The Ambrose

1255 20th St, at Arizona Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California, 90404, United States

2 Reviews

The Ambrose Hotel
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Satisfaction Excellent
Very Good


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Good For Solo
  • Families85
  • Couples83
  • Solo93
  • Business84
  • MM212's Profile Photo

    Luxury Boutique Hotel in Santa Monica


    The Ambrose Hotel is an elegant boutique hotel in Santa Monica. Its decor and spacious rooms are said to be inspired by Feng Shui, accentuated with Asian artwork. It is located in inland, away from the beach on 20th street and Arizona Avenue, in a very quiet area that is convenient for going in either direction, the beach to the west, or the rest of LA to the east. The hotel provides free parking, but for those without the convenience of a car a shuttle is available if arranged in advance. A good breakfast buffet is also included in the price, and while there is no restaurant at the hotel, a full menu of 24-hour in-room dining is available, and each room's minibar also contains a selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. There is also an adequate gym for those who like to work out. In summary, the Ambrose is a very comfortable hotel with excellent service and a convenient location, at a reasonable price for the area ($225 in March 2011). I highly recommend this hotel.

  • tomhoward's Profile Photo

    A little bit of Japan


    The Ambrose is a recently opened, independent, boutique style hotel. I doubt you will find a better hotel for your money in Santa Monica - the main reason being it's located a short car drive from the expensive sea-front (but therefore the tramps as well). The distance wasn't a problem for us, and if you don't have a car (or want to pay the $9 in a taxi), then you can always use their London taxi cab that will take you anywhere within Santa Monica... FOR FREE !

    Basically ideal for anyone who wants luxury accommodation, but can't afford the likes of Shutters on The Beach or The Casa del Mar.

    Beautiful rooms, corridors and an outdoor waterfall / Koi pond all touch on an Asian inspired theme. For once, a hotel whose website pictures actually look like the reality.

    Unique Quality: Other perks are the underground parking with elevator access, free Starbucks breakfast, decent fitness room (for a hotel), and mega friendly, helpful staff. Rooms are plush with widescreen TV's and CD / DVD systems.

    These are the few gripes we had about the place:

    No bar - you have to get booze from an over-priced and under stocked mini-bar (or like us from the local supermarket, then put it in the mini-bar)

    No pool - even though for some reason we both assumed from the old website that it did

    Also, book your own taxi through Yellow Cabs ((tel: (310) 456 5303 or (877) 733 3305 or (888) 793 5569) - the firm The Ambrose are in partnership with charge about 50% more for the same journey.

More about The Ambrose

Hidden Gem for usually overpriced Santa Monica

by A TripAdvisor Member

This hotel is very beautiful. The quality of the reviews is very high. I would say it is in the top tier. You get Aveda products, beautiful linens etc.

The breakfast in the morning is lovely. There is a pretty brook and feng shui atmosphere right outside the breakfast area.

I stayed there in August 2003 and had no problems. The rooms aren't very large, but they are of decent size.

Overall, this was a very pleasant experience. This is a very good value for Santa Monica (whic is generally overpriced for what you get)!

The Ambrose - Pricey but adequate

by TripAdvisor Member Happy_Clam

We stayed at the Ambrose for 1 week in early May 2004. The hotel looks very new as it is only 1 year old. No worries about worn carpeting or furniture. However, we did encounter a leaky aircon duct. But this was promptly attended to by a friendly handyman. The hotel is indeed very nice and 'Zen' looking with many wood panels and Asian tones. A 'Koi Pond' (with no Koi) in the front of the building is nice to have your morning coffee in front of.For those of you who like to go to the gym, The Ambrose has a nice one that's a bit under-utilised. So the machines are very clean and new. Nice. Best time to use the gym is in the late mornings and afternoons.However, for all its serenity and cleanliness, we found that the hotel could do with a few more 'nice touches' which I don't think would cost a lot. For the price you pay for staying here (and its not cheap, even by Santa Monica standards), these improvements should be looked into. The Ambrose has a really large bathroom with marble floors, I think they should provide disposable slippers so guests don't freeze their feet off. Also, housekeeping wasn't really effective. I don't think they even tidy up anything else in the room other than making the bed and replenishing the amenities in the toilet. The bathroom could also do with a clothes line for guests who want to do some laundry.The Ambrose is an above average hotel which gains points for the mere fact that it is new and clean. Staff at reception are OK but not overly friendly. Give the hotel a couple more years and you'll probably start noticing some differences in its look. They serve a continental breakfast in the mornings like muffins, danish, juice, fruit salad, yoghurt, bagels and coffee/tea. Adquate but not lavish. Don't look for anything hot to eat other than toast.On the whole, a nice hotel but location is far from shopping and beach. You'd have to walk about 1/2 hrs (one way) to get to the 3rd street promenade for any nice restaurants or shops. Nearby restaurants are IHOP, koo-ko-roo and Sizzler. The neighbouhood is very quiet perhaps because it's opposite a chapel and funeral home. But if you're looking for peace and quiet, this place is it. However, remember to bring those bedroom slippers and a good book to read.

