Clocktower Inn Hotel
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TravelPod Member ReviewsClocktower Inn Hotel Ventura
The Clocktower Inn is in the best possible location in Ventura. It is in the heart of Historic Downtown Ventura with Mission San Buenaventura and the Ventura County Museum behind it, and all of the historic area shops/restaurants and beach are within walking distance.
However, the decor is old and sometimes tattered; the beds were extremely uncomfortable. The continental breakfast was not at all appetizing.
I would like to see this hotel renovated and revitalized with the charm it is currently lacking (but deserves), because the location can't be beat.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Clocktower Inn Hotel Ventura
Rundown, but great location
We chose this hotel because of its close walking proximity to downtown, the Mission, Museum and oceanside "boardwalk". During our stay Feb 11-13, we felt comfortable, the lobby has a welcoming fireplace and attached glass roof atrium for continental breakfast. Our room, on the other hand, was not well maintained, and was dark and cold. We had a double-bedded room facing the park area and Mission. Lamp bulbs needed replacement, shower curtain was mildewy, coffee maker tray in the bathroom was cracked and chipped. Worst of all, the room smelled like a smoking room, perhaps because the old carpeting retained the smells. We were able to change rooms the next day, to an exact same room on the first floor. Same tiny, mildewy dated bathroom though, with a door that swung inward to almost hit the toilet. I was able to see a friend's room on the same floor, which was also double-bedded, but twice as large with bigger bath and step out fenced patio. Apparently, not all rooms are the same! If you stay, ask for a king on the inner courtyard which have fireplaces and more pleasant view. Or if you need a double, ask for 118 or 218 which are larger than normal. Avoid rooms 222, (and probably 122) and 114 (and probably 214). Continental breakfast is like the kind you get at a airport motel -- danishes, freezer bagels, cereals, OJ, Lipton tea and Folgers coffee and apples/bananas. Refrigerators are optional at $10 a day. We paid $89/night, lower than the higher-end Marriott and Sheraton. Overall, the great walk-to-everywhere location made up for the low-value-for-the-money.
You can find better
Not much positive to say about this hotel. It certainly does not deserve its 3 stars given by most sites. I went thru Hotwire, so I did not intentionally pick it. I certainly would have been suspect of a $80 3-star hotel.
The high-speed internet access is by request--they turn it on when you ask and charge $8 per night. I requested it, then requested again when they had not turned it on in 20 minutes. The rooms did not come with ethernet cords.
The rooms are dark and walls are dirty. The sink did not drain because the plunger was smashed down. The windows were not well sealed, so you could hear most outside nice. The carpets were spotted and in need of cleaning. Despite advertising as such, rooms do not have irons/ironing boards in them.
Pressing the Front Desk/Wake-up call button on the phone gets you no where. The first time I tried, it rang over 10 times before I hung up. Pressing "0" yielded better results.
On the plus side, it is walking distance to the beach (across the freeway), and most downtown attractions.
Beautifully decorated, nice balcony in our room, nice lobby area, conveniently located to downtown restaurants.
But the mattress was way too hard. I saw several guests bringing their own pillows; I would recommend it for this hotel.
My wife and I planned the perfect get a way. We put the top down on the Mustang, left Arizona in the rear view mirror and headed toward California's golden coast. We left without a care in the world and with good cause, as the grandparents were left to baby sit and we were celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary.
Our plans were to drive straight to Santa Barbara, CA, then head north and "explore". We would end up exploring all right, but not as we had initially planned!
The engine light went on 30 minutes south of Santa Barbara. We took the California Street exit off of the U.S. 101 and pulled into a Firestone dealership. Bad news, the car would be in the shop for 2-3 days depending on parts, etc..
We were tired from the 6-hour drive, hungry and just wanted a place to "crash". We were directed to the visitor's center across the street to find out more about our new surroundings. As far as a place to stay, the women at the help desk recommended The Clocktower Inn, as it was only a couple of blocks away, 3-Diamond rated, a great value and "charming".
The moment we walked into The Clocktower's lobby we felt a rush of relief! There was subtle jazz playing in the air, guests enjoying conversation around a cozy fireplace and a manager's wine, cheese and cracker reception. We explained our predicament and chance arrival to the friendly and attentive person working at the front desk. We asked hopefully, "is there room at the Inn?" Not only did they have a room for us, but also we were kindly upgraded to one with a fireplace and view of Mission Park. After we entered our room, we both looked at each other and knew instantly that we didn't want to go anywhere for the next 12 hours - everything was perfect! We ordered room service from the hotel's restaurant, "Table 13". We treated ourselves to champagne and sampled a Brie cheese baked over focaccia bread appetizer. My wife ordered ravioli stuffed with lobster and jumbo prawns, while I chose the hazelnut-crusted salmon. The food was first class!
Before turning in for the night we did sneak down to the hot tub, and soaked among the stars. After all that we had been through, we had found our special place.
The next morning we started our day slow and easy. We took advantage of The Clocktower's hearty and complimentary continental breakfast buffet. We shared the local paper as we sat in their unique glass enclosed atrium (although a small hotel with only 50 guestrooms, the public areas and creative landscaping were well thought out).
