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Sea Blue Hotel
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Reviews (1,174)
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Reviewed October 11, 2012

Do not give your credit card number to this hotel!!! I placed a reservation online with them but needed to cancel it. I canceled three days prior, their policy is 48 hours, at the time of cancelation I received a confirmation number and a warning from the hotel operator. He said make sure you keep this confirmation number in case they still charge you. Well they did!!! Three days later they charged my card and when I called to ask them to remove the charge I was told I would have to email them so they could launch an investigation into the refund. They did not even care that I had followed their policies and had a confirmation number. They left me to be inconvenienced on my vacation for their error. This is not a refund this is correcting a fraudulent charge. I have reported them to my credit card company who is taking appropriate steps to correct the charge. My concern regarding this hotel is that is seems as if this occurs frequently, often enough that they have a policy to handle it. If I did not check my credit card statement carefully they might have been successful in charging me when I did not even use their services!

Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank TracyN71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hotel C, Front Office Manager at Sea Blue Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 4, 2012

I am sorry to hear about your inconvenience. There are a couple of reasons why your credit card could have been charged. It is important to go through the same parties you used to make the reservation, to cancel the reservation. Sometimes, guests will make a reservation through a third party, like Expedia, who does charge you in full when you make the reservation. In this case, even if the hotel cancels your reservation, the third party hasn't canceled it until you contact them. Another very rare instance could be if a guest accidentally books 2 rooms when they meant to book only 1, or when different names re used to reserve. In any case, please so let us know if your adjustment has been resolved. Otherwise we would be happy to help. Thanks for your posting.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 7, 2012 via mobile

Totally overpriced for what it is: outdated, absurd breakfast set-up (read: do not bother), over-relaxed / uninterested staff at reception, except for the girl (manager?). We will never stay again or recommend to friends.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank Benlh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 2, 2012

I was very much looking forward to my stay at the Hotel California. FYI ... Though there is a clever bit of marketing in terms of the name of this hotel, it has nothing to do with the Eagles Song by the same name. This hotel is an older hotel that has had the bedroom areas updated. The bathrooms however, look like somewhere you would see a heroine addict shooting up in a divey hotel in a movie ... cracked 1950s sea green ceramic tiles, tiny unlit showers and those cheesy frosted glass windows. This hotel would be fine for $125 per night, maybe $150 tops ... but for the $200 - $220 for a standard room, it is a complete rip off.

I realize that everything is more expensive in Santa Monica when you get within walking distance of the beach because it is such a popular tourist destination. However, there are three things that would make me literally laugh out loud when it comes to the price of this hotel compared to the Holiday Inn right next door ...

1.) NO AIR CONDITIONING!!!!!!!
2.) Lots of street noise in the standard rooms
3.) 7 Parking Spaces!!!

First of all, it was 100 degrees in California when I stayed here. That meant the room was somewhere around 90 degrees at all times. Even when I had the ceiling fan going, all it did it push the hot air around the room. Seriously, I've been in some pretty divey hotels in third world South American countries that had air conditioning. Also, the 1950s era metal electric heater on the wall looked like something I would hate to have to use if it was cold. It was basically an incredibly uncomfortable night laying there tossing and turning because it was 90 degrees in my room. For this reason alone, I would never come back. It was so hot in the room even at night, it really was hard to relax.

The room I stayed in was one of the standard rooms. It was located next to the front parking lot and even though there were only 7 spaces in the parking lot, it seemed like people were slamming their doors and walking back to their rooms talking and laughing at all hours of the night. Of course the fact that cars were going by ALL NIGHT LONG right outside the door and sounded like they were inside the room it was so loud, if you are a light sleeper, I'd suggest walking across the street to Chez Jay and having 3 or 4 drinks to help you sleep because it gets loud in that room. Also, in the morning ... again with the slamming of car doors and people talking. Unless you pay for one of the bigger suites in the back, you will probably encounter this.