Loud, But Lovely

by TripAdvisor Member TazoNashville

After reading the reviews here, I decided to try the Ambrose. My check-in was easy by a helpful desk clerk that I only saw once in my 5 day stay. The rooms are clean and spacious and very comfortable. HOWEVER, noisy TV'S can be heard from your next door neighbors' rooms. So, bring ear plugs! A Whole Food Market is within walking distance and good for breakfast as you will want to pass on the continental one served here. The pastry was soggy and the fruit was over ripe and mushy. I hoped each morning it would improve.!

(Ambrose) Motel 6

by A TripAdvisor Member

The room looked ok but the service and intangibles at this motel was pathetic. I am convinced that many of these reviews are fake.

We had booked an upgraded room on an upper floor directly with the hotel. (strike 1 - bait & switch) When we got there, we were informed that that class of room we booked does not exist, and an upgraded room would cost us an extra $30 per night. (strike 2) We were then told that, since there was no bell desk, we would have to bring up our luggage to our room ourselves. Of course I hurt myself. (strike 3) There was a wedding party across the hall making noise until about 3AM. (strike 4) The walls are paper thin so you can hear conversations, etc. in the adjoining room - we tried running the fan to drown out all the noise, but the room became too freezing for our 8 month old baby who was up crying all night. (strike 5) We found out on the second day that the lock on the room door didn't work. (strike 6) We wasted about 2 hours of a nice day waiting in vain for the lock to be fixed, then for someone to find us a new room, then discovering that the room class was a few levels lower.

You probably don't believe this, but I usually am not one to complain. However, this stay was extraordinarily bad, and people should be warned about the fraudulent reviews. At least they refunded the room upgrade amount after I complained at the front desk. If you just want a room and are on a tight budget, maybe this hotel is passable. If you want even the minimum level of service, please go elsewhere!

Good city hotel

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed there for 2 nights recently and found it good value for a city hotel.
The room is spacious and well furnished though the reservation staff probably should not have descibed it as a junior suite. Judging from their floorplan, there is probably not a lot of difference between their standard and premium rooms. Continental breakfast (included in the room rate) is a nice touch.
The hotel is tastefully furnished and is worth a try. Service are ok: they did provide help for luggage when asked.

Loved it the First Time but...

by A TripAdvisor Member

We stayed at The Ambrose in the first month or two it opened and loved it, thought it would be the "home away from home" in Santa Monica. Because it was new and not yet full, we got a huge room for the lower rate, facing west (the front of the hotel) with a view of the beautiful colors of sunset. Continental breakfast and service were great, and it really felt like a find that I would enjoy recommending. Went back again in late May 2004 and unfortunately felt the opposite. I had a much smaller room for a higher price on the north side of the hotel, on an alley, with a view straight into the kitchen and living room of the apartment across the alley (and they with their view of me). Delivery and garbage trucks started roaring down the alley at about 7:30 in the morning. 2 reasons not to open the curtains or windows during a stay in Santa Monica are 2 reasons too many. That room, for the price, was no find at all. Apart from the room, the quality of the continental breakfast had gone way down (mushy and soggy fruit, pastries no more distinctive than a business breakfast meeting), the food was not refreshed/replaced when it ran out without asking for it, and one morning it was totally cleared away 10 minutes before the breakfast time was over. The front desk was understaffed and fairly dour. Both of these trips were multi-day stays. I would like to give The Ambrose one more try since our first stay was so great, but not sure I will at that price. Be sure to ask for a room facing west!

