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“Not all good, not all bad” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Atrium Hotel at Orange County Airport

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Atrium Hotel at Orange County Airport
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   18700 MacArthur Boulevard, Irvine, CA 92612   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #14 of 18 Hotels in Irvine
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
173 helpful votes 173 helpful votes
“Not all good, not all bad”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2008

I stayed here this past week (end of 3/08) as it was the 'recommended' hotel for a conference I was attending at UCI.

There are definitely pros AND cons. The pros first:
1. Location across from the airport couldn't be easier. And only a 7 min. drive to UC Irvine.
2. My room was very clean w/enough towels and other amenities.
3. Lobby and pool area are impressively clean and staff is very polite.
4. I was entitled (don't know how) to free breakfast buffet and free parking for the duration. The breakfast buffet offers hot entrees and the usual cereal and pastries. It's good and well stocked if not terribly exciting. Totally fine for me.
5. Despite the location, I never heard any airport noise in my room with the window closed. It does get 'stale' air that way though.

Unfortunately, there were some issues which got in the way:
1. They cannot seem to figure out their parking validation system. I was told to come in and get my ticket "stamped" and then when I put it through the machine, I wouldn't pay to exit. This worked about one of every 4 times. An unbelievable hassle to sit in a line of cars none of whom can get the darn arm to go up because the machine is broken.
2. They offer free shuttle service from the airport. I called and was told 20 minutes. Waited 35 and called again to be told 8 more minutes. Waited 10 more and was told he would absolutely be there in 5 minutes. I waited a total of ONE HOUR to be picked up. To be fair, another man waited only 10 minutes. There was no explanation and it's kind of funny because I could've walked to the hotel about 5x in that hour I waited, if only I'd known how close it was. Because I had arrived with the intention of depending on their shuttle to and from UCI, this experience caused me to decide to rent a car rather than wait an hour at UCI at 10pm at night alone.
3. Wireless and ethernet was free for me (again, don't know why) but it requires a password. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I had to call down and get another one.
4. I requested a wake up call for 7:45am and the phone never rang that morning.

All in all, not terrible, but with so many choices, I think I'd stay elsewhere next time.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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223 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    2.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (51)
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English first
Laveen, Arizona
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2008

I have read the reviews and I still chose to brave the atrium hotel. I had friends staying there for a convention so I chose to check out this hotel with such a rotten rep here on trip advisor. The first day I could not figure out what everyone was complaining about. Check in was easy and the staff were great. Their credit card machine was down, but the staff was very friendly. The customer service at this point was textbook as they explained the issue and how they would resolve it. The bed was comfortable; the room was clean and quiet. Sure there were a few things… There were only 2 towels and one washcloth, no sugar/creamer with the coffee and my patio chairs were missing. But all and all I liked the room. The pool area was beautiful. There was a wedding during our visit and the setup was amazing. Mini-Cabanas, comfortable chairs, and a very nice bar made the appeal of the pool very high.

Where my complaint comes in is the management, I dealt with several very wonderful front desk staff, very willing to help in any way (including calling 3 McDonalds locations to find one with a playplace.) The first issue we experienced was in regard to The Waterfall Restaurant inside the hotel. Despite being slow and overpriced most days they offered a complete menu. On Sunday of our visit they offered only 3 items on the entire menu due to a large group coming in. The lack of any kid friendly options meant that we had to leave the facility. The ability to “just hop in the car” was severely limited given the complex process of parking and validation. Most hotels have figured out a way to simplify parking for their guests, however the Atrium has not. This was just the beginning of thoughtless management decisions.

My biggest issue was at check out. We were informed that we were charged a long distance fee for a phone call made to the same area code as the hotel. The young woman at the desk thought it a mistake and called a manager. He informed us that the charge was valid and that was just the way it was. He gave some lame excuse about the “weird” long distance charges in Orange County and walked away. The number dialed was a 10 second call that I did not have to dial “1” to connect. These kind of random charges are infuriating and are the #1 reason I would never stay at this place again. We did pay $13 to watch the absolutely terrible Bee Movie, but I had not problem paying that bill because I chose to pay for that service. I expected to pay a fee to use the phone, just not a long distance fee. The Managers cavalier attitude over something so insignificant left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

The experience at the Atrium was not the worst, but it lacked any purposeful service. A change in Management and some adherence to general hotel customs could make this a hotel people would recommend.

  • Liked — Room was acceptable
  • Disliked — The managment
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2008

I stayed here on 3/3 - 3/4/08 for a seminar on site. I booked directly from their website, about 2 weeks in advance. It's very easy to find, and directly across from the airport.

When I pulled up in front the valets were very friendly and advised me of the 2 options, valet($14) or self parking($10). I chose self parking and he still offered to carry any luggage I might have.

Check in was fast and easy, the desk staff extremely friendly. The lobby is remodeled and looks really nice. I was given my keycard and a map of the motel layout with my room circled for me. The room also included a free breakfast buffet.

