Not all that bad... A review of Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach
We just returned from a weekend at Holiday Inn Ventura (Mar 24-27, 2005). We booked a package from Toronto that included flight, hotel and car. After reading the reviews here, we were a little worried but after getting there it all seemed to work out. The hotel is undergoing renovations...thankfully none were happening when we were there. The hotel is in a nice location, a little far from LA but right off the freeway - 101. Didn't take advantage of the beach or the pool but we saw surfers there in the morning and also saw a few people in the pool. We didn't spend a lot of time at the hotel so can't comment on the restaurant. Our rooms were spotless...we had a view of the ocean...it was nice as long as you didn't look down...there was a lot of crap left over from the renovations!!! Room service seemed a little overpriced...18% service charge PLUS $2.00 for delivery!!! It was cheaper to drive down to MAIN Street, walk into the Busy Bee Diner and order a meal. The front desk was kind of helpful. But thanks to them, we got lost on the way back to the airport for our return flight and almost missed it. TIP - buy a map/guidebook!!!
We drove to LA for the day...took us almost two hours with traffic. We also went to Santa Barbara twice...once for dinner and once to shop. TIP - restaurants stop serving dinner after 10-10:30pm...only appetizers, desserts and drinks...learnt the hard way. It seems that's common for cities in the USA...well, atleast all the ones I have visited...with the exception of NYC.
Anyway...the hotel is well on it's way...once the renovations are completed (approx Summer 05) it should get better reviews :-)
I say...take a chance...check it out...we didn't have to deal with dirty carpets or sheets...our bathtub had scuff marks but it was clean. Front desk was friendly...close enough to the major cities but yet far enough to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Parking was $8.00 per night with in/out priviledges...only problem was that you needed to use the card/pass to get in and out everytime...can be a bit of pain. The parking lot next to the hotel is $5.00 and is city owned. We only chose to pay more for parking as they told us they had security and surveillance in the hotel parking lot...and since we had a rental...a convertible...we didn't want to take any chances!
All in all, a good time was had...and I am glad the hotel wasn't as bad as some of the reviews i read.