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“Pleasant facility, but in desperate need of an update”

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Rancho Bernardo Inn
Ranked #32 of 279 Hotels in San Diego
Certificate of Excellence
Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Pleasant facility, but in desperate need of an update”
Reviewed August 25, 2008

I cannot comprehend how this facility was rated the number one spa in America by Conde Nast readers. They must have had an extremely small sample set or something.

I"m not saying I didn't enjoy my stay - I had a very pleasant weekend here. The service was friendly and helpful. They dry cleaned my sweater after a bird pooped on me. Ha!

I enjoyed a manicure and pedicure at the spa, which were... well which were as good as any other mani/pedi I've ever gotten. Nothing special. The workout facility? Nothing special. No yoga classes, no aerobics. The pools? Nothing special.

The hotel itself is very dated. I felt like I was staying at Kellerman's, except that Johnny Castle wasn't there to teach me the mambo. The bed and tv were nice but the bathrooms are just very old.

I dunno. I wouldn't tell people NOT to stay here, but I can't say I'd recommend it enthusiastically either. What I do know is that I will take any future Conde Nast ratings issues with a big grain of salt.

  • Liked — Location, spa pool
  • Disliked — Dated rooms, tiny and blah hotel pool
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank sarahmas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2008

Two words...false advertising. This is not a luxury or sophisticated property as the hotel claims. The pictures on the inn's website are highly misleading. The property and its accommodations are rustic, not elegant. The outdoor walkways to the rooms are disgusting. Dirty, carpet full of stains, and also some graffiti on the walls. The room had a nice view of the gulf course but was the quality of a Holiday Inn. Plain and simple, if you're looking for an elegant hotel experience (such as The Four Seasons, Ritz, etc.), do not stay here. My husband and I were so turned off and disappointed in the Rancho Bernardo Inn, we checked out immediately after seeing the room. The only positive thing about this brief "stay" was the customer service. The front desk and bell staff were extremely friendly, accommodating, and professional. In fact, they referred us to The Grand Del Mar. We ended up staying there and it exceeded our expectations.

  • Liked — Customer service
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mica_Puppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
1 review
Reviewed July 2, 2008

Charming. You feel away from it all, yet still close to all San Diego attractions. Service was some of the best I ever had. Food was fantastic and the Spa even better. Ya gotta go.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank droopyandfriends
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed June 22, 2008

I was really looking forward to this one night getaway from LA we were going to have and I just got back tonight. I have to say from the moment we arrived my experience began to go downhill. When we pulled up at 8PM on a saturday night there was no valet or bellman to greet us. I simply opened my car door and my girlfriends and opened up the trunk and got my luggage out and waited for a few minutes and finally saw someone and I said, "Excuse me we are checking in." No one opened the door for us or anything. We finally got to our room and I have tosay the room besides the very nice TV looked like the room PRIOR to the multi-million dollar rennovations. The outside and inside decor of the whole hotel resembled a motel. HONESTLY!! The pools were outdated and had no real ambiance at all. The sheets and pillows were the worst I have slept on in so many years. The massage today was pretty good but I can tell you one thing, the spa that is supposed to be #1 in America is definetly not #1 in America! The food was actually pretty good and this morning we sat outside and had breakfast in the Veranda and the nest thing we all knew, a golf ball came flying at our heads. No warning or nothing so be careful. I am a golfer but did not golf this trip and the greens were nothing of a private country club that it is said to be. Very inconsistent with color and a mix of brown and dried grass every few feet. Overall, I have been to some pretty amazing hotels and this was suposed to be a great one, however I have truly no desire to go back here again and would be truthful to say I wouldn't feel comfortable reccomending it to people who wanted an incredible experience. Decent at best.

  • Liked — Food, 42 inch quality plasma tv and massage quality but not spa facilities
  • Disliked — Everything else
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Derektravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed June 13, 2008

The RBI was recently rennovated since our last stay 5 years ago on our wedding night. We had a premium resort king which was nicey furnished and had a golf course view. The resort is very beautiful. The grounds are well maintained. My wife and I enjoyed a couples massage in an outside cabanna. The treatment was ok but the facalities were great. They have a salt water pool only open to spa guests. The pool is very big and we were the only ones in it. The spa lockers are also great.

