by Amanda Geronikos
For affordable accommodations near LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, book a stay at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites. The hotel offers comfortable rooms and suites in three variations, two of which sleep four or five guests and all of which provide free Wi-Fi access, mini refrigerators, microwaves and coffeemakers. Other family-friendly perks include complimentary breakfast, complete with make-your-own waffles, and an outdoor swimming pool.
The hotel’s only downfall is its location on the highway — the sound of traffic is very loud in some of the rooms, particularly those that face the freeway. To avoid this (mostly), inquire when reserving a room.
Our Editor Loves
- Reasonable rates
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Complimentary breakfast
The hotel has been renovated and the rooms and bathrooms have been updated. The beds are comfy and the bathroom spacious and very clean. The refrigerator and microwave were a nice plus. Our room was close to the road but we heard very little road noise. The internet is fast. The continental breakfast is basic, juice, coffee, toast, packaged sweet rolls, cereal and fruit. We would definitely stay there again if we go back to Fallbrook.
I stayed at this hotel for several days in Carlsbad, and overall, I highly recommend it above any other hotel at this price point in the Carlsbad Village area. There are some small gripes, but besides that it is what is expected. This is a big deal because my previous experiences staying at other hotels at the same price point have never really been what I paid for; Things broken, not useable or in a good state of repair, unclean etc. As a result, I was unsure what to expect this time, but was pleasantly surprised. This hotel was a relief, and a breath of fresh air, (literally, more on that later).
The giant bright red Econolodge sign is practically impossible to miss and can be seen easily from the freeway. The hotel complex is in a courtyard style, with ample parking in the center, and completely surrounded by palm trees, which was a nice touch. All the landscaping is neatly manicured. The entire premises and parking lot are clean. I observed that the management are on top of making sure it stays presentable; they sweep and pick up any trash that appears during the day.
The lobby itself is in a separate building from the rooms in the front center of the parking lot as you drive in. It was clean with coffee available and a computer and printer for guests to use. I entered to check-in after a gruelling day of travelling, and was greeted by a friendly front desk manager who was courteous and timely at getting me to my room.
When I got to my room and opened the door, I was pleasantly surprised to see how good condition the room was in, and the clean, fresh smell emanating from within was inviting. This hotel has faux hardwood floors, which is comforting knowing that they’re clean, unlike carpet that often gets moldy and infested in budget hotels. You can feel at ease kicking your shoes off after a long day and walking barefoot.
As I turned on the lights, I discovered that there are no individual lamps like normally on the desk or bedside table, but instead only recessed LED lighting. Each light in the ceiling in each area of the room has its own switch. As a result, you don’t have to worry about finding broken or malfunctioning light fixtures as is unfortunately typical in most hotels at this price point.
The furniture in the room was simple, modern and elegant. It was in good shape, with no scratches or marks or broken and missing hardware. There are also really nice appliances in the room, with a clean and relatively new looking microwave, nice mini fridge, and a really nice Samsung flat panel TV. The TV had a unique anti-bacterial/germicidal remote, great for keeping any bacteria or viruses from spreading via an object constantly touched by different people. I was also happy to see that the blinds were clean and worked properly, so you can close them all the way to block out light at night. The Wi-Fi also works well with decent speeds.
The bathroom was also clean, with the shower and toilet in a good state of repair, and clean tile floors and corners. The only complaint I have regarding the bathroom is that while the hotel puts out shampoo on the sink counter, there was no conditioner. This was surprising since other Choice hotels in the area in the same price range do give out conditioner with shampoo in the rooms.
The king sized bed looked inviting, with clean linens and pillows. The coil spring mattress is on the firm side, but I didn’t have any issues sleeping on my side, back, or stomach. They give you four, thick and incredibly soft pillows. Your head really sinks into them.
Unfortunately the good bedding cannot make up for the single biggest complaint I have about this hotel; road noise. The hotel is situated literally across the street from the 5 freeway; At night the constant rumble of cars and trucks flying down a multi-lane highway at highway speed is very loud and permeates through the windows and door. It was something I couldn’t tune out. I ultimately ended up using a set of earplugs and fell asleep soundly once my ears were blocked. I recommend you ask for a room near the back of the complex which is further away from the freeway, and bring a set of sleeping ear plugs.
Regarding breakfast, the breakfast area is very small, being a hotel room (room 120) that was converted into a kitchen. There is very limited seating, however it never seemed to be busy at all, so I had no trouble getting a table every morning.
The complementary breakfast is one area the hotel definitely needs to improve. The only real options are stale cereal, toast, and do it yourself waffles with waffle makers. The only protein available is hard boiled eggs, which don’t entirely seem trustworthy the way they sit in a cooler. Other Choice hotels in the area have all of this, plus omelettes and breakfast meat, a bit more variety of bread, nicer muffins, and provide yogurt. Bananas in addition to apples and oranges would be nice too.
Despite these issues, this hotel delivers solidly in the areas that matter; great service from the front desk staff, and clean habitable rooms. It is also in a relatively safe area, and there is a supermarket and churches within 5 minutes walking distance. The town center with shopping and restaurants are within 15 minutes walk, and in about 20 minutes walk you’ll be at the beach. Overall there is no other budget hotel in the Carlsbad Village area that will give you as good value for money. Just bring a good set of sleeping ear-plugs and you will be fine.