Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Santa Monica, Los Angeles, California

Oyster Review Summary

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Pros

Cons

  • Some noise between rooms and from streets below
  • Located at intersection of two busy streets
  • Dated, no-frills décor

Bottom Line

Although this 253-room Doubletree lacks character and sits on the corner of two major thoroughfares, its big rooms, outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and location just a 10-minute walk from the Santa Monica Pier and the shops and restaurants along the Third Street Promenade make it a good value.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

Clean, consistent, and comfortable, but far from memorable

Doubletree's Cafe Pronto
Doubletree's Cafe Pronto

Clean and comfortable with unimpressive, earth-tone room decor, this 253-room, eight-story Doubletree, equidistant between shopping and restaurants on the Third Street Promenade and the amusement park and vintage carousel at the Santa Monica Pier, is like a Doubletree just about anywhere -- consistent and dependable, but far from memorable.

A vaulted atrium design accented by orchids and a mosaic tile floor gives the lobby a bit of aesthetic flair, but can translate to some noisy rooms on lower floors. Rooms facing busy Fourth Street and the entrance to the Santa Monica Freeway, can also be quite noisy, though not insufferable.

The hotel's public spaces were last renovated in 2004 and rooms underwent soft renovations (carpet, wallpaper, linens) in early 2007. Unfortunately, safes were left out of the renovation, leaving safety deposit boxes behind the front desk as the only option in which to store valuables.

The hotel draws primarily corporate guests, but nearly all the rooms are 500-square-foot suites with pullout couches and small kitchenettes with a half-size fridge, making this a fairly convenient option for families who want to be near Santa Monica Beach. Two other options to consider in the area are the Ambrose and the Loews Santa Monica. The Ambrose is much smaller than the Doubletree, but has an impressive array of eco-conscious programs and a slew of free amenities like breakfast, bike rental, and Wi-Fi. The family-friendly Loews Santa Monica doesn't have any gratis courtesies like the Ambrose, but unlike the Doubletree, is a Frisbee's toss from the beach.

 Service

Prompt, but so-so service; no dedicated concierge

The front desk
The front desk

There's a rug on the floor in front of the check-in desk that says, "We never say no to any request," but that doesn't always mean they can execute them competently. Check-in and checkout are prompt, as are service requests for toothpaste and towels, but the staff is better at handling simple requests than they are at recommending restaurants (there's no dedicated concierge). It's not that service necessarily fell short, it's just that, well, it's a Doubletree -- status quo's about as good as it gets.

  • Free chocolate-chip welcome cookies at check-in, as is standard at all Doubletrees
  • Prompt check-in, checkout and answers to service requests
  • No dedicated concierge; front desk staffers double as concierges, and give basic directions but not much else
  • Room service avaiable throughout the day, but not 24-hours
  • Food and drinks can be delivered poolside, but guests must call from their rooms (no pool wait staff).
  • Turndown service on request

 Location

In Santa Monica, a 10-minute walk to Santa Monica Pier and the Third Street Promenade

Doubletree Guest Suites is in Santa Monica, a beach town rich with shops, restaurants, and a tourist-attracting pier with games, rides, and an iconic Ferris wheel. But its nonbeach location feels a bit like a no-man's land; there's not much in the immediate vicinity of the hotel except for Santa Monica High School's playing fields and the parking lot for the civic center across the street. Still, the location isn't terrible, it's just not prime-time front and center: the Santa Monica Pier and state beach is only a 10- to 15-minute walk (or short drive), and it's a 10-minute walk to the shops and restaurants along the Third Street Promenade.

  • Across the street from Santa Monica Civic Auditorium
  • 10- to 15-minute walk, or few minutes' drive, to the beach, the Santa Monica Pier with its vintage carousel and amusements, and from the Third Street Promenade, with its slew of local and chain stores, shops, and restaurants
  • 15-minute drive to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, an enclave of wealthy living and luxury shopping in the middle of L.A.'s westside
  • Anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour drive to touristy Hollywood Boulevard and the celebrity footprints of the famous Walk of Fame at Grauman's Chinese Theatre
  • Approximately an hour drive to Universal Studios Hollywood, a movie-themed amusement park
  • 30-minute drive from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

 Rooms

No-frills, but spacious with pullout sofas

Large King Two Room Suite has pullout couch.
Large King Two Room Suite has pullout couch.

All but eight of the hotel's 253 rooms are 500-square-foot suites with pullout couches and dorm-size fridges, making them well-suited for families. The décor is no frills, but clean, and bathrooms are spacious with a shower/tub combo. The eight nonsuites with two double beds offer a small, oddly triangular-shaped space, no couch, no fridge, and only a shower, so be sure to get a suite, they're not much more (or often you'll get a free upgrade). As the hotel is situated on the corner of busy Fourth Street and an entrance to the Santa Monica Freeway, there can be some street noise, plus noise travels between some rooms. In comparison, rooms at the Loews Santa Monica are smaller, but have a little more elegance.

