Hotel Californian

Hotel Californian

Traveller (294)
View from the Granada Room with balcony. (Located on the top floor)
Room & Suite (151)
Dining (30)
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About

4.5
#24 of 58 hotels in Santa Barbara
4.8 of 5 bubbles
Location
4.7 of 5 bubbles
Cleanliness
4.2 of 5 bubbles
Service
3.8 of 5 bubbles
Value
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
A luxury hotel in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone, Hotel Californian continues to redefine luxury in the celebrated American Riviera.
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Property amenities
Electric vehicle charging station
Free High Speed Internet (WiFi)
Pool
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room
Bar / lounge
Bicycle rental
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Paid private parking on-site
Car park
Wifi
Hot bath
Pool / beach towels
Rooftop pool
Pool with view
Outdoor pool
Heated pool
Coffee shop
Restaurant
Breakfast available
Wine / champagne
Conference facilities
Banquet room
Meeting rooms
Spa
Couples massage
Facial treatments
Massage
Salon
Rooftop terrace
Baggage storage
Concierge
Non-smoking hotel
Sun terrace
Doorperson
24-hour front desk
Dry cleaning
Laundry service
Room features
Bathrobes
Air conditioning
Housekeeping
Room service
Safe
Coffee / tea maker
Flatscreen TV
Complimentary toiletries
Wardrobe / wardrobe
Bottled water
Iron
Private bathrooms
Wake-up service / alarm clock
Minibar
Refrigerator
Hair dryer
Room types
Mountain view
Ocean view
City view
Non-smoking rooms
Suites
Good to know
HOTEL CLASS
Star ratings are intended to indicate the general level of features, amenities, and services to expect. This property is classified according to Giata.
5.0 of 5 stars
HOTEL STYLE
City View
Luxury

Location

36 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Getting there
Great for walkers
Places to stay are graded on a 0-100 scale. The higher the grade, the easier it is for travellers to find restaurants and things to do within walking distance.
Grade: 100 out of 100
100
Santa Barbara Municipal Airport
13.9 km
See all flights
Santa Barbara Station
4 min
4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles977 reviews
Reviews summary
This summary was created by AI, based on recent reviews.
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The Hotel Californian garners mixed reviews, with guests appreciating the stylish and comfortable rooms but finding fault with noise levels and temperature inconsistencies. While the rooftop pool and prime location near the beach and dining options are highlights, some guests feel the overall value is lacking due to service issues ranging from perceived rudeness to unresponsiveness. Despite the hotel's modern ambiance, the welcoming atmosphere sometimes falls short. However, cleanliness is a strong point, with most guests satisfied with the tidy and well-appointed accommodations.
Location
Convenient
Atmosphere
Hip
Rooms
Stylish
Value
Expensive
Cleanliness
Mixed
Service
Inconsistent
Amenities
Mixed

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977Reviews11Q+A85Room tips
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Detailed Reviews
Kyle Conway wrote a review Jul 2020
5.0 of 5 bubbles
This experience from start to finish was absolutely incredible. I planned this trip to propose to my now Fiance while in Santa Barbara. I was able to connect with Libby at the front desk about a week prior to our stay where she was so helpful with getting some surprises figured out for us. She was able to get us into a room with a breathtaking view, she got us champagne and dessert for the night we got engaged, and treated us with such respect and kindness we were so grateful.

Libby was so helpful with everything she even helped me plan the proposal, local spots, nice beaches, places for dinner, etc. you name it she helped me with it and was so excited throughout the experience.

The hotel staff was all very kind. The rooms were awesome, very well cleaned and they told us they were keeping the rooms empty for 72 hours with everything going on to let it be quarantined. They navigated Covid-19 perfectly. The pool was open with distancing protocols and they were even still able to serve food and drinks at the pool.

I cant thank Hotel Californian enough for everything they did to make our experience so special. They are now apart of our story and will forever be apart of our life.

