Sometimes, you just need a place to sleep. My dad was very ill in a memory care center near South Coast Plaza and I wanted to spend the night up there so my daughter could spend both Saturday and Sunday with him. The Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa fit the bill, especially since my Silver Hilton HHonors status entitles us to a few perks.
Plus, the weekend rate (I think it’s primarily a business hotel) was near $100 per night. I wasn’t in any shape to enjoy a luxury hotel stay though there aren’t any within 5 minutes of the mall—which was the distance I was trying to maintain, in case of emergency.
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Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa Location
Contrary to the reviews and what the website says, though Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa is close to South Coast Plaza, it’s not walkable with shopping bags.
This Orange County hotel is on the opposite side of the 405 freeway. Truth be told, if you’re coming to walk and shop, you’re better off staying at the Westin which is right across the street from the mall. If you have a car, it doesn’t matter. The Hilton is fine and just a few minutes away from John Wayne Airport (SNA).
So, There Were a Few Hiccups
After a long, emotional day, we arrived at the hotel after dinner. Two large weddings at the hotel made self-parking tough.
The hotel is rather large and my daughter insisted on bringing a ton of c-r-a-p. Club level was closed due to renovations so we were offered buffet breakfast at the Bristol Palms California Bistro, which proved to be a huge value.
As we rode the cool glass elevator overlooking the lobby up to the newly-renovated room (the elevators were almost as cool as the ones at The Regent, Singapore), all I wanted was a glass of wine. I had a bottle of wine with me and hadn’t stayed in a hotel room without a wine opener and glassware (among other amenities I’ve taken for granted, obviously) in some time.
Needless to say, there wasn’t a wine opener. But because we were a little bit hungry, I ordered a cheese pizza and a wine opener from in-room dining.
Now that I look at the photo above, I’m not sure why they gave us ketchup, too.
It took well over an hour for room service to arrive. When you have a hungry child and are told 30 minutes, that’s an eternity. In-room dining said that the hotel was extremely busy so I told them (after several phone calls) that’s fine but they should have managed our expectations accordingly.
When it did arrive, I thought the packaging in a small pizza box was cute though I was still peeved when I sent out the Instagram photo above.
The Room Was a Pleasant Surprise
For $100, I have never stayed in a room so nice. The beds were comfortable with crisp white linens and the WiFi worked well. In-room coffee is always a hit with me, though the bathroom location was a bit odd. I would also say the size of the room was above average.
Noteworthy Breakfast Buffet
The next morning, we opened the blinds to notice that our favorite Japanese market, Mitsuwa, had a branch right next door that probably would have been open late enough to provide dinner, preventing the room service debacle.
Also, the multilevel pool looked neat.
But, we set off for the buffet, which was a very pleasant surprise as everything from gluten-free hot breakfast cereal to eggs to pastries was on offer. My daughter ate four plates of food while I sat in my haze. For those in a hurry, a Starbucks is in the lobby.
We checked out after breakfast and went to see my dad, who was far too ill to appreciate my 6-year-old’s company. He died four days later, but I’m really glad I brought her and that we spent the night at this hotel.
Would I Stay At Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa Again?
It depends on the price. Despite the hiccups, I believe the value we received relative to money paid was very high, in our case. Here are some other photos I shot with my phone during our stay.
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Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).
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