  • All but eight rooms are 500-square-foot suites with pullout couches and dorm-size fridges (no microwaves, but guests can request one); other rooms are only 180 square feet and don't have couches or kitchenettes.
  • 212 rooms have king beds; the remaining 33 rooms have two doubles; mattresses are comfortable, with 250-thread-count sheets, thin duvets, and poly-stuffed pillows.
  • None of the rooms have safes, but guests can use individual safety deposit boxes at the front desk for free.
  • Rooms currently have 26-inch Philips tube TVs with 23 basic cable channels and HBO; tubes replaced with 35-inch flat-screens at the end of 2010, and the number of cable channels will expand to 30, including several HD feeds.
  • Free Wi-Fi can be sluggish.
  • Generic alarm clock with an MP3 jack; Wolfgang Puck coffeemaker
  • Bathrooms are spacious with granite (or granite-looking) countertops; most rooms have bathtub-shower combos and Neutrogena toiletries; nonsuite rooms don't have a tub.
  • Rooms are vulnerable to street noise, sounds travel in between rooms, and air conditioners can be loud.

 Features

Covers the bases with fine, if not spectacular, amenities

The gym
The gym

With a heated pool and Jacuzzi on the 3rd-floor sundeck, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and free access to the hotel's business center, the Doubletree's got the basics covered. The Loews Santa Monica has a significantly larger and better equipped gym (though it costs $10 for entry) and a nice pool with an ocean view, but it's a bit more expensive.

  • Outdoor pool (heated to 84°F) and Jacuzzi (104°F) on the 3rd-floor sundeck, but not much by way of shade -- just two umbrellas to go around.
  • Spacious Precor gym remodeled in 2007 has a decent selection of cardio machines, and a few strength options: three treadmills, two ellipticals, and one reclining bike, plus a full set of weights and medicine balls, and one multipurpose weight machine.
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free Internet access in the business center with three PCs; free printing of boarding passes, but other pages costs 89 cents each

 Family

OK for families given the large suites, but there are better options

The pool
The pool

Though it attracts mostly corporate guests, the Doubletree is a nice option for families since all but eight of the hotel's 253 rooms are a spacious 500 square feet with pullout couches and half-size fridges. There aren't any rollaways, but cribs are free, and the hotel is only about 10 minutes walking distance from the Santa Monica Pier, and 10 minutes to shops and kid-friendly restaurants like California Pizza Kitchen on the Third Street Promenade. Families might also consider Loews, which is located on Ocean Avenue, has direct beach access, and is a Frisbee's throw away from the Santa Monica Pier and its vintage carousel, but it's more expensive.

  • Spacious 500-square-foot suites with pullout couches, half-size fridges, and coffeemakers (microwaves available on request)
  • Cribs are free; no rollaways
  • Outdoor pool with shallowest depth of 3.5 feet
  • Basic children's menu with kid-friendly items like chicken tenders, hot dogs, and cheeseburgers
  • 10-minute walk to shops and restaurants on the Third Street Promenade
  • 10-minute walk to the vintage carousel and amusement park at the Santa Monica Pier

 Cleanliness

Clean, though feeling a tad dated

Rooms were last renovated in late 2006 and early 2007, but still look and feel clean and fresh. Common areas are even older -- last gutted in 2004 -- and though some of the couches in the lobby are a bit worse for wear, they're largely stain-free. The grounds, including the porte cochere and the 3rd-floor pool and Jacuzzi, are well maintained.

 Food

Fine in a pinch, but walk 10 minutes to the Third Street Promenade for better dining

Fourth Street Grill serves three meals per day.
Fourth Street Grill serves three meals per day.

There's a generic bar, a café, and a full-service restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that serves basic American fare like steaks, pizza, and pasta, but the food is pricey and mediocre. A better option is to walk 10 minutes to the Third Street Promenade, where options range from national chains like California Pizza Kitchen, Subway, and Fatburger to more local spots like Sushi Roka and George's Bistro.

 Bottom Line

Although this 253-room Doubletree lacks character and sits on the corner of two major thoroughfares, its big rooms, outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, and location just a 10-minute walk from the Santa Monica Pier and the shops and restaurants along the Third Street Promenade make it a good value.

Things You Should Know About Doubletree Guest Suites Santa Monica

Address

  • 1707 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA, US

Hotel Is Also Known As...

  • Doubletree Hotel Santa Monica
  • Doubletree Santa Monica

Room Types

  • 1 King Bed Not-a-Suite
  • 2 Double Beds Not-a-Suite
  • King Bed Deluxe Suite Hi Floor
  • King One Bedroom Conference Suite
  • King One Bedroom Larger Suite, Ocean View
  • King One Bedroom Partial Ocean View Suite
  • King One Bedroom Presidential Suite
  • King One Bedroom Suite
  • King One Bedroom Suite, Pool View with Patio
  • Two Queen One Bedroom Suite
  • Two Queens Deluxe Suite Hi Floor

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 253
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Santa Monica, Los Angeles
Address: 1707 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA, US
(See Map)
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