A Gem in Downtown Long Beach
Lovely Euro-style hotel in the heart of downtown Long Beach. We had a great stay at this very affordable design savvy hotel. It exceeded our expectations by far! Parking is available and bite to eat in the morning was a nice treat. I visit Long Beach fairly often and I definitely plan on staying there again.
Lovely boutique hotel!
We stayed at the Varden Hotel for one night this past weekend and we loved it. The hotel is within walking distance of the restaurants and bars on Pine Street, and about a block away from the Passport trolley service that goes to the Aquarium and other attractions. We enjoyed the snacks -- fruit in the afternoon, wine tasting with crackers/nuts in the evening -- and open bar of bottled water, coffee and tea. Our room was small but clean and comfortable -- only the bathroom felt a little cramped but not problematic. It was the perfect place to stay while sightseeing in Long Beach and we would definitely stay there again.
Good Option in Long Beach for Cruise Goers and Budget Travellers
My wife and I recently spent two nights at The Varden in Long Beach, California -- February 13, 2009 and February 21, 2009 (before and after our Mexican cruise on the Sapphire Princess). We picked The Varden primarily for three reasons: (i) its close proximity to the Los Angeles (San Pedro) and Long Beach cruise ship piers; (ii) TripAdvisor reviews; and (iii) our desire for a “boutique style hotel” as opposed to one of the large, impersonal chain hotels.
The Varden is located in downtown Long Beach. It is in an old, unassuming small white building on the west side of Pacific Avenue, in what I call a “transitional area.” Our taxi driver was less charitable, calling it a “rough area.” However, I personally think that the location of The Varden is good for cruise goers – being just a twelve minute taxi ride to the Princess and Norwegian Cruise Lines pier in San Pedro and seven minutes from the Carnival Cruise Lines pier in Long Beach. The Varden is also just a block west of Pine Avenue, where several good restaurants and a Starbucks are situated. Furthermore, during the daytime you can easily walk to the Aquarium, two separate theatre complexes, a Borders book store, or numerous restaurants on the Long Beach Downtown docks.
• Only 35 rooms in a true small boutique style hotel.
• Originally built in 1929 as “The Dolly Varden Hotel”, The Varden was significantly renovated in 2008. The rooms, although tiny, are clean and the queen bed we had was very comfortable with a premium pillow top mattress, feather pillows and fine linens.
• Good value with a nightly room cost of $125.10 plus tax, for a total of $143.86 per evening (breakfast included in the price).
• Complimentary wine and hor d’oeuvres in the evening.
• Close proximity to the cruise ship terminals and Long Beach attractions (including the Aquarium and The Queen Mary).
• Friendly staff.
• Located in a “transitional area” in downtown Long Beach, that may result in you wanting to use a taxi after dark for travel.
• Rooms are absolutely tiny, with a small (albeit modern European sheik) washroom containing a small shower. No bathtubs here, despite the old “Dolly Varden Hotel” sign on the top of the building claiming “a bath in every room.” Remember, that is a heritage sign!
• Our room (number 10) was situated on the second floor immediately above the lobby and at the front of the building. With only the original single pain windows, road noise was a major issue. The hotel must replace the old windows with modern sound proofing windows (as soon as possible, please!).
• While our room did have a 26 inch flat screen LED type television, it was strangely affixed to the wall at the side of the bed seven feet off the floor. Given the tiny size of the hotel room, it made watching television a difficult task.
• No elevator (friendly staff will carry your bags to your room, if you want).
Overall, I rate The Varden at 7.5 out of 10. The Varden is not, however, for everybody. It is not a five star property. It is not a high end property with membership in one of the exclusion collections of small hotel associations, such as "Small Luxury Hotels of the World" or "Relais & Chateaux." But, for people like my wife and I, who enjoy boutique style hotels over the large chain hotels, The Varden is an excellent option in the Long Beach area. For couples over-nighting in the Los Angeles or Long Beach area before or after a cruise, The Varden provides a nice alternative to the big hotels that often cost more and lack The Varden`s character. Likewise, for budget travellers and people looking for reasonably priced accommodation off the beaten track, The Varden should be on ``the short list``.
This hotel is run by some of the finest people in Long Beach.
The room was extremely unique and ultra modern. The Beds are second to none! Its not often that the sleep you have in a hotel is better then at home but it truely is. My employees are often in the Long Beach area and when ever they are this will be the hotel they stay at. Also this place is run by some extremely friendly and helpful staff and the owners might just be in the breakfast area to enjoy coffee with you in the morning. This place is a true jewel in the coorporate world of hotels.
I really liked the staff and cleanliness at the Varden Hotel. For the price and a bit off the beaten path, I enjoyed my stay, quiet and modern. Loved the decor. I will stay again.
