Tuesday 23 October 2012

Crowne Plaza, Redondo Beach, California

Showing its age, this Crowne Plaza is undergoing a much-needed renovation. It has a cavernous lobby, bedecked with pot plants and pillars, which can be eerily quiet, and an adjoining restaurant-bar called the Splash Bistro. The bedrooms are a respectable size, but the fixtures and fittings are looking pretty tired - the flowery curtains are old fashioned, as is the mock antique desk and wardrobe. The en-suite bathrooms have mirrors with fussy "gold" frames. If you pay more for a room with an ocean view, that view will also take in the coast road, a car park and a marina. On the downside, the Wi-Fi costs $5 for four hours and $10 for 24 hours and the TV is a bit ropey with only US channels. On the upside, you get a balcony, an ironing board, an iron and a safe. The immediate  area around the hotel is a bit dead - it is more lively a mile or two up the coast at Hermosa beach.  The Crowne Plaza, Redondo Beach, is also disturbingly close to a major industrial plant. Still, the hotel is pretty good value, if you avoid the extras. 6/10