More about Hotel Carmel
I stayed in the hotel Carmel this August, I found the hotel to smell, the rooms to be cramped, the staff unprofessional and rude, my booking was lost and i was forced to accpet a diferent room, when i complained to my travel booker, the hotel reponsed saying the matter was closed without answering my question at all. I would not advise anyone to stay in this hotel ,as the staff and the condition of the hotel , will put u in a damperer on ur trip to such a wonderful place like santa monica
I stayed at the Hotel Carmel for 2 nights in July and was really quite dreading it after reading some of the reviews on this site. But I was very pleasantly surprised. On arrival the staff couldn't have been more helpful. We had a horrendous journey with a shuttle firm that we had booked in New Zealand and the receptionist suggested an alternative firm to travel back to the airport with who proved to much better. The staff also organised transport for us to Universal Studios advising us on the best times to go, which proved correct. The rooms are small and dark by US standards but the beautiful furniture, including big comfortable bed, and the elegant atmosphere really made up for this. The location was fantastic, a couple of minutes walk to all the shops and restaurants you could need and only a few minutes to the beach and pier. I would certainly stay there again. I wouls also recommend the hotel to friends, particularly those who appreciate old and elegant charm.
Great location, but that's about all.
The hotel looks rather grand from the outside, and even promising as you enter the lobby, however I found our room, itself, rather disappointing. It was small and cramped, and had none of the facilities offered by the other hotels I stayed at during my visit to the United States (no coffee machine or kettle, no hairdryer, no fridge). Our ground floor room looked directly into a completely enclosed courtyard housing some sort of large machinery/pipeline. Granted, as I am on a budget, I chose the simplest room on offer - yet I paid more for a room at the Carmel than I did for any other room during my stay in the USA, and I was most disappointed with it.
There is limited roadside parking in the area (as it is just one street away from the 3rd Street Promenade), thus our only option was to have our car valet-parked - not a problem when dropping the car off, but I waited up to twenty minutes to have it brought to me each time I needed it.
The Hotel Carmel does have its plus points, however. It was clean, and for the most part, the staff was friendly. What it has most in its favour is its location - it's just a block from the 3rd Street Promenade, and a couple of blocks in the opposite direction from Santa Monica beach. So if you're on a strict budget, and don't mind cramped quarters, a bad view and a lack of creature comforts, the Hotel Carmel puts you at the heart of the action in Santa Monica at a low cost.
Awful experience & below Average Service
Where to begin...
When we checked in we were told that there might not be ANY rooms available because they were quite busy (granted it was Memorial Day weekend, though I had booked our rooms 2 months in advance). Upon finally receiving card keys, we took the elevator to our rooms, only to discover that we had been givenn smoking rooms (even though we asked for non-smoking). If that doesn't sound too bad, listen to this: The travelers accompaning me were given a room with NO TOILET. Yes, no toilet. I immediately called the front desk and was told to come back to the lobby so that we could be assigned new rooms. I was shocked to learn that Hotel Carmel's standard king room means SMOKING, and that they don't have non-smoking rooms for the same price. I was told over and over that if I wanted a non-smoking room I'd have to pay more (not to mention none were available). Talk about discrimination against non-smokers!
Finally, after much heated discussion, we were given a new room...one that faced a bunch of metal equipment which sounded like a train was going by every 30 minutes -- imagine trying to sleep with that noise! No compensation was offered for our troubles, instead we were given glares and the evil eye.
At any rate, I will never stay at this hotel again!
Previous reviews a little unfair....Location Location Location
We stayed here for 5 nights - and although it is not perfect (the rooms are small for a US hotel, TV was a bit fuzzy on some channels, bathroom not huge) - The LOCATION IS THE BEST in Santa Monica, and the rates/rooms reflect this.
Our room was clean and comfortable, and the furniture was brand new! The desk staff were helpful (by European standards) and for $119 per night in this location - the place is a bargain.
Location-wise, I would rather stay here than many of the expensive hotels/spas on Ocean Avenue - but it depends on what you want from your vacation. It is one block from Third Street Promenade, and two from the beach/pier.
Remeber to ask the front desk for your free breakfast voucher (to be used round the corner at the Interactive Cafe)
A very mixed bag
My wife and I stayed here for three nights in August, 2005.
On the positive side: great location (near shopping, good restaurants and the beach, everything you want in a tourist hotel), new furniture throughout (must have been done in the last year or so after some of the negative comments below), comforatable beds.
On the negative side: disco noise (we were on the fourth floor and every night we could clearly feel the bass coming from the disco below), service (the airline had lost our luggage and the hotel staff was a mixed bag. On the one hand they did promise to keep an eye out for our luggage and alert us the moment it came in--it never did--on the other hand they claimed they didn't have replacement toiletries--though they did--and they couldn't return our laundry on the same day--which we desperately needed since we were short on clothes.
One final note, the reviews below are absolutely correct about the staffs disregard about smoking/nonsmoking requests. If this is important to you, make sure that you confirm your request before checking in to your room.
Overall, I'd see if I could get a decent rate elsewhere before I compromised and came here again.
Good location only just compensates
Arrived at 1.30pm after very long flight from NZ and the guy at the front desk complained that we were early. Even though we were obviously tired, he relentlessly tried to get us on a tour. We paid a deposit for a City Sight / Universal Tour. After a trip in the slowest lift in USA, our room turned out to be very dark and overcrowded overlooking a brick wall and the some huge engineering (presumably the airconditioning) which woke us up a few times during the night. The next morning we asked to be moved to another room, the guy became very petulant and quite rude and eventually gave us another room which was a little nicer and overlooked a tree lined street.
The tour we booked did not have enough seats on the bus, so they refunded our money but said we had to get the deposit back from the Carmel. This turned into a big argument as he kept insisting that he had made it clear the deposit was not refundable. Fair enough if we had changed our minds, but if they couldn't provide the service, the money must be refunded. Eventually he said he would refund the deposit and very ungraciously threw the money back across the counter at us.
I would not stay here again and would only recommend it to people who are not bothered by rude staff and would also recommend you insist on a room not overlooking a brickwall and air conditioning. Great location though, short walk to the beach and pier and very close to a mall and boutique shops.
Santa Monica -- Simply Beautiful!
When I was planning for my stay in the Los Angeles area, I was offered good advice to check out the Santa Monica area as a place for lodgings.
I was keen to do so, especially since the last time I was in LA, I'd stayed in Anaheim, and didn't really enjoy it.
I'm really glad that Giampiero suggested Santa Monica, and we managed to find a really good deal at Hotel Carmel.
The thing to do is to pick up one of the many free discount booklets and flip to the area you want to stay in, check out the offers, and call them.
For Hotel Carmel, we paid 69.90 per night + tax, so it was a really good deal. Furthermore, it's conveniently located at 2nd Street and Broadway. Right smack in between the beach front and 3rd Street Promenade.
I found Santa Monica clean, pretty and safe. And I really enjoyed our very short stay there.
Also, it's really easy to travel out to various other places as the roads are very easy to navigate with a basic map and all the roads seem to lead out of Santa Monica!!! Or rather, all the roads lead to Santa Monica?
;) We drove to the airport, to Hollywood and all the way to Cabazon too! There are so many restuarants, you just have to take your pick.
I'm so happy that we stayed here! :)
How is Hotel Carmel for a female traveling alone? Is it a secure enough hotel for a female traveling alone? Is there good security and a lobby area downstairs with a concierge desk? I noticed that it is the least expensive hotel in Santa Monica outside of staying in a "motel".
I find this forum most helpful! Thanks!