5 stars 6 if possible would recommend to anyone hoping for a special trip or even just a nice getaway.
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Date of stay: June 2020
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
Room Tip: Higher rooms have the ocean views. Rooms across the street from the main lobby will be closer to...
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Shannon M wrote a review Jul 2020
Scottsdale, Arizona
5.0 of 5 bubbles
When traveling these days I’m looking for something clean and with a commitment to safety of all travelers. This hotel has removed all things that would be normally be touched by many people, offers in room dining and that included cocktails. Extra items by request and as always very clean linens, bathrooms and beautifully maintained public spaces. Masks are worn by all the staff and there’s plenty of sanitizer throughout the hotel spaces.
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Date of stay: July 2020Trip type: Travelled with friends
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
A lot to digest? Read an AI-generated summary of recent traveller reviews.
Marvin Torres wrote a review Feb 2021
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We recently booked a two night stay at the Hotel Californian for Valentine's Day weekend and were very impressed with hotel overall. We stayed in one of their Granada King rooms which had plenty of space. Overall this property was kept in spotless condition and is in the perfect location for exploring the Funk Zone and a short walk to the beach. The only downside is paying a nightly rate which would be comparable to most resorts (they also charge a resort fee) for a non resort hotel.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2021
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Mia Thomas, Sales at Hotel Californian
Responded May 24, 2021
Hello tarvinmorres, We are elated to learn that we exceeded your expectations on such a special weekend away. We too believe that our Moroccan designed interiors and location just steps to the beach and at the front door of the Funk Zone can't be beat. Come back soon for more exploring in the American Riviera. All the best, Mia Thomas
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Climber800077 wrote a review Sep 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We were checked into a room on Thursday looking directly into another room. When we asked to move we were told there were no options except the presidential suite at an up charge of $3500 per nigh. After 4 calls to the front desk with no other solutions offered we capitulated at an up charge of $3000 per night and invited another couple to fly out and join us. The presidential suite was actually a hospitality suite on top of the parking garage that was completely empty of useful items. We requested the room be stocked with stuff so we could use it — the kitchen the bar, etc. That never happened. The house wine and rum were terrible so I went and stocked up food and alcohol at Trader Joe’s and asked for things like knives plates glasses etc in the barren kitchen. Nothing ever can as requested; it was always comically wrong. We asked for room cleaning from 11 to 3 on Saturday as we went on a wine tasting with friends. Nothing done when we returned. So by then it was obvious that we had been ignored again. The response was a botttle of sparkiling wine. We left a day early. On top of paying for the original room the bill was about $16k. To be ignored and then patronized by managers. What a disaster.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: September 2020
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
4.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
4.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
3.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from B P, Guest Services / Front Office at Hotel Californian
Responded Nov 9, 2020
Hello Climber800077 We apologize for the delay in responding back to your review and we regret to learn that your visit fell short of expectation. Should your time allow, I would welcome the chance to speak by phone so that a more personal apology can be offered and with that in mind, I invite you to use the email address below in sending your own details and a convenient time that I may be in touch. Once more, we thank you for sharing your comments and I look forward to speaking with you soon. All the best, Libby Basham Director of Guest Reception lbasham@hotelcalifornian.com
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Momszentrip wrote a review Feb 2020
Wakefield, Canada
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Lovely property and rooftop in winter private and wonderful. The rooms are great but look like a real mix of good and bad locations. We were given a 3 window room on courtyard in original building which was great! On the fence about the hands off approach of personal, no contact in pool building.
My main observation is that it really makes a difference in what staff you interface with 2 out of 3 were unpleasant. They are the ambassadors which is known in the hospitality business.
On check out I asked the young man what the reasoning was with the exorbitant $150 dog fee on the small dog allowed. He gave a company line on cleaning and I mentioned that Kimpton was free, Belmond $30 and he said oh no they all charge more than that! I said no I’m a Kimpton member and know they are free but chose your hotel out of bed size and interesting design. He was so belligerent and insistent that I challenged him to call them , he did and then hung up and instead of admitting that he was wrong mumbled about a cleaning fee.
Yuck, need some real management around for proper etiquette!
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Date of stay: February 2020Trip type: Travelled with family
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Manager-247, General Manager at Hotel Californian
Responded Feb 5, 2020
Hello Momszentrip, We were honored to have you with us as you treated yourself to a birthday splurge, and are glad you were so well-satisfied with your room. We agree that our Talent does indeed serve as our ambassadors, and we appreciate your helpful feedback, which will enable us to ensure better consistency next time. We would be happy to have you back with us in the future, with your four-legged companion. All the best, Jocelyn Kraus, Hotel Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
Nick P wrote a review Jan 2020
New York City, New York
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Had a great stay at Hotel Californian for New Years Eve. The location is terrific, the rooms are spacious and modern, and we really enjoyed our stay. Highly recommend for couples.

I couldn't give 5 stars because the front desk / concierge service was pretty poor. On three separate occasions, we called the front desk with requests that were never fulfilled or even followed up on.

One night, I called the front desk asking if they could send up a knife so that we could cut up some meat and cheese that we had bought that day. 30 minutes went by, and no knife. I called again to inquire about the knife, and the concierge said they would send it right up, and asked if we wanted a small cutting board. The knife and the cutting board never arrived, and we ended up having to use the ice bucket tongs to cut our meat and cheese.

I also called the front desk to ask how to turn on an electric outdoor fire pit on a terrace near our room. The concierge said that it should go on automatically, and would send up engineering to turn it on. However the fire pit was not turned on that night or any night during our stay.

Another evening, I called the front desk regarding dinner reservations both at the on site restaurant and another nearby restaurant. The concierge said he'd check on both and call me back. He never did.

