The West Inn and Suites in Carlsbad, California is a great choice for families. We stayed at the highly rated West Inn during a recent trip to the San Diego area, and I found that the comfort and service were indeed superior to comparable hotels we have visited on other trips. I especially appreciated the many complimentary amenities and thoughtful details that we enjoyed throughout our stay.
Here is why we would return to West Inn on our next visit to Carlsbad:
1. King-size beds
Every room at the West Inn has king-size beds – a rare treat in a family-sized hotel room. We stayed in a Double King Suite, which had two king-size beds, plus a separate sitting area with a second television and pull-out couch. A family of six would comfortably fit in this suite. Complimentary cribs are also available for families with young children.
Our room had a refrigerator, microwave and small sink. The decor was fresh and stylish, with interesting touches such as a sea shell on a ribbon printed with “Do Not Disturb” instead of the usual plastic door hanger. The common areas of the hotel were even decorated for Halloween.
2. Heated Pool
My kids cannot get enough pool time when we travel. So, we carved out a couple of hours after breakfast one morning for them to enjoy the pool at the West Inn. I expected that the outdoor pool would be chilly on a fall morning, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the pool temperature was perfect.
We enjoyed citrus water, magazines and pool toys that were set out near the pool towels. The West Inn provides also complimentary swim diapers at the pool for guests with young children.
3. Family-friendly amenities
The West Inn offers lots of fun amenities for families. Cookies and milk are provided in the lobby each evening. Guests are welcome to borrow movies and board games from the front desk and enjoy them in the hotel’s family room or in their own rooms.
4. Complimentary breakfast
A complimentary hot breakfast buffet is offered every morning at the West Inn and Suites. Choose from eggs, sausage or bacon, hot and cold cereals, yogurt, breads, pastries, and all of the usual breakfast beverages. There are small tables in the buffet room, family-size tables with benches in the adjacent family room, or outdoor patio tables, which were our favorites.
Guests on the go can also grab coffee, juice and muffins from a station near the front desk.
5. On-site Restaurants
The West Inn has two on-site restaurants, West Steak and Seafood and Bistro West. We dined at Bistro West one night and had a good experience with our children there. It’s a little swankier than the places we usually dare take them, but the atmosphere is casual – imagine an upscale sports grill – and they liked the kids’ menu, which includes cheeseburger sliders, pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches. I liked that everything at Bistro West is made from scratch with high-quality, farm-fresh ingredients.
Carlsbad has many other good restaurants, including local favorites and familiar chains, which be found within a mile or two of the hotel. Check with the front desk or family concierge for directions or a recommendation.
The West Inn is conveniently located within minutes of Carlsbad’s most popular destinations, including LEGOLAND California Resort, the beaches and Carlsbad Premium Outlets. It has easy access to Interstate 5. If the San Diego Zoo Safari Park is on your agenda, it is located just 20 minutes away in Escondido.
Some visitors may not find the location of the West Inn ideal. While it is located just four blocks from the ocean, guests will have to walk or drive farther down Carlsbad Boulevard to find easy beach access. A steep hill with rough terrain separates hotels from the beach throughout Carlsbad.
Also, while the West Inn’s property is very attractive, the area immediately surrounding it is not as impressive. The West Inn is situated between I-5 and a set of railroad tracks, though we were never bothered by noise from either. There are no off-site restaurants or other attractions adjacent to the hotel.
7. Complimentary Shuttle
The West Inn’s complimentary shuttle is available to transport guests anywhere within five miles of the hotel any time. The shuttle can save you the $15 parking fee at LEGOLAND and help you avoid potential parking hassles when you visit the beach.
When I scheduled our beach shuttle with the front desk, I was offered the use of beach towels, chairs, umbrellas, boogie boards and sand toys at no charge. The West Inn will load all of these in the shuttle for you before departure.
Unless an ocean view is your top priority, I recommend the West Inn and Suites without hesitation. Its comfortable rooms, exceptional service and its complimentary family-friendly amenities make it an excellent place to rest and recharge on your next Southern California vacation.
Good to Know
Where: 4970 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad
When: Year-round, summer is high season.
How Much: Room rates start at $159 – $219, depending on season
How Long: One or more nights
Amenities: In addition to those already listed, coin-op guest laundry, specialty concierge services, free parking, wireless internet. The West Inn and Suites is pet-friendly, for an additional charge. It even has its own dog park and a Canine Cuisine room service menu.
Disclosure: Our room at the West Inn and Suites and our meal at Bistro West were provided free of charge so that we could review them for other families. The opinions expressed here are my own.