Another February, another TED conference in Long Beach, California, and this time we stayed at the Hotel Maya. I should mention that we paid our own way at the Hotel Maya — I’ll always let you know when something I’m reviewing has been paid for by someone else. Located across the water from the convention center, the hotel isn’t the best choice for TED attendees (there is public transportation — the Passport C bus stops right in front of the Hotel Maya, and it even allows pet dogs in carriers on board, but the route coming home from the convention center is a long and winding one).
It is, however, a fun place to stay. The hotel is right on the water, and the view of downtown Long Beach across the harbor (well, it looks like a harbor, but it’s actually the mouth of the Los Angeles River) is lovely. In the other direction, we had a view of the Queen Mary, and the ocean beyond, and that made me very happy indeed:
You’ve actually seen bits of our room before, in my post on setting up a hotel room for a traveling dog. Here it is from the doorway:
As you can see, it’s a mixed bag. It has the popcorn ceilings and imperfect construction of so many buildings of my youth, but the vivid green shutters and other room fixtures were great. There was a mini fridge, a Keurig coffee maker, and free wi-fi, all of which made a week-long stay workable. The bathroom wasn’t huge, but it was remodeled, clean and very pleasant. There were good toiletries, there were robes, there were soft towels, there was sufficient water pressure.
Outside the room, there were lawns and more lawns. There was a waterfront sidewalk leading all the way up to the Queen Mary and its surrounding structures in one direction, and under the Queens Way bridge and beyond in the other direction. Chloe was in heaven, and I was delighted to have such easy access to exercise for her.
In daylight, the Hotel Maya can look a bit shabby. At night, however, it’s magical. The public areas — the reception area, the restaurant, and the indoor and outdoor gathering places in the main building — are always attractive, but at night they’re lit beautifully, and torches and fire pits and a waterfall enhance their appeal. And at night the exterior walls of the guest room buildings are illuminated with spotlights that periodically change color — which sounds tacky, but totally isn’t. The restaurant (Mexican/South American) was perfectly respectable, as was room service.
The place has character, which for me is a good thing, and it was easy as pie to stay there with a dog. The pet policy was very generous: There are no weight limits on the pets you bring, and you can bring up to four pets. There is a $25 per night, per pet fee — but there’s a $50 cap. We’ll likely not return next year, because my husband would prefer a hotel close to the convention center, but if our travels take us back to Long Beach for some other reason than the TED conference, we’ll happily go back to the Hotel Maya. [3/15/12 Turns out the Hotel Maya was one of the TED hotels this year — meaning they run a shuttle to it — so we did return, and were just as happy, if not more so, because this time we had a bigger room on the first floor. This time, I brought a swim suit — and didn’t wear it once. Argh!]