The parking situation is just as everyone else has said ... there are about 3 times as many rooms as there are spaces in the lot. Parking is $36 per night and there are around 7 spaces in the lot. They take 'inventory' a few times at night of the cars parked there supposedly, so you won't be charged for parking there if you are not one of the lucky ones who finds a spot. They recommend you park at the larger hotel within walking distance from the hotel, which is the same price. Or find a street spot, which can be a little scary in Santa Monica because they are very tow happy and you have to be out of the spot by 9 a.m. for street cleaning. It is also not the safest of cities to park a brand new rental car on the street due to the high level of homeless people around.

Once you get past these dealbreakers ... the rooms actually aren't too bad. Sure, the bathroom is so small you literally bump your elbows on the walls if you bend them to shave. And there is no light in the shower, so when you close the curtain it feels like you are in a closet showering. And the water takes 4 minutes to get hot. But ... the area where you sleep is actually pretty new and updated. The best part of the room are the two movie posters framed on the wall. Without these, everything would look pretty dated from the 90s with the dark wood trim. There is also a small refridgerator (fits a 6 pack of soda or beer anyways) which I am not sure was working. It was bearly cool inside, but that may be because the room was 90 degrees due to the lack of air conditioning. The bed was comfortable. There was also a green leather couch next to the bed, which I slid across the door at night because I was a little iffy about the door which was made of hollow wood which opened into the parking lot.

While the hotel advertises itself as being 'steps from the beach' ... I guess you can say you are steps from anything. I'm about 3 million steps from Las Vegas when I am at home. The hotel has houses behind it ... so no room will have an ocean view. If you walk down the path behind the hotel, you can see the beach. But, you have to walk down a path, then down about 15 steps, then out a gate, then across a block long street, then across a parking lot. And THEN you are at the beach. All in all, this really isn't that bad when you consider how close you are to the beach and the fact that you can walk there. From the hotel to the pier is not that far either. But I think saying this is 'steps to the beach' is a bit of a stretch.

The free breakfast ...oh boy. ha ha There was a plate that had about 7 pieces of American cheese and 7 pieces of folded up ham. There were about 5-6 pastries, 3 bagels and 3 muffins and orange juice and coffee. This was set up in the tiny lobby, so there were lots of people standing around waiting and bumping into each other while waiting for someone to make coffee who took up all the space near the breakfast desk. And if there was a group of 4 or 5 people in front of you ... chances are when you got to the breakfast area, there would be 1 or 2 choices for you until it was refilled 10 or 15 minutes later. Honestly, I waited a few minutes and skipped it and walked across the street to Chez Jay for a $10 proper breakfast.

Overall, if you are looking to be close to the action in Santa Monica and don't plan to spend much time in the room ... this should fit the bill. It is cheaper than some of the other choices (Holiday Inn, etc.) but overall for what you get ... it just isn't worth $200+ per night. Location, location, location is how so many hotels get away with offering such an inferior room in Santa Monica and the Hotel California is just as guilty of this as anywhere else. However, I can't recommend staying in a hotel with no air conditioning, loud rooms near highways/parking lots, and bearly any parking spaces. Also, there is no pool or fitness center. The staff was pretty adequate and I have no complaints other than the cobwebs that appeared on the walls.

Room Tip: The standard rooms (12 - 15 or so) are incredibly noisy due to street noise and parking lot noise.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank LovinHotelLife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

This charming little hotel knows its worth - its pretty expensive for small rooms without air conditioning or views. It's also fairly noisy - facing Ocean Rd - but for all that I recommend it as a place to stay if you're heading for Santa Monica as it retains that 60s beach vibe. The tooms have wooden floors, ceiling fans and old Hollywood posters on the walls. Our tiny shower was tiled in yellow tiles and there was an old fashioned pedestal hand basin .There's a pretty walkway directly to the beach close to the pier.

  • Stayed: September 2012
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Thank robyn94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 6, 2012

Just stayed at the Hotel California, Ocean Avenue! Picked it because it was a smaller place in a very good location and reasonable price. Staff were very accommodating to our needs and the room was clean and nice. perfect place to stay if you just want a base and are not planning to hang out in your room. We had 3 adults sharing 2 double beds so that made it cheap! If you prefer the ambience of a smaller place in a great location then stay here! I will go back next trip!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank PamelaFSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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