We stayed at the Residence Inn Corona Riverside for 12 nights over the Christmas 2011 holidays (December 20 through January 1st). For a variety of reasons, I wish we had stayed someplace else for our extended California vacation. We booked a 2 bedroom suite for $149/night (which I will admit was a good value for a 2 bedroom suite with 2 bathrooms and a full kitchen). But you get what you pay for, or so I learned!
Issue #1 - It seems that handicapped travelers get the "lesser quality rooms"...completely unacceptable IMHO. We are Marriott Elite Gold, and put a request on our reservation for a room on the lowest floor possible due to our son's disability. He has Autism, and has a tendency to run back and forth, and I didn't want him to bother anyone below us if he did this. I did *not* request a handicapped room...we do not need an "accessible room". But this is how they apparently interpreted my request...we received a first floor handicapped accessible room. Okay, no problem. Well, no problem until I actually saw the accessible bathroom in the bedroom on the right hand side of the suite. It had what I assume is a roll-in shower (just a large open shower, no tub), but there was NO shower curtain of any kind, so there was no privacy in the shower, not to mention the water from the shower could easily soak the towels, the toilet, etc. VERY strange. I had never seen a bathroom like this. I was going to just "go with the flow", but after our first night, it became apparent the a/c in our suite was not working properly. Since I was already not thrilled with the bathroom, I asked to be moved to another room. All that was available was a second floor suite, so we took it.
When we took our belongings to our "new" suite, I could not believe the difference!!! The non-handicapped suite had a fireplace, 2 full bathrooms, and a kitchen that was actually a kitchen! The handicapped suite had a 2 burner stove top but no stove, and a cheap, small microwave sitting on the counter. The new suite we were given (non-handicapped) had a much larger kitchen with a built-in microwave, a full stove, and a fridge that actually had all of its shelves in place (the fridge in the handicapped room was missing shelves, including the glass shelf that goes above the pull out drawer). I was so happy we had decided to switch rooms. But at the same time, I was disgusted that hotel management thought it appropriate to give someone who NEEDS a handicapped accessible room such a "lesser room" (fridge with missing components, and a kitchen that was not a true full kitchen, and nowhere NEAR the setup that our new suite had...including the fireplace). I realize that accessible rooms sometimes have to be different to allow for extra space for wheelchairs, but this was not the case...the bedrooms and living room sizes were identical to those in our new suite, and the lack of actual stove and fireplace had NO bearing on it being a handicapped room that I could see.
Issue #2: Breakfast - well, if you like stale bagels and lukewarm yogurt, then this is the place for you. There was a hot breakfast offered each day (which consisted of what tasted like powdered eggs almost every day with greasy sausage...and none of it is hot enough). On our first morning there, we all went down to breakfast. They had pancakes in addition to the eggs that morning, so I put some of those on a plate for my son and cut them up for him. But they were cold....there is no microwave in the breakfast area, so I went to the door of the backstage kitchen area and saw an employee (the breakfast hostess) just standing there. I asked if she could heat those up for my son, and she actually SCOWLED at me as she took the pancakes. I headed back to the table to tell my DH what had happened, so he went over to get the pancakes. She was all smiles for my DH....apparently she prefers to deal with men guests but not women? That was confirmed to me when my 18 year old DD went to ask for something, and was met with a scowl as well. That was the ONE and only morning we ate breakfast in the breakfast area. For the remaining days, our DH went down and got breakfast items to bring back to the room. We rarely ate much of the breakfast offerings, except for the apples, oranges and bananas. The yogurt never felt cold enough (it was in a bowl of ice), and 75% of the time the bagels DH brought back to the room were stale and rock hard.
Issue #3: Front desk staff in the evenings were always pleasant, but the daytime staff didn't seem to know how to smile.
Issue #4: Housekeeping. Definitely not up to par. The corners of the bathroom floors in one of the bathrooms was VERY dirty (dirt...hair). I finally wiped it with a towel myself. The bathtub floors were never completely cleaned. But the most frustrating part of housekeeping is that they failed almost EVERY single day to leave enough washclothes and toiletries. Two washclothes for a family of four is NOT going to cut it. And yes, soap is generally needed when you shower. A guest shouldn't have to call down to the front desk for these things on a regular basis! And it was only the last two days of our stay that our housekeeper provided a dishcloth and dishtowel for our kitchen. I just don't get it. That is their JOB. There is obviously no management follow-up on housekeeping to see that they are stocking (and cleaning) the rooms properly. Dirty bathrooms, and obvious signs that the carpet is not being vacuumed, or the mirrors in the bathroom being wiped with dirty rags. Gross.
The last issue is not an issue on the part of the hotel but it is a lesson I learned that may be valuable to others who are including Disneyland or other Southern California attractions in their vacation...don't book this hotel...it is TOO far east! While the map apps only show it to be a 30 minute drive (and there were 1-2 days were it did only take 30 minutes to get from our hotel to the Mickey parking structure near Disneyland when we left VERY early in the morning), for the most part, the traffic on 91 (Riverside Freeway) was a nightmare no matter WHAT time of day we went out or came back. We've vacationed in California once or twice a year for 10 years, and I know traffic is an issue, but to see bumper to bumper traffic on 91 at 9 p.m. at night on Christmas Eve...shocker. Never again.
Avoid the handicapped accessible rooms!
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thank you for your business and your invaluable feedback regarding your stay here at our property. I also want to thank you for being an elite member with Marriott. I want you to know that we will address all issues and concerns regarding your stay with us. I do apologize for any confusion/miscommunication that you may have encountered regarding your initial reservation. Our accessible rooms are designed to accommodate guests in accordance with California laws/standards. I am following up with engineering referring to any issues with the in room air conditioning unit. In regards to your breakfast experience we prepare all food fresh daily. However, based on your experience I will personally follow up to assure breakfast is presented in the same consistent way that you have come to know with Marriott hotels. Our staff is trained to provide friendly and outstanding service. I am disappointed to hear your experience with members of our staff was less than excellent, we will be providing additional training based on your feedback.
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Our housekeeping staff is also trained to prepare each room to meet the highest standards and surpass our guest expectations. After each room is cleaned, we have our supervisors inspect the room for any area that may have been missed and have those items addressed before any guests are checked in. We are always looking for ways to improve in areas that we may fall short on. Because of your feedback, we will be taking actions to continue to refresh and train our staff to meet and exceed the Marriott's standards.
I do understand the traffic can be frustrating and apologize for any inconvenience that you may have experienced. On a positive note, our location provides complimentary parking and is walking distance to several restaurants without some of the lengthy waits found at direct Disney area locations. Please do feel free to contact myself or any member of management if your travels should again bring you this way. We would like another chance to provide you with the exceptional service that you are accustomed to.
Please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.