Long Beach Oasis
One block from Pine St. restaurants, clubs and cinema, this freshly remodeled gem provides a great value and tranquill place to relax after work, play or conference mania. If you need to burn off some energy you can purchase a $10 pass to Gold's Gym on the opposite block. The staff are exceptional, truly going out of their way to make guests feel welcome. Small, but perfectly arranged rooms have a fresh spa feel. What could be more calming than clean modern lines soft blue and white? An heavenly bed with 5-star hotel linens provide an excellent night's sleep. The AC/air filter, shower and TV worked perfectly. This is an historic building so if you have trouble with stairs let them know that when you book the room. Planning Commission restrictions prevented the addition of an elevator in order to preserve the building history. The only real draw-back is also what keeps the Varden such a great value. This is a neighborhood in transition so you will just need to have a bit of street sense if you venture out after dark on your own. But as a smaller statured woman over 50, I felt safe walking over to Pine and strolling several blocks in either direction three nights that I stayed there. For a business traveler on a serious budget, I was also able to take the Metro Blue Line directly to downtown LA for $1.25 one-way in about 45 minutes. The line terminates at 7th and Figueroa and fills up pretty quickly during commute hours. The Pacific stop is literally at the cross-walk of 4th and Pacific not 50 steps from the front entrance of the Varden. Toss in the complimentary breakfast and evening wine and snacks and what's not to love?
Great Stay at the Varden!
We stayed for 3 nights at the Varden Hotel while at a convention. Our room was cozy and clean and the bed was super comfortable. The only thing we had a complaint about was the shelf above the sink was awkwardly placed and possibly someone could hit their head on it. The service was excellent from all of the staff and one of the owners was always present to mingle with the guests. They really got to know all of the guests by name. We enjoyed the wine tasting and the continental breakfast. We loved that it was a short walk to the convention center and there were many restaurants in the area. The rooms are small but it was well worth the price and convenience. We will stay at the Varden again next time we're at a convention in Long Beach.
Superb staff, Comfy bed & pillows, convenient to Pine St & Convention Center.
I felt like a family friend instead of a hotel guest. The staff really knows customer service with a smile. They can't do enough for you. The beds reminded me of Europe, comfy! The continental breakfast was fresh, clean and tasty and I LOVE their coffee, never went to Starbucks (2 blocks away). The 5:00 pm-7:00 pm Wine Tasting was ever flowing and the guests chatted amongst themselves and the friendly staff. I will definitely be back. One more thing, you can't beat their prices in Long Beach! Walking distance to Restaurant Row on Pine Street and the Convention Center.
Absolutely Amazing!! Very Unique..
I must say I wasn't sure about this hotel at first.. because first off.. the price was an awesome deal! We were finding hotels at prices up over $150... It was so nice to have a hotel that was a great price in this economy! The rooms were sooo clean and comfy! The beds were sooo comfy! It felt very Ikea-contemportary...It was a smaller room, but we were not there to just sit in the room. It was fun to stay somewhere different other than the "Chain" hotels. We would come back from a long day at conference and greated by the hotel staff and owners..(Nice to have them on sight) always with a smile! I cannot say enough about this hotel and the staff I would highly recommend them!! Keep up the great work! Oh and Gold's Gym was right across the street if you needed a good workout..
A unique and wonderful experience!
Hello! I just returned from a business trip to Long Beach, and stayed in this little gem of a hotel. What a lovely stay! It is a different type of place, hard to describe, elegant and streamlined. It is a hotel that has been continuously running since 1929, and was recently refurbished to a modern sensibility, so it has the feel of old meets new. In terms of floor space, my room was small, but I have to say, it was one of the most darling spaces I've ever stayed in! The staff were incredible, helpful, and attentive, happy to chat with me in my comings and goings. I enjoyed the stay very much, and I will be happy to stay there again. It is easy to develop a sense of loyalty to this establishment. Thanks Larry!
outside MoLAA, Long Beach, California
Chilean Sea Bass
doggie beach, Long Beach, California
Little People Community
I hate to ask -- and I hope this isn't offensive to anyone, buuuut:
My friend is on a feverish search for a "little people community" in Long Beach. She hears people swear that it really does exist. I was born and raised in Long Beach and have never heard of it. I told her I would post here and ask. Does anyone know about this????
RE: Little People Community
Well, a quick search turned up the following...
In 2000, the founder of LPA (Little People of America) died. His name was Billy Barty, and he lived in Los Angeles. See the bottom of http://www.lpaonline.org/news.html?wcal4ulogin=6a7c12be0f36c96d4a9d32d1bbd94911 for details.
This leads to the whole concept of LPA, and you quickly realize that it has chapters all over the place. See http://www.lpaonline.org/lpa_districts.html#Dist12
Then you can see that there are several chapters in the LA area, some of which have their own websites, such as http://www.geocities.com/lpa_la/ .
So, there is a "community" because there are people with similar interests who get together on a regular basis...there doesn't appear to be a chapter in Long Beach per se...
RE: Little People Community
It was - if it existed at all - in the Bixby Knolls area. it may be an urban legend.
Re: Little People Community
There IS a little people community in Bixby Knolls. It is located in the Virginia Country Club. There is a private road that is a little difficult to find. I forget what street it's on, but it starts out looking like a cul-de-sac with houses surrounding the private drive. Take a close look if you see what LOOKS like a typical cul-de-sac. One of the drives is private and curves down and around. There's a sign saying that it is a private drive. The proof is in the low door knobs, or at least that's what my husband tells me. He showed me the drive but refused to go down the private drive. He feels that what may have been acceptable to do as a child is not acceptable to do now. I'm dying to walk down that drive........but i won't.
Re: Little People Community
It is real. The person who posted above me is correct in the location. It is extremely hard to find and if you accidentally stumble on the gate you would have no idea. I went inside a few years ago and the houses look normal except the doorknobs are lower. People say it's a myth but if you hop the gate you'll know it's not. If you are caught trespassing there you get a serious fine though.