Avia Long Beach – Hotel Review

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Coincidentally while I was planning a trip to Southern California last week, I saw that the small boutique hotel chain Avia (4 hotels) was looking for travel writers to come stay at the hotel for free in exchange for writing a review. I accepted their gracious invitation even though Long Beach was a bit further south that I was planning on traveling. I am glad I did. Long Beach turned out to be a bit of a surprise to me. The hotel is right by Long Beach’s Aquarium and a quick stroll from its Shoreline Village area.

The Avia Long Beach is a new hotel. It opened in August of 2009. The hotel is decorated in a very modern and hip style. This is “not your father’s four-star hotel” the website proudly proclaims and it is obvious from the mood lighting in the hallways to the complementary wine tasting in the afternoon that the owners were in fact targeting a different clientele than my father.

If you were still in doubt of the brand image by the time you got to the room perhaps the sliding door on the bathroom with a porthole in it would clarify that point. Gone is the typical shower tub. It has been replaced with a glass-walled walk-in shower with both a “rain” shower and a hand shower.

The room itself is decorated in a clean urban style. The flat screen TV was no surprise as it seems required in a boutique hotel room and is starting to be more common in general these days.

The details I appreciated were the little thinks like a clock radio where I could dock my iPhone and power plugs easy to access right next to the bed. Power outlets are a pet peeve of mine. I am surprised the number of times I have to unplug a lamp or crawl behind furniture to plug in a laptop. And I am driven to distraction by hotels with free wi-fi but no power outlets near the bed so you have to sit at the desk to use your computer.

While some boutique hotels have gone “pet-friendly”, the Avia is going the other way with “pet-free” and “smoke-free”. I did wonder upon checking into a pet-friendly hotel how I felt about that as someone who was personally pet-free.

The hotel also has:

  • Self parking – $7 per night in the Pike Garage
  • Fitness room
  • Internet stations with complimentary printing
  • Complimentary wireless internet access throughout hotel
  • Complimentary USA Today newspaper, delivered Monday-Friday
  • Complimentary local newspaper available at breakfast Saturday and Sunday

The public spaces include the AVIA Café with a breakfast buffet, meeting rooms and an outdoor terrace.

I enjoyed the buffer breakfast (a breakfast menu is also available) in the AVIA Café, although to be fair, my father would enjoy that also.

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

One Response to “Avia Long Beach – Hotel Review”

chris2x

Says:

At least one person was not clear from my original post that I was given a free night. I was thinking I had made that clear, but just in case I added the phrase “for free in exchange for writing a review”. Sorry if I caused any confusion.

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