The Good and The Bad

by TripAdvisor Member foodierd

Found The Ambrose from tripadvisor. Usually stay at the Fairmont-love that hotel but getting too pricey for monthly visits. Have also stayed at Shutters as well as a few other Santa Monica hotels. First stay was very good-room was clean and comfortable with balcony. Breakfast is adequate-soggy Danish notwithstanding. Wish they offered milk, iced tea and perhaps some cheeses. Staff is, well, untrained is the most positive way of putting it. Some are downright snooty and rude, others seem clueless. All are young. Don't expect any "service". The hotel is extraordinarily stingy with towels. It cannot just be a conservation issue. The towels are threadbare to begin with and then all you get are two bath towels and two handtowels. Calling down for more resulted in the delivery of ONE more bath towel. They are so worn that taking a shower and drying my hair required three towels. Beds are very comfortable, rooms are definitely clean. Location is good if you have a car. The free underground parking makes up for a lot of the misses. Valet at a hotel is $20 a day plus a tip each time they bring you the car. That can really add up if you go and come a bit. The "concierge trained" staff (from their website description) know nothing about LA-at least that has been our experience. The price is right, if you are looking for a clean room with a comfortable bed for under $200 a night without many frills. We calculated that The Fairmont for a similar room including parking and eating a similar breakfast would come to $375 a night. But no ocean views, cannot walk to the beach, no well trained staff, no amenities. And no place to sit and relax if you don't have a balcony. No pool. No grounds. Just four chairs facing a grassy area out in front of hotel just yards from the street. Chairs are not comfortable enough for a relaxing moment to read or contemplate especially since people are constantly walking by going in and out of hotel. All that said, will probably stay here again because the price is right for the cleanliness.

folks who enjoy a good nights sleep

by TripAdvisor Member TOFF777

stayed 6 nights , found the rooms very comfortable , unlike most hotels the beds were lovely and soft and not rock hard , the only downside not enougth cuboard space especially as there was four of far as breakfast goes it was a continental, but we went out mainly for breakfast and one of the best places we encounted was izzes on wiltishire boulevard, which i highly recommend.We found the staff very helpful , The main point about this accomodation it is in a very peaceful location and very clean, where as the hotels on ocean boulevard are situated on a very busy road so i doubt you get much sleep.So any one staying in L. A for a few days i highly recommend this hotel .

Wonderful hotel

by A TripAdvisor Member

I was surprised to read some of the negative reviews of The Ambrose. We stayed there for 4 nights in July 2004 and loved it! Our room was spacious and quiet (except for the hotel's plumbing system which does make some noise) and had pleasant amenities like bathrobes and Aveda bath products. The bed was the most comfortable I have ever slept in at a hotel and I loved the bed linens and the thick, fluffy towels. The decor of the hotel is Japanese-inspired with clean lines and quiet colors which contribute to the relaxing atmosphere, reinforced by New Age music piped out in the common areas of the hotel.

The complimentary breakfast was first-rate, particularly the coffee (Starbucks). My only complaint is that the two rooms adjacent to the reception where it is served can get quite crowded in the morning rush.

The hotel has good-size fitness room with up-to-date equipment, a small but lovely garden, and friendly, knowledgeable staff. Upon our arrival, we could not lock our room safe but it was fixed within a couple of hours. The free parking in the hotel garage is worth gold, but SUV owners should be aware that the parking spaces are fairly narrow.

The Ambrose is ideal for people who like to come back to a calm, soothing place after a day in bustling LA or an evening in downtown Santa Monica. Families with young and/or boisterous children and people who want to be close to the beach and the "action" on the 3rd street promenade (The Ambrose is approx. 2 miles away in a quiet residential area) should go somewhere else.


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 The Ambrose

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Ambrose Hotel Santa Monica

Address: 1255 20th St, at Arizona Santa Monica, Santa Monica, California, 90404, United States