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“Good value for us” 4 of 5 stars
Review of San Joaquin Suite Hotel

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San Joaquin Suite Hotel
2.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1309 West Shaw, Fresno, CA 93711   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #24 of 65 Hotels in Fresno
Level Contributor
41 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“Good value for us”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2009

We were conducting a class in Clovis, CA, and looking for inexpensive lodging for 4 members of our non-profit. We were a bit confused with what to expect given the non-renovated and renovated reviews. We just decided to check it out, and if the showers were too disgusting, ask for an upgraded room. My companion and I needed a 2 br, and went with one of the unrenovated 2br suites for $ 129. The suite seemed to be an old 2 br apartment. I'd have to estimate about 900 sq ft. 2 of our people commented the kitchen was bigger than their home kitchen. Dining area and "breakfast nook". Both bedrooms had windows the length of the wall, There was a balcony. Yes the TVs were interestingly old (1 in everyroom hooked to good cable), and the shower's floor was scuffed, the funiture old and tired But everything in our suite worked, and everything was clean, and the airconditioning was updated The beds seemed to have some plastic covering on the mattress, and were not particularly comfortable. There weren't many of the things you expect in a hotel, no little notebook describing what they offered, things like that. We had to ask for more soap and towels (they had yummy lotion!) and an ice bucket. We had enough outlets for 3 people to work at the dining table on our computers. Wi-fi was available at no charge.
We were on the street side, and our balcony faced a quiet neighborhood street. A double border of orange trees sent orange blossom fragrance wafting up to us as we smoked on the balcony.
Our companions were a couple and after maintenance came (prompty) to their 1 br suite to resolve an water issue, they decided to ask for an upgrade. For $10 more they got a flat screen with mini bar in a living room that had just room enough for a loveseat and armchair and coffee table, and a king sized bed in a separate bedroom. It was quite nicely furnished and decorated, with a "wow" factor, especially after having been in the other rooms.
The pool/courtyard area was lovely. There were outdoor sculptures in various media scatttered around , with plaques listing the title, the artist and the price. There was a cabana area and another outdoor living room away from the pool. Many citrus trees in fruit and bloom, roses with huge blooms and various tropicals. Breakfast was supplied daily starting at 7 with the ususal continental offerings, and the room was all windows and adjacent to the courtyard. The birdwatchers among us enjoyed the antics of several mourning doves that made the courtyard home. There was a small fitness room with a flatscreen and 4 different fitness machines.
The staff was friendly and helpful with everything we asked. I really liked the place, but part of that was probably knowing what to expect in an unrenovated suite from TripAdvisor. We could not have done any better for our needs.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Thank Opossums5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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94 reviews from our community

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Fresno, CA
Level Contributor
16 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2009

My family and I had some water damage in our house so we had to stay in a local hotel while repairs were being done. My son (10 years old) and I had stayed two nights at a nearby hotel and were not happy. So before booking at the San Joaquin Suites, I stopped by for a tour. The lobby gives a great first impression -- beautiful floors, lighting, furniture, and cabinetry. There's even a beverage station in the lobby (where we filled up every morning before heading out the door). A nice employee, named Midori, kindly gave me a tour of a couple of the remodeled suites (after reading reviews on here I didn't even want to look at the older rooms). We looked at a one bedroom suite and a two bedroom suite. I thought both suites were a bit pricey (about $200+/night), compared to other hotels in Fresno, but for some people this may not be too much. We weren't too concerned since our insurance company was covering the cost. I'm not sure that I would pay this much on my own, unless I was staying for an extended period of time and really wanted the comforts of home in the suite.

I booked the one bedroom suite (Room 138) since there were only two of us. These were former apartments, so they are very spacious. The room decor is very contemporary, with clean lines in the furniture and fixtures. The floors look like wood, but I think they may be laminate or even vinyl--either way, they look really nice. From the moment I walked into the suite, I felt like I was at a boutique hotel in San Francisco or New York City -- not Fresno. You first walk into a dining room area with a nice, big table to the left and book shelf along the wall. To the right is a modern kitchen with granite countertops, stainless appliances (flat-top range, full size refrigerator, dishwasher), fully stocked with dishes and utensils. Then there is a living room with a sofa bed a couple of chaise-style lounge chairs, coffee table, dresser, a chair, desk with chair, and a flat screen TV. There is a sliding door that leads to a small patio and garden area. Living in Fresno, I know the street behind the hotel, where our patio faced, is not a very safe area, so we kept the door shut and locked at all times since there is just a small waist high fence between the patio and the back street. Down the hall is the bedroom with a king size pillowtop bed (great down comforter and linens), dresser, another flat screen TV, and a nice sized closet, and a window looking out to the back patio. There is another small hall closet for more storage. The bathroom is small, with a shower (no tub), very clean with tile floors (or maybe I was fooled again and it was really vinyl flooring).

I think at night, there may only be one employee on duty (for the entire hotel) because a couple of times I called the front desk, once for extra sheets (for the sofa couch) and another time for an iron & ironing board, and the person at the front desk asked me to go up and get the sheets because she was the only employee there and then offered to have the iron sent in the morning since she was alone and couldn't bring it--luckily I didn't need it until morning. I would suggest if you know you will need something from housekeeping to ask for it in the morning when there are more people around to help.

