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“Prepare for little disappointments, but enjoy the overall experience” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Hotel California

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The Hotel California
Ranked #17 of 36 Hotels in Santa Monica
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Prepare for little disappointments, but enjoy the overall experience”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 23, 2012

I read good & bad reviews but still booked. Unfortunately, if you prepare yourself for no designated parking spots, or patchy wifi, and don't come with the expectation of a full continental breakfast, you'll overlook these things & just enjoy the quaint surfie decor that makes it special, and that unbeatable location for its price. You can't be that close to the beach in a unique boutique hotel and pay less than $200. I booked it cos it was different to the run of the mill hotels.

Only stayed there for 2 days so willing to overlook the above, which I knew about from reviews. The staff will try to help you get a spot. They let me park in disabled for the night as there were no disabled guests. One night staff also went to lengths to get me some padding & bags for my precious purchase for the plane.

One reviewer said she had access to the beach but couldn't get back to the hotel cos the gate was locked (same access as some private residences), just stick your hand it & open from the inside. Instant 2-way beach access! Don't tell everyone or they'll change the door!

IF HOTEL CA ARE READING... JUST DO SOME LITTLE IMPROVEMENTS & YOU'RE HOTEL WILL BE THE COOLEST IN TOWN.

Room Tip: The floor/roof is very thin. I woke to the sound of people walking above me. Get an upstairs room. I...
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JijiL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,055 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (198)
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Swindon
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 19, 2012

First impressions when we opened the door - the room smelled like a hospital corridor and was cold. There was a small heater which was inadequate to heat the room, we asked for an additional heater but was told it would "blow the circuit breaker", so they gave us extra blankets. It was too cold in the room to watch TV so we had to go to bed. Breakfast wasn't great and comprised some bread rolls and croissants and orange juice/coffee which need to be carried back to your room. Bathroom was functionally ok - if a little dated, beds comfortable, generally the room also wasn't too clean, but not filthy either. Due to rooms all having wooden floors there was excess noise from those above.

Room Tip: I would avoid this hotel unless travelling in the summer and proximity to beach is paramount.
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Adrian384
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fallbrook, California
Level Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2012

Don't go for the fancy Lowes or marriott in Santa Monica. This hotel is just as good and is in the same location. I stayed at the JW Marriott there as well and I enjoyed my time at this hotel more. The room was great! I traveled with my parents and being 40 I did not want to share a room with them. This hotel has rooms that have two separate bedrooms. It looks deceiving when you walk in and at first we thought we had the wrong room. You had to look carefully along the wall to find the doorknob leading into the hidden away second bedroom. I loved it. It was my own space with my service dog Ike. The breakfast is nothing great but hey, its free. There is a great walking path down to the pier and beach. Third street promenade is close too with plenty of food and beverage choices. If you are looking for upscale don't come here but if you are looking for a great value and great location this is the place!

Room Tip: Try and get a room in the back of the hotel, and find street parking! Parking cost at hotel is outr...
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank jenandike
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
boston
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 25, 2012

We booked this hotel, which we were familiar with as old and funky, because it indicated it had recently renovated. Frankly, I shudder to think what it looked like BEFORE! Great bed, I'll grant you, but rooms small, not that clean, and at night you could hear every sound, every sneeze, cough, toilet flush or snippet of conversation from the adjoining rooms. And the lack of common spaces to read, take in a view, or just relax sealed the deal. We left after one night.

Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank ReporterBoston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Telluride, Colorado
Level Contributor
51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2012

We wanted to stay at Loews or Shutters but they were booked.
This hotel is a block up from Loews so that tells you how perfect the location is. The office crew quite friendly, efficient and young. We stayed in a suite which was small but quite adequate. Big flat screen TV, good hot water and water pressure and very clean. Our room had a kitchenette without a fridge and we had no heat. The office guy gave us a radiator heater to use and that was sufficient. There were a couple of leaks in our unit. The price is right and is nostalgic. We would go back again because the location is excellent. Parking available for a small vehicle.

Room Tip: Suite #4 is right next to laundry room which is noisy all day but away from traffic noise. It also i...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank alejaTELLURIDE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southbay
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2012

As much as I love the experience of luxurious, expensive hotels...I also dig funky, cool hotels. I appreciate them for what they are and Hotel California did not disappoint me. It was a gorgeous weather weekend in LA so even though we live here, we decided to enjoy Santa Monica like tourists and started looking around for hotels. This hotel has always intrigued my b/f so we took a leap of faith. Some of the reviewers didn't seem to appreciate the quaintness and quirkiness of a hotel such as Hotel CA. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will stay there again!

Here's the result:

Pros...

--One of THE most comfortable beds I've slept in!
--Nice and accommodating staff.
--Steps from the beach.
--Conveniently located.
--Great water pressure from the shower.
--Good on line price with AAA discount. Called and they could not match the price on their own website.
--Complimentary wi-fi.
--Small refrigerator along with a coffee pot in the room (I've stayed at lots of nice hotels that don't include those :/ )

Cons...

--No air conditioning and our room opened to the street so there was street noise. I'm normally a light sleeper but the bed was so comfy that it didn't bother me which is unusual. ---Even though my reservation was for a single queen room, we received a room with 2 queen beds which was kind of cramped.
--Our room only had a very small shower, no tub. Even though my b/f is 6'1", he found the fun instead of the negative about the small shower. As we were leaving, since the room next door was a single queen room and being cleaned, we got to peek in. It had a nice big chair, desk and tub/shower (I'm a bath kinda girl :).
--Parking is $25/night (pretty normal) and very limited.
--My reservation did not include tax so I was under the impression tax was included...when I checked out, I noticed tax and other fees were added.

Overall, I would definitely go back and make sure I get the single queen room and maybe even one on the opposite side of the hotel. Enjoy!!

Room Tip: Ask for a single queen room.
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Cajun_In_CA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
14 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 19, 2012

Simple, old-style hostel in beautiful Santa Monica. It's nothing super special but the posters on the walls are fun, the architecture is cute, the staff friendly, and the beach convenient - just go down the stairs and do your morning workout at the old "muscle beach" spot.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank A-Mathilde80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Hotel California

Property: The Hotel California
Address: 1670 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401-3212
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Monica > Santa Monica
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#10 On the Beach Hotel in Santa Monica
#15 Romantic Hotel in Santa Monica
#17 Business Hotel in Santa Monica
#17 Family Hotel in Santa Monica
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:2 star — The Hotel California 2*
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located steps from the beach and from the famous Santa Monica Pier, this world-famous hotel offers complimentary coffee, tea, fruit, WiFi, laundry room, as well as a private beach pathway! Experience the laid back California lifestyle as it should be. Moments from the shopping and dining, Third Street Promenade, Venice and Muscle Beach. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
California Hotel Santa Monica
Hotel California Santa Monica
California Santa Monica

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