This would now be home base, so we armed ourselves with a map of our new neighborhood and with a few good tips from the hotel staff, began our day of sightseeing. Judging from the "you are here", we were dead smack in the middle of Ventura's historic and cultural districts. We planned our morning around Main Street, and explored the many antique shops located there. We worked our way back up to California Street, checked on the car and then watched the surfers while enjoying lunch on the pier at Eric Ericsson's.
Good news, the car would be ready tomorrow and the repairs were not going to be as costly as first suggested. They say that everything happens for a reason, and for what ever reason it was our destiny to spend 2 nights at The Clocktower Inn in the city of Ventura, CA, it will always hold a very special place in our heart!
Not worth the money
I picked this place out because it was given 3 stars, it offered in-room internet access, and I got a pretty good rate online considering their published rates.
The pluses are that the hotel is pretty quaint, and the enclosed atrium where the breakfast is served was really nice. Also, the hotel is about 3 blocks from the beach, although you have to cross over the freeway.
The first minus I encountered was the parking. You're relegated to a small city lot which quickly fills up especially when the hotel is near capacity. I felt sorry for those who got in late.
Also, the hotel itself sits next to Mission Park, which is nicely situated across from the historic Mission San Buenventura, but is also the center of the town's homeless culture. Most rooms are in the back of the hotel, and the windows are facing the park, so you have to keep the curtains drawn unless you don't mind the eyes. I don't particularly mind the crowd, but I was a little anxious about my car considering there's no fence between the park and the parking lot.
The $8.95/day for internet was very disappointing for me as I consider it a guest service if the infrastructure is there, and charging a fee for it is like charging admission to the pool. Also, the desk, where you would logically put your laptop was located away from the Cat 5 jack, and you would need at least a 10-foot cable to reach it. I just sat on the floor.
The morning brought yet another problem: hot water. It would start off comfortable, but then slowly die to a much cooler temperature. Turning the hot faucet up fixed the problem, but the cycle continued.
The breakfast was something that I might expect from a Super 8: nothing really hot or fresh, just toast, cereal, sweet rolls, etc.
Overall, the relative location is good because of its proximity to the beach and Downtown, and the room itself was nicely decorated and quaint, like I said. But this was just not worth what I ended up paying for it.
No longer acceptable
We have stayed here many times and enjoyed our stays and the morning breakfasts. I find that I can no longer put up with their male gender unfriendly (Cheaper) toilet seats. The seat puts you closer to the water in the bowl,making it very uncomfortable for males and their private parts. From now on, we'll just have to stay somewwhere else.
Bumped Too !!!!
We too made reservations thru the internet 3 weeks before our trip and had a confirmation E mailed. We received a phone call during our drive from SD to the hotel that they had no rooms available The manager said he had made reservations for us at another comparable hotel and it was very nice (it turned out he had not even seen the other hotel). The hotel was NOT comparable so we went to see the manager at Clocktower who said he gave our rooms to entertainers from the fair whose car had broken down!!!!! We inquired why he did not send them to the other hotel, as we had reservations, he said they did not want to go there!!!! Our advise is to not trust Clocktower internet specials as they do not honour them. PVY SD
Low key pleasant stay
Stayed there in June 2004. Hotel is in a quiet part of town with a park located behind it. Staff is very helpful and high speed internet is avaialble for a modest $7.95 (I'd prefer free, but that's not outrageous). Everything worked, was clean and comfortable.
I've put it on my list of places to stay in Ventura county. Nice breakfast buffet is included.
I will visit again!
This quaint little hotel had some great and not so great features. Pros: within walking distance of the beach and pier, interesting architecture with lovely window seats, above average continental breakfast in a very comfortable atrium, affordable price, friendly staff. Cons: the plumbing fixtures in our room were in dire need of repair (the handle on the sink came completely off and the toilet handle was very loose), limited parking, horribly mildewed carpet in the elevator (trust me...take the stairs!), small room with big furniture.
I would probably give this hotel another try as I feel the problems with our room were just that. Also, I would recommend Tony's Pizzaria just one block up towards the beach. Great pizza and even better characters serving it up!
Confirm and bump you!
We reserved a room via the internet through hotel locaters three weeks in advance. Reserved a deluxe room with a fireplace and received a confirmation number. Upon arrival was told that there were no rooms with fireplace available. I showed clerk the printout stating "deluxe fireplace room" and the confirmation number and his response was " that's just a confirmation number, and doesn't guarantee a room." Gee I though that it meant they were CONFIRMING the room!!! How stupid of me. I told him I didn't want the room where upon he called the general manager on the phone and told him we didn't want the room. The GM then offered a bootle of wine as consolation and said " I don't know how this happened". I declined the $2.00 bottle of wine and told him to refund part of the rate or we would leave. He refunded $20 off bringing room to $59, and as it was getting late and I knew we couldn't get a room anywhere for that price, I accepted. Point is that they operate with very questionable business practices and book rooms via net at low price and then when they can get more via another booking site they bump you. I will never book a room there again and neither should you. Also, the male desk clerk that was ther seemed psychotic. Very creepy! Try the Seaward Inn instead.