The continental breakfast was good. There were muffins, bagels, croissants, variety of cereal, fruit, orange juice, coffee, tea, hot chocolate. They have a microwave and toaster in there, too. It was nice to have a TV with the morning news on--felt like home.

The grounds are beautiful. There is a lot of artwork, small fountains, sculptures all around the property. The gal giving me the tour said it's because the owner likes art. We didn't use the pool, but it looked clean and the furniture around it was all very modern with bright, fun colors. Things seemed so serene and quiet (at least towards the back of the property since it was away from the main street).

This area is close to a shopping center (Fig Garden Village) where there are several good restaurants and high-end shops. At check-in the gal at the front desk offered to tell us more about restaurants/dining, but we didn't need to know about it since we're from the area. It was nice that she offered though.

Overall, I would highly recommend this place for those who are looking for something newer, stylish, and unique.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Thank ThreeOfUs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange County
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2009

I was so pleased to see that the renovation has made this hotel unlike anything other in the Valley! Beautiful one a kind designer suites, I stayed in the Old Hollywood Suite, amazing!!! Flat screen, custom king beds and unique decor are just a few of the perks!!! Rates are on the high side but they are always accommodating and running monthly specials and really well worth the money!!!! Complimentary continental breakfast in, what they call, the conservatory is beyond gorgeous!! Perfect party space makes you feel like you are somewhere other then on Shaw Avenue! I booked one of their "standard rooms" for my mom, she was very budget oriented. For $69.00 it can't be beat! Definitely dated but CLEAN and location and exterior amenities, could not find a hotel for this price in this area! I will always stay here. Was skeptical at first because of the mixed reviews, but came to find out that the negative ones seemed so over the top that I gave it a try and boy am I glad I did!!!! Thanks San Joaquin for the service and keep up the good work with the renovations AMAZING!!

Thank ljhOrangeCounty
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
park forest,il
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2009

I am not sure that my previous review went through so I am writing again. The San Joaquin Hotel room charge policy is totally unfair. I booked 1 room thru Expedia and upon arriving and viewing the room which was sub-standard (even the emloyee who showed the room said she was embarrassed to show it) I asked about an upgrade and was told it would be $60.00 a day. I thought that to be high, but took it. I had booked another room for another family member--at the upgrade price.
This family member stayed a total of 13 days. We stayed 5 days. In view of our length of stay (bedding not changed) I asked about a discount and was assured that one would be given. They only gave a discout for 3 days. The total bill was #2776.00. They are now refusing to issue a overcharge credit of #359.00 saying it was a miscommunication. I don't feel that I should be the one to pay for their miscommunication. They say it is not their policy to issue credit for past stayed days--I have never heard of such a thing. They then said they will give a credit for our next stay--what is the difference between a credit now or later unless they are assuming that we will not be back and they will not have to honor the credit.
The breakfast was ordinary--same fruit, same muffins, etc. every morning. No morning paper.
They need to learn some business skills.

Stayed December 2008
2 Thank tomahawk462
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, CA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2008

I stayed here with my sister last weekend while visiting family. I have to agree with the last reviewer that Fresno is getting a little crazy with hotel prices. I shelled out $100 for the unremodeled room, however my shower was not "gross" and my TV worked the whole time. My main interest was that we had a bedroom door that shut as my sis was traveling with her baby and we wanted some big-girl time after the baby went to bed.

Anyway, I searched every hotel in Fresno for a true suite...it seems that "suites" in most chain hotels constitute a couch in a seperate area of the room, but not a seperate bedroom. The San Joaquin was the only hotel I found in Fresno that had the seperate bedroom, other than the Marriot Residence, which was over $200.

Our room had two 1980's TV's (however, they were strangely equipped with Comcast digital cable and lots of channels), one in the bedroom and one in the living room. There was also a microwave and a dorm fridge, which really came in handy with the baby. The furniture was old but clean, and the carpet was really old motel carpet. The bathroom reminded me of my Grandparent's house. There was a seperate stand-up shower, with old fixtures and decent water pressure. There was a nice, big bath tub seperate from the shower. The bathroom was kind of dark and lit by icky florescent lights, but there were nice products and decent towels. The bed was hard, the sheets were average. The bedspread and curtains I swear were stolen from my grandmother's house in 1984, along with the TVs and the clock radio. I actually slept on a rollaway (brought promptly upon request) that was truly the worst bed I have ever slept on. I know it's a rollaway, but this thing had to be from the 1960's. I sank in from both sides and both ends! I was actually shocked that they had the nerve to bring this bed up to the un-updated rooms, let alone the $180 (in Fresno) rooms. Or did the remodeled rooms get remodeled rollaway beds too? I hope so. Seriously, I am sure that the beds at San Quentin Prison are better than that rollaway. I understand that a rollaway is a courtesy, but they should be embarassed to provide that bed to any paying guest. I suggest that the throwing of those beds off the nearest bridge be the hotel's next remodel project.

