on August 22, 2012
The hotel certainly looks impressive in its photographs and first impressions when we drove up where very good; it looked just as good as the photographs. I am not a fan of valet parking as I always feel rushed out of the car so we had already decided that we would prefer self-parking. The sign was quite well hidden but luckily we spotted it and made our way down the side of the hotel to the car park. There were a few speed ramps here that are probably the worst I have ever driven over, certainly not suitable for anyone with back problems. We took a ticket from the oldest, noisiest ticket machine I have ever seen and drove into the gloom. We immediately realised that all of the best parking spaces had been reserved for valet cars and we had to go down quite a way to find a space that would fit the large car we hired. The car park was terrible claustrophobic with very low ceilings and quite a walk to the lift. You then have the option of "Lower Lobby" or "Lobby" which all seemed quite confusing, if you are checking in you want the Lobby.The building seemed very large with a lot of wasted space but we made our way to reception. The staff member we dealt with was very courteous and efficient and informed my husband that since he was a Platinum member we had been given the best available room. We were told parking was $20 a night and valet $25 a night. This expense obviously accounted for the excessive number of cars parked all over the roads around the hotel trying to avoid the charge. I can’t see how you could possibly reach this hotel without a car so just put the price on the cost of the room and be upfront about it. Using the internet also costs between $15-20 a day as well but luckily the Platinum status gives us that free too.We opened the door to our room and the first thing that struck us was the damp, musty odour. We were then struck by the drab décor and the small size compared to rooms in our last few hotels. In fact I was so upset and disappointed on our arrival that I opened the laptop and tried to find a local motel with rooms but being a popular summer weekend I couldn’t find anything, I just really didn’t want to stay. My husband phoned reception and said we were very unhappy with the room and could we be changed, he said he was on his way down.The best thing about this Hyatt is the staff and they immediately gave him the key to another room and offered us use of the Regency club for the duration of our stay as compensation for the upset. The new room had the same dull, dirty décor with small holes in the curtains and stains on the carpet but at least it didn’t smell anywhere near as bad and the surfaces and bathroom were clean so we decided to accept it.The room itself was pretty much a business hotel room with two queen beds, one of which was so close to the wall that my very slim 15 year old son had trouble getting in; the only option was to climb over the end of the bed. There was a desk with chair, a room safe, one cupboard and a chest of drawers which was incredibly difficult to open. There was also a television and an iPod dock.The bathroom had no shelves which seems very common but makes it really difficult to store toiletries without them getting wet and messing up the surface. The water pressure was incredibly low so the shower lacked power which was probably a good thing since the plugs took forever to drain and once the toilet was flushed it carried on flushing until you fiddle about with the cistern to stop it! Once again this was another hotel that we felt was rather mean on the number of towels left for four people.The room had an opening window and very quiet and effective air-conditioning which was brilliant as the weather was very hot.The hotel has a large pool but I hadn’t realised that this is part of a public accessed fitness club so there were always people swimming in the lanes and so a much smaller area of the pool was available for children and families than I would have expected. There were lots of sunbeds and plenty of towels. However we never used the pool as its location means that it is rather shady and whenever we returned to the hotel by about 4 in the afternoon the area felt chilly and not at all inviting even though the temperature whilst we were there was well in to the 90s. I think the height and orientation of the hotel created the chill impression. It was also quite a trek from our room all the way to the lift, the lower lobby and then out to the pool.As I mentioned we had been given access to the Regency Club by way of an apology. I must say this was fantastic and made a real difference to our holiday budget. The Regency Club is a separate room accessed with your room key that offers a complimentary buffet breakfast, afternoon snacks and canapés in the evening. We found the breakfast selection fantastic, large platters of strawberries and melon, ham and cheese, lots of pastries, bagels, bread and a toaster, various fruit juices and cereals. We really filled up at breakfast and it was perfectly acceptable to take bottles of fruit juice or water and fruit away with you for snacks during the day. In the afternoon there was always tea and coffee and cans of soft drink, nuts (and I love pecans so much!) and cookies and in the evening there were continental meats, olives and crudités. With two teenagers having unlimited access to soft drinks and snacks saved us a fortune.Besides the grotty room the main problem I had with this hotel was its location. I should have looked in to this a bit more so it is my own fault but I knew that La Jolla is supposed to be a lovely area north of San Diego so I just booked. This hotel is over 6 miles from the village centre of La Jolla and is in a business and residential area so there was nowhere to take a stroll in the evenings without going and getting the car from the dungeon again and driving around.I would say that I think this is very much a business hotel and not suited to the holiday maker at al. I selected the wrong sort of accommodation for us and the location was my fault. However the shabby state of the rooms were completely unacceptable in my view and considering the hotel description states that they have been refurbished I did hope for better. I dislike parking and internet fees as cheaper establishments manage to include them in the price. The room we ended up staying in would have cost nearly £200 (plus £25 for parking and internet) a night and I can honestly say that the motels we stayed in that were £75-£100 were much more acceptable.
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