The One about The Varden – A Boutique Hotel in Long Beach, California


For those looking to stay near Downtown Long Beach, definitely check out The Varden.

Restored in 2014 by co-owners Larry Black and Charles Knowlton, many people passing by will notice the name “Dolly Varden” on top of the building.

From what I have read, Dolly Varden was “an eccentric circus performer” and a wealthy admirer supposedly build the building for her.  Dolly Varden lived on the top floor of the hotel in a number of the rooms.

But the name of Dolly Varden can be found elsewhere, as detailed by the

The first thing you will notice when parking outside of the building is the beautiful artwork on the walls.

Once getting inside the secure hotel (you need a card to get in or have the concierge allow you to get in), you start to realize that the hotel actually looks quite modern.

I have to say that the customer service at the Varden Hotel gets a thumbs up.

One, for providing us water late at night as we were famished, second, providing my brother with an inflatable bed and providing us with extra towels.  Customer service for the night and day were excellent.

Free Wi-Fi was provided, access to television is available, as a remote for the TV and AC/Heater is also available.   But for those who were wondering, there is no ice box or mini-refrigerator available in our room (not sure about other rooms).

The bed was absolutely comfortable and I like the touch of having the shower incorporated with the bathroom.  It’s important to note that because of this, the floor can get wet, so have an extra towel or bring a pair of slippers.

You do get a continental breakfast with pastries or yogurt, coffee, milk and orange juice starting at 6:30 a.m.


Was there anything I didn’t like about the hotel?

Well, I wish there were better views outside of our hotel room window, but that can’t be helped.

There is a Long Beach Metro Rail Station right outside the hotel, so if you can sleep through loud noises, perfect.  If you are like me and can’t, then you’ll need to bring ear plugs as the train can get loud.  Also, walls are a little thin, so when someone is taking a shower, you can hear it through the wall.  Once again, it is subjective to the person if you can sleep through noises or not.

While I would have liked extra pillows (I didn’t request one), it would have been nice to have a standard of four pillows or two and a body pillow.  But that is just me being a bit picky.

But if there is one major plus about the Varden Hotel that makes it attractive to visitors, is its close proximity to the downtown restaurants and bars.

It’s located where the nightlife of Long Beach takes place, so its location is no doubt attractive for travelers wanting to be near the action.

Prices for the hotel are very good (please note that there is a parking fee of $12, so definitely be prepared for that), the rooms were small but very clean (Note: I have no complaints of room size as I’ve had smaller in Tokyo), the customers service is fantastic!  And I love the modern look inside this classic building.

While I do have a few nitpicky things to say about The Varden hotel, for the most part, I enjoyed my stay and have no problems recommending The Varden Hotel!