Despite the aged-ness, I will stay at the San Joaquin again, and depending on my budget, I might even stay in the old rooms --they aren't horrible, they are just really, really outdated. There were quite a few plusses about the San Joaquin-- I loved the little sculpture garden, the pool and the hot tub. The lobby was lovely with its shiny marble floors and the free coffee, tea, and cookies. Having a seperate room in our "suite" was fantastic. Whole Foods Market and Fresno's fanciest mall are blocks away (the hotel is located in the Fig Garden district, the "Old Money" section of Fresno). The front- desk girls were friendly and efficient. Honestly the 1980's room was fine for the money, but next time I'll probably go for the upgrade.

  • Liked — Seperate bedroom, kitchenette, pool, decor of common areas, location
  • Disliked — Horrible rollaway bed, extremely outdated (however cheaper) unremodeled rooms
  • Stayed November 2008, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank hotelloverz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Temecula, CA
Level Contributor
19 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2008

This is a story of two hotels, on the same property.

I booked my room through Expedia for $53.00. I travel 100+ days a year and have not stayed in a $53 room in years. I stay almost exclusively in Hampton Inns or Fairfield Inns if the Hampton's are booked. Fresno is nuts. The Hampton was sold out and the only Marriott property that was available was $195! This is Fresno, not Newport Beach.

So, I looked around. I found this hotel, read the reviews, and took a chance. I hoped that I would be able to get a remodeled room. Upon check in, I asked for a remodeled room. They said sure, but it'll be an additional $50 over my Expedia price. I was feeling adventurous, so I declined. Plus, I wanted to see the look on my boss's face when I showed him a $53 hotel room bill. The hotel's website lists the rooms at $180, so $103 would have been a fair price, especially factoring the rate for a similar Marriott property.

First off, the hotel grounds, and lobby are very nice. They are trying to be a boutique hotel and based on the grounds and lobby, I would say they are succeeding.

Then I got to my room. I will concede that it is a very large suite. You have a "living room" in the front and a large bathroom with a shower and tub and a decent room in the back.

The only problem is that the room was stuck in 1983. The carpet was stained and ragged. The shower was nasty (see picture) and the TV was a joke. My computer screen at home is larger than the TV. But, I didn't upgrade so I sucked it up and went on. The room stunk so I opened all the windows and hoped it would air out after returning from dinner with my rep. I didn't. My rep and I went down to the pool area and used the free WiFi and had a cigar. There is a nice seating area behind the pool with large sofas and we enjoyed the comfort.

I noticed the remodeled rooms on my way back to my room and they looked very nice. I was wishing ponied up the $50 a night.

They serve a "breakfast" in the conservatory near the pool. Very nice glassed in area with a very mediocre breakfast. Nothing hot and it only offered mini muffins, oatmeal packets, three kinds of cereal, bagels and coffee. If I had paid $180 I would have been very disappointed since you get a decent hot breakfast at any Hampton for way less than $180 a night.

That night I got back to the room and the TV in the bedroom would not work. I also noticed that the two glasses I left on the "bar" were still there and had not been touched by the staff. They still had cookie crumbs in them so I know they were not fresh. I also noticed the empty coffee cup on the coffee table was still there from that morning. I also noticed ants in the bathroom.

After trying to fix the TV problem on my own, I called the desk. The very nice girl had no fixes so she called her manager at home. He had no fixes and offered to change me to a remodeled room. But, after I hung up with her and walked back into my room the TV was back on. I debated about moving, but being honest I stayed in my hovel. The TV would go in and out over the next two days.

The next night the dirty glasses where still there and now TWO paper cups were sitting on the coffee table. How did they miss them for TWO days?

So, draw your own conclusions. The grounds are beautiful, the new rooms look great and the staff was generally very good. Housekeeping needs some serious work and the non-updated rooms are stinky, dirty and dated.

Are the updated rooms worth $103-180.00? Maybe, if you compare this property to what is available. For me, if I'm going to shell out that kind of coin, I want points and perks. If you are a budget traveler who wants to stay in a nice property with a below average room, then go for it. Just make sure you remind the staff to clean the room.

  • Stayed October 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Thank GMStiles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2008

I got one of those deals thru expedia that seems too good to be true... less than $50 per night plus 4th night free plus $75 gas card. Who can resist? Stayed 4 nights while visiting my parents. And sure, I didn't get one of the newly remodeled rooms, but who cares? It was large, it was squeeky clean, the bed was comfortable, and the people there are so nice. Made me feel like I was their most important customer. I will never stay anyplace else in Fresno again. Even without a special sale price!

  • Liked — Cleanliness of rooms.
  • Disliked — Can't think of a thing.
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Thank cathiann
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about San Joaquin Suite Hotel

Address: 1309 West Shaw, Fresno, CA 93711
Location: United States > California > Fresno
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Best Value Hotel in Fresno
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Hotel Class:2 star — San Joaquin Suite Hotel 2*
Number of rooms: 69
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Also Known As:
San Joaquin Hotel Fresno
San Joaquin Suite Fresno
Hotel San Joaquin Suite

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