Cal Mar Hotel Suites
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Historical Traveler Reviews Cal Mar Hotel Suites Santa Monica
Pleasant and homey; a little shabby
I stayed here in May with my husband and one-year old son. Fabulous location - easy walk to the beach, the Promenade, parks and playgrounds, grocery store, etc. Nice landscaped grounds and pool, but the rooms (actually small apartments) are very dated. Clean but in need of an update. Staff was great. Free parking a major bonus. It kind of felt like we were staying in a relative's apartment, rather than a hotel. Two story with no elevator, so stroller-pushers beware!
Cal Mar in the heart of Santa Monica
Stayed in the Cal Mar appts from 30th march until 13th april 2004. Just me and my 16 yo son and a friend. When we arrived the staff on check in were friendly and helpful. First impressions of the Cal Mar were that it was a clean, cosy oasis of appts surrounding a courtyard which is full of plants and a clean warm pool. These first impressions lasted the duration of our stay, and the apptwas clean and well furnished and the maid attended everyday leaving the appt spotless.The appts are only a few minutes walk from the beach, and situated about one block from the third street promenade.It couldn't be in a better location.
Santa Monica is an excellent place and combined with the Cal Mar makes for a great holiday. We would definately reccomend it and deffinately stay there again. :-)
Ideal for Families
First, thank you to the other reviewers, who provided a very accurate assessment of the Cal Mar.
It turned out to be the perfect place for our purposes. My wife and I, with our two young kids, were meeting up with her siblings, and their young kids. We wanted something not too expensive, not too stuffy, and near the beach.
The rooms, while boring in decor, provided all that we needed: separate sleeping area for the adults and the kids; full kitchen; ample space.
Had it been warmer, we would have surely made more use of the swimming pool, too (we only used it twice) -- as it was, since it was heated, we were able to use it despite the cool weather and found it nice and not too chemically (it is not big -- it's what you might find in a backyard in Florida).
We particularly appreciated the residential location of the Cal Mar. It is on a palm-tree lined street, a block from the 3rd Street Promenade, so we could walk everywhere. The hotel provides parking, too, so that is one less hassle and expense.
The front desk staff was friendly, as was the cleaning staff (they even washed dishes that we had left in the sink). Although the front desk staff did not initially give us the 7th night free at checkout, once we mentioned it, they did it gladly.
We would definitely return. It is a good value.
One note: It is true, as others have noted, that there is noise in the morning (mainly from garbage trucks servicing nearby apartment buildings). However, as our children wake up early, this noise occurred long after we had seen the light of day.
Great location- Good price
This place is nothing fancy, but for the location and price I would visit again. The big drawback was getting a room facing an alley.
Garbage pickups and dropoffs can be a little noisy. I live in the city, so it wasn't a huge problem, but it did get me up early on one day.
Having a full kitchen was nice and this place would probably be a good option for families since the rooms are so big.
This is a converted apartment..So you can have a private bedroom and kitchen..The bathroom is great! Good water pressure and built in heater! my only complaint is the walls need a little spackle!
Superbly, convenient hotel near Third Street Promenade
I booked a one bedroom suite on the basis of the reviews here and the free on-site parking. On arrival, it was a pretty smooth check-in process despite the late arrival and the doziness of the person who checked us in. The rooms (living room, bedroom and kitchen) were extremely spacious and I was on the higher floor. The close proximity (5 minutes) to Third Street Promenade was fantastic and staying this side (Barnes & Noble/Banana Repulic end) rather than the other noisier side of the Promenade (Broadway) was definitely a plus side. It's also pretty convenient from California Av to get to Wilshire Boulevard(Westwood/Hollywood)/Santa Boulevard (Interstate 10). I would recommend this to families though bear in mind that I did not see a lift service and there is no air-conditioning.However, the air-conditioning is probably not as important since being so near the beach, opening the windows provided plenty of fresh air.
Excellent place to stay with kids!
We stayed at the Cal Mar for a 4 day weekend Aug. 22 - 25, 2003 and had a lovely experience. The room (really a suite with separate bedroom, dining room and living room) was VERY large with plenty of closet space and a gas stove in the kitchen. Kitchen was fairly well appointed with utensils, dishes etc., however no irons or blowdryers, so bring your own. Clearly these were apartments before they were a charming hotel.
Electric fans and the ceiling fans provided enough breeze that air conditioning was not necessary, and the room did overlook the pool with plenty of pretty garden flowers all around. Our two boys (age 9 and 12) loved the pool, which was heated and very clean (early in the morning the chemicals were a bit strong but better that than getting pink-eye!). The staff brought extra towels as were were checking in and pool towels were provided every morning. The hotel is located in walking distance of the GREAT beach, Santa Monica Pier, and of course the Promenade for shopping and dinner. A big PLUS was the availability of covered parking at no extra charge. The only complaint was that the front desk staff did not know the location of the nearest grocery store and the phonebooks in the room were NOT for the local area. Since the rooms have a full kitchen, seems like lots of guests would like to do a bit of grocery shopping and be able to prepare a meal or two. I ended up driving around the main streets for 20 minutes until I found one myself. Other than that, the room and staff and location and price were teriffic. We will definately stay at the Cal Mar again.
Needs some serious TLC
We stayed at the Cal Mar from 17 to 19 August 2003 and I have to say it was one of the worst places I have ever stayed in!
Our suite did not look over the pool but had a view of the street and an alleyway where people revved their cars up from around 6 each morning. Our suite had no balcony or any outside space, neither did it have air conditioning - as we looked out over the street we did not feel secure about leaving windows open at night or when we were out, so the suite was constantly hot, stuffy and smelly.
The suite had good space but the condition left a lot to be desired - cracked tiles, shabby chipped paint everywhere and the bathroom was revolting!
The worst part of the suites was the pool - my husband and daughter tried this out the day we arrived and returned to the room within 10 minutes, complaining that the pool was hot (like a bath) and smelt strongly of urine. My husband had really red stinging eyes from the chemicals used in the pool. We didn't use the pool at all after this - and that was one of the reasons for booking the hotel!
The only saving grace for us was the hotel's close proximity to 3rd Street Promanade (1 block away) which was brilliant fun!
Its a shame this hotel is so run down - it has the potential to be really good - it just needs some serious money spent on it to bring it up to an acceptable standard.
Great! Great! Great!
This place in an such an excellent locale, AND the apartment I had was wonderful! All of them face the pool and are fully equiped for living.The only problem was that a friend called quite a few times and we never got the messages.
Great place to stay especially with older children
We stayed at the Calmar Hotel in Santa Monica for a week in April. It was great staying in an actual suite with kitchen facilities as our teenagers seem to always need to be eating. It is definitely an older hotel and a bit run down but it is very clean and the price is right. Also an excellent location in a quiet residential area, close to the ocean and a block away from the 3rd street promenade. Staff was very friendly and accommodating. Walls are also a bit thin but after a funfilled, sunfilled busy day out and about, once we were sleeping we never heard a thing. The courtyard with the pool is very nice. When I return to L.A. I will definitely stay there again. Thanks Calmar.