El Bizcocho, the main resturant, is one of the best places to eat in the world. It was as good as we remembered it. The food, wine and service were top notch. While dinner will cost a few hundred dollars, it was well worth the splurge for us.

Lunch at the Veranda, the other resturant, was very disappointing. The service was not attentive and the food quality of my steak was poor. My wife's pizza was the better selection.

One major complaint: In addition to the "resort fee" now common everyone, the RBI also charges another $12 or so for self-parking. These fees add another $25 onto an already expensive stay.

  • Stayed April 2008
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travels_well
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kansas City, MO
1 review
Reviewed June 4, 2008

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Rancho Bernardo Inn! I was only there for one night, but wished I could stay forever. It's so charming and beautiful. The grounds are gorgeous and the staff extremely friendly. The chef is amazing. We did the wine pairing dinner and each entree was delish and paired well with the wines.

I will be returning to the Rancho Bernardo Inn on my next trip to San Diego. It's only a short drive (25 min) from the airport. I highly recommend it.

  • Liked — It was peaceful and beautiful
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank KBF74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
Reviewed May 23, 2008

My husband and I checked in for an evening getaway on Sunday, May 18. I read the glowing reviews on this site and noticed the hotels's ads hyping their recent 25 million renovation. I thought the hotel would be the sort of resort worthy of a $350.00 room rate (again, on a Sunday evening). I was mislead.

After checking in, we walked down the musty halls full of signs indicating various conference and wedding locations. The room, overlooking the back pool, was equally musty, dark, and damp. The decor was dated and I would compare it to an upscale Howard Johnson. Yes, it was clean and a good size. However, if there were renovations (again, find hard to believe), they were done on the cheap. The bathroom was the same - upscale Hojo style. Cheap tilework in the shower, plastic seeming fixtures, and the like.

We decided to step out by the pool and relax. Let's just say it was a D.I.Y. pool. No one offered a drink, to help us with towels, or anything of the sort. We visited the spa pool on the following day - never even saw anyone. When I checked out, I was not asked whether I enjoyed my stay, otherwise, I would have mentioned some of my issues to the desk person.

The excpetion to the overall D.I.Y. service was at the spa. I had a wonderful massage and the spa staff was terrific. The restaurant servers were very attentive as well - the food was standard hotel fare. Nothing great, nothing bad.

Overall, this hotel deserves more of a 2 or 3 star rating. It certainly is not worthy of the price paid. Service was spotty (never saw bell service checking in our out - seemed non existent) with the exception of the spa and the restaurant. Perhaps if we were part of one of the many conferences happening, we would have received a better room or more attention.

One last note, while we were at lunch, I heard the couple next to us complaining about the exact same issues. They were surpised by the shoddiness of their room and had asked to be moved. I would not stay at this hotel again and am disappointed by money poorly spent.

  • Liked — Spa
  • Disliked — Bad service and shoddy rooms
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank freqtrav88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rancho Bernardo Inn

Property: Rancho Bernardo Inn
Address: 17550 Bernardo Oaks Dr, San Diego, CA 92128-2198
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Diego
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#8 Spa Hotel in San Diego
#11 Luxury Hotel in San Diego
#15 Family Hotel in San Diego
#24 Romantic Hotel in San Diego
#30 Business Hotel in San Diego
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Rancho Bernardo Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 287
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in San Diego, Rancho Bernardo Inn offers business and leisure guests an experience that is both peaceful and rejuvenating. A member of the distinguished Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Rancho Bernardo Inn is a destination resort known for its exquisite golf, spa facilities, and exceptional cuisine. A true destination for the entire family, the 265-acre property features 287 luxuriously appointed guestrooms, three swimming pools, an award-winning full-service spa and fitness center, multiple dining outlets, room service or in-room dining, and extensive meeting and event facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rancho Bernardo Hotel San Diego
Rancho Bernardo San Diego

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