The hotel itself is great, but to have not one, but three guest requests ignored / forgotten about / not fulfilled at a property at this price point was a bit disappointing. It certainly didn't ruin our stay, but the service was pretty poor.
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Date of stay: December 2019
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
5.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from Manager-247, General Manager at Hotel Californian
Responded Jan 8, 2020
Hello nickpnyc, Your eagerness to recommend us to others makes our day, and we're gratified to know that you enjoyed the ambiance and location of our relaxed yet luxurious hotel. You are correct in expecting nothing less than five-star service upon checking into the Hotel Californian, and we share in your frustration that our Talent fell short of meeting your very understandable requests. We will take your feedback to heart in order to ensure that you meet with nothing less than excellence the next time you're in Santa Barbara. All the best, Jocelyn Kraus, Hotel Manager
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Marla M wrote a review Feb 2021
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Not a special or nice experience at all, just stay at a cheaper hotel nearby and it will be just the same as the Hotel Californian.

None of the hotel amenities were available because of covid, which I get but then you should try to improve the experience every other way possible. Offer extra water, have nice robes in the room, chocolates at night, outdoor massage, hand sanitizer bottles offered etc

All “high touch” things were removed from our room...but those are all the things that make staying there suppose to be special. So we had to request a robe, towels, blankets, hair dryer, glasses, etc. which caused us to have to interface with people for every delivery which puts both us and the staff at risk. And 2 times things were just not delivered...we had to keep requesting them.

Staff was also unfriendly, no greeting upon arrival and not helpful with recommendations. Was very hard to get in touch with the front desk.

Our room was over a noisy bar, which I get that it’s not in their control - but then have a noise machine in the room or when booking don’t put sleep deprived parents in that room.

Highly disappointed for the rate of the room.
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Date of stay: February 2021
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
2.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
3.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
1.0 of 5 bubblesService
1.0 of 5 bubblesSleep Quality
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from A H, Other at Hotel Californian
Responded May 18, 2021
Hello. Thank you for your feedback, which we value as we all navigate these challenging times. Your suggestions are appreciated, as we do strive to make our guests feel special here in our boutique hotel. We share in your disappointment that Covid regulations put a damper on your stay, and we hope we can host you again in the future for a more fulfilling experience. All the best, Courtney Rankin Director of Guest Reception
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Gemmadavison wrote a review Jun 2020
1.0 of 5 bubbles
We are underwhelmed to say the least. We arrived today for four nights for our 15th wedding anniversary. We had adjusted our expectations because of Covid-19. Restaurants closed, changes in business as usual... we’re reasonable people, we get it. The room and carpet are dirty, the couch is chewed up. There was no hair dryer, glasses, ice bucket, mini bar... I could go on. Every comfort has been stripped. Why aren’t we allowed water glasses? The real kicker though... no house keeping! Our whole point in staying somewhere with a 5 star rating was assuming that we could request a sanitized room each day. What a disappointment. Our young daughter wanted to use the pool; it’s across a busy street. My husband asked if the hotel would do something thoughtful for our anniversary. Bottle of champagne? Nope, just a dirty room with limited resources. My husband spent his college years here and we love SB. We wish we had booked one of the other genuinely lovely hotels. This is a 3.5 star hotel in sheep’s clothing.
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Date of stay: June 2020Trip type: Travelled as a couple
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
maltamark wrote a review Jun 2021
San Francisco, California
3.0 of 5 bubbles
I spent 3 nights recently with friends as the culmination of a trip down the California coast. Overall I found the Hotel Californian comfortable and pleasant, but there were a few signficiant downfalls.

Pros: Rooms are as pictured, if not even more impressive. Super modern, comfortable, well appointed, and spacious. The hotel staff were polite and friendly if not sometimes slightly overwhelmed. The location is fairly central to downtown Santa Barbara and right in the "Funk Zone"

Cons: First, fix the slamming rooms doors please! It was impossible to nap and difficult to sleep past 7 am without earplugs because the latch speeds on the guest room doors slam shut and make a lot of noise. It's a simple adjustment on hydraulic doors. Please fix them.

The coming-out-of-Covid service was spotty: wait times at the restaurants (to be seated and for food to arrive) were not acceptable. Priority should be given to hotel guests for seating. Valet and Concierge were sometimes slow (sometimes didn't even answer the phone) and the Concierge recommendation for brunch was way off the mark, sadly, after the effort it took to get through. Pool deck bar service was also slow. The pool itself was disappointing to be honest (so small and seemingly an after thought for a property so large).

Also for the price point, one shouldn't have to request housekeeping. It's a given. The website also advertises turndown service and it never happened, nor are there spirits and mixers in the room as promoted on the website.

