths need updating.
  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank joloa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
106 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed January 26, 2009

When I first saw this palce I didnt want to stay there but it sort of grows on you. The staff are just wonderful! The rooms are sort of old and 1930'ish but they are currently doing them up. It felt like staying in your granny's flat and had that same funny smell too!
Just an old smell - not nasty, just old and well lived in.

The place is like a friendly flat someone has lent you for a few days- the pool is old and in need of a painting but well ehated for cooler days. There are facilities for washing clothes (when you are travelling for a few weeks this is important!)

The suites have a bedroom, living room and dinning area plus a full kitchen with large refrigerator. I would recommend this for anyone travelling with kids. The best thing is that it is a block away from the beach and a block away from the main stores and mall of Santa Monica. Perfect position and not at ridiculous prices.

  • Liked — the proximity to both beach and shops
  • Disliked — the funny smell - but I know they are working on that
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank GypsyRob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Cal Mar Hotel Santa Monica
Cal Mar Santa Monica

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