I'm a Ventura native, born there in 1962. I wanted something quaint and in a good location, which I found in this hotel. Going back many years, my dad was a city police officer and he told me that the hotel used to be sort of halfway house and lots of bad things happened there. There is also local folklore about hauntings but I have not seen such things in several stays.
The place is in a great location and some of the rooms are quite nice and unique, but they are all in the same overall condition, which is sort of a low budget rennovation. I think the room furnishings are getting a little bit old on top of that so beware it's not a sparkly new sort of place.
There are a few nice touches, the cafe and wine hour and the fromd desk staff has always been good to me. I like to go on bar hops around lower main and stagger in after hours, they give you a front door key for that, or at least I had my wife come down the lobby and open the front door for me. She hated that.
You can walk a short distance down California street to the plaza by the old Holiday Inn and the beach by the pier. It's still nice and still a little bit dodgy at night.
You can also easily drive down to the avenue and get some taco shop mexican food, which I've come to learn is actually very good but not for tourists from Ohio. The old "Sportsman" restaurant still lingers on, my grandfather loved that place and the bar has a really cool etched glass mirror mural with topless cowgirls on it, heh, not something you see at all anymore. Campy little bar but one of my favorites in town.
It's a nice quaint place, a little scuzzy and getting worse on the scuzzy scale. My advice is to avoid the rooms off California street due to the street noise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on a palm tree-lined street, this 1926 hotel is just a half-block to downtown Ventura and 3 blocks to the beach. Rooms are decorated in an Italianate style, have private bathrooms, and free WiFi. Some have fireplaces, spa-tubs, bay window seats, or a view that looks over a leafy courtyard. There is a pleasant living room lobby with wooden floors, antique sofas, a real fireplace, and flower arrangements from the local farmers' market. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Bella Maggiore Hotel Ventura