If the price were 25% to 30% less than the nearly $700 a night I paid, I'd consider it again. Otherwise, it's definitely a no go should I return to Santa Barbara .
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Date of stay: June 2021
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Response from B P, Guest Services / Front Office at Hotel Californian
Responded Jul 1, 2021
Hello maltamark, Hotel Californian was made for celebrating friendship and we thank you and yours for spending your time with us. Your comments are received with our full appreciation, and we thank you for letting us know what you most enjoyed and where opportunity may exist for enhancing a visit further. We are warmed to find that our Martyn Lawrence Bullard interiors captivated your senses and with our hotel serving as the front door to the Santa Barbara Funk Zone, we are elated to find that our central location served you well for exploring all that awaits. Your added feedback provides equal value, and we apologize for any moments of inconsistency. We will be asking our engineering team to research the door details, though for security reasons, we also need to ensure our guest room doors close quickly. Your comments regarding housekeeping service and items not found in the room have been heard and we apologize if our pandemic related adaptions to service left you disappointed. While common touch points have been removed from the room, our talent remains happy to drop any necessities upon request and we trust you found them quick to respond. Once more, we thank you for your feedback and we look forward to shining brighter the next time we see you. If we can assist in planning a return, we invite you to be in touch. All the best, Courtney Rankin Director of Guest Reception
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Christian P wrote a review Jul 2020
Los Angeles, California
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Expect the restaurant across the street to start playing EDC music at 7AM on a Sunday. You’ll have to ask for just about everything you’d expect to have in the room, hairdryer, robes, slippers, extra blankets pillows - the won’t ask you, then tell you “there’s a piece of paper with it printed to remind you” ...seriously? Save your money, go somewhere else or just spend a bunch at CVS for drinks, have a nice dinner at another “recommended” restaurant, go on a boat tour and you’ll still have money left over.
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Date of stay: July 2020
1.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
2.0 of 5 bubblesService
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Answer from Rodessa N
San Luis Obispo, California129 contributions81 helpful votes
Sorry, I just saw your question. Yes, definitely worth staying as first to California. It is a beautiful hotel close to everything. This hotel is several hours from LAX, it is In Santa Barbara so I would say no they do not offer that.
Answer from Freedom23072431243
Hello Lexi T, Yes, our Magellan suites as well as our Alcazar suite have separate bedrooms. Both suite types are available to book on our website. All the best, Hotel Californian
John asked a question Mar 2020
Birmingham, Alabama
Do the rooms have robes and slippers?
Answer from SNSLondon
7 contributions1 helpful vote
yes. The slippers and the robes were nice :)
Kate_Jon_08 wrote a tip Jun 3
Arizona6 contributions1 helpful vote
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Stay during the week or during shoulder season. We had the pool to ourselves and the room floors were very quiet."
Read full review
Companion525636 wrote a tip May 2024
15 contributions2 helpful votes
2.0 of 5 bubbles
"Make sure your room is NOT above Finney's, the gastropub across the street. Very very loud at night. "
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JRGNY wrote a tip Mar 2024
Nueva York88 contributions74 helpful votes
4.0 of 5 bubbles
"Also if you are a light sleeper ask for a room away from the train as it is pretty constant in the morning. "
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Lance C wrote a tip Feb 2024
1 contribution
3.0 of 5 bubbles
"For a 5 star property just not up to standards."
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Sharon M wrote a tip Jan 2024
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
"Roof top pool, lovely staff. Hotel Cali is a must "
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Not the right property for you?
There are more places to choose from in the Santa Barbara area.
PRICE RANGE
C$972 - C$1,372 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
LOCATION
United StatesCaliforniaSanta Barbara
NUMBER OF ROOMS
121
Prices are the average nightly price provided by our partners and may not include all taxes and fees. Taxes and fees that are shown are estimates only. Please see our partners for more details.
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Hotel Californian - UPDATED 2024 Prices, Reviews & Photos

Frequently Asked Questions about Hotel Californian
Which popular attractions are close to Hotel Californian?
Nearby attractions include Moreton Bay Fig Tree (0.4 km), Reagan Ranch Center (0.2 km), and MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation (0.2 km).
What are some of the property amenities at Hotel Californian?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free wifi, a pool, and an on-site restaurant.
Which room amenities are available at Hotel Californian?
Top room amenities include a minibar, air conditioning, and a flat screen TV.
What food & drink options are available at Hotel Californian?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Hotel Californian?
Yes, a parking garage, paid private parking on-site, and secured parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Hotel Californian?
Conveniently located restaurants include Finney's, The Lark, and Mony's Mexican Food.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Hotel Californian?
Yes, guests have access to a pool and a fitness centre during their stay.
Does Hotel Californian have airport transportation?
Yes, Hotel Californian offers airport transportation for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Hotel Californian?
Yes, dry cleaning and laundry service are offered to guests.
Are pets allowed at Hotel Californian?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
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