I was on the 3rd floor (3 is as high as it goes) overlooking the pool area. Getting to my room was a bit of a drag as there are two buildings that are connected by an outdoor walkway on floors 2 and 3, but only the far building has a elevator. So you go all the way to the end of the far building, take the elevator up to 3, then walk all the way back in the opposite direction, go through the double doors, walk over the outside area, back inside another set of double doors then onto your room. Want to guess where the vending and ice machine is on that floor? *grin* Yup, far building in the farthest corner.

The room was clean. Lots of light options. Temp control is a dinosaur and noisy when it comes on. It does not have a air or heat option. You just aim the lever at the temp you want and eventually it may or may not get there. The balcony is large with 2 chairs and a table. Was nice to sit outside and overlook the pool with its really nice lighting, palm trees, cabanas and music. It's almost soothing in the evening with the palm trees rustling softly and the pool glowing. The bathroom was very clean and the water pressure was decent.

I prefer the pillows they had, full size king pillows, medium firm. I hate mooshy, super soft pillows so was very happy with these. The bed is a bit hard, but ok for a couple nights. They also called me about 10 minutes after I got to the room to ask if the room was ok, was I happy with it. Then called again around 8pm to see if I needed anything, was I still happy with the room, and did I have any questions about the area. That was a nice touch.

The downsides: No room fridge. Not even an honor bar to stash a soda in. The coffee cups were chipped top and bottom. The sliding door lock was busted. Which was a bit scary as I was traveling alone. I let it slide as I was on the 3rd floor and was just one night. Had it been a lower floor or more nights I would have requested to be moved. The walls are thin. Very thin. And my non-smoking room had that stale smoke smell. Was really subtle and mainly obvious when I closed the slider for the night and the fresh air was no longer coming in.

I've no idea if the buffet was any good as my alarm (The room one) never went off and I woke up with just enough time to shower, check out and get to my seminar. I was not real pleased about that and even double checked it before leaving. Was all set correctly, it showed the alarm was on, and the am and pm's were right as well.

Check out is only at the front desk. Which is a real bummer. Am used to checking out either via the room TV or by just leaving the key in my room and being billed to the credit card. It was painless and quick though, so I forgive them somewhat. :P

The on site restaurant is beautiful but very $$$ and the menu is very upscale. A open face steak sandwich is $16. Room service is limited and even more $$. I suggest going to one of the numerous nearby places. Much, much cheaper and far more variety. Or drive the 6 miles (it's an easy and direct drive. Head south on MacArthur for about 2miles to Jamboree, make a right and Jamboree takes you right onto the Island) to Balboa Island, get a frozen banana, sit on the seawalls and watch the world sail by. Then walk along Marine (The main drag on the Island) and pick somewhere fun to eat. Or walk along the bayfront on the Island to the ferry and head over to the peninsula and eat at the end of the pier at Rubys, an awesome 50's style diner with great food and gorgeous ocean views! :)

All in all, it's "ok". It's clean, very friendly, close to a lot of things and $10 for self parking is pretty cheap. It averages $22 a day here in San Diego for the same thing. The pool area is beautiful as well. Nice and relaxing. I think it is a bit pricey for what it is, but then again you are right across from the airport and it's Orange County.

  • Liked — Friendliness of staff, location, easy to get in and out of.
  • Disliked — No room fridge, smoke smell in a non smoking room.
  • Stayed March 2008, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
us
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2008

After taking a client and kids from out of town to Disneyland for 14 hours we arrived exhausted to the hotel ready to drop. We were horrified to find that just outside our sliding door the hotel had changed the pool area into a hip-hop nightclub, complete with DJ yelling over a microphone and ridiculously loud rap music. The patrons were dancing, yelling, and screaming and the base was thumping so loud we could feel it in our chest while lying in bed. At 11:30 I went to the desk to ask when it would end and was informed that it would continue until 2:00 AM. We had to be up at 5:30 and we were told that we had been informed because there was a flyer left on the desk so we could have checked out. When I tried to return to my room after going to the lobby to complain the bouncer would not let me through the pool gate without paying a twenty dollar cover fee. I had to go to the manager to be allowed back to my room. Apparently this happens roughly twice a month, but they won't tell you when you call for reservations.

Also, when the party finally ended we found that many who were to drunk to drive moved the party to several rooms on our floor. Total nightmare!

  • Liked — proximity to airport
  • Disliked — everything else
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2008

Well, I read the reviews and thought even though I was concerned we would try it out anyway. A person on the reviews and a colleague both mentioned ants and luckily I did not have any. The lobby is very nice and renovated, as well as the pool area. the rooms is where my rating comes from. It is very shabby. To the point where am assuming it was clean but I am just not positive due to the shabbiness of the room. I am not one who must stay in 5 star hotels, but this could really use some updates. The bed wasnt super comfortabe but it did its job. The lighting was very dim throughout and hard to work in. My hard wired internet kept going up and down throughout my stay which made working hard. And the wireless wasnt connecting. When hard wired worked, it was slow. The shower had that pool of water in the tub to stand in (several inches) during your shower due to plumming problems and water shot from the bottom spout making it worse. The room was quite cold and it took over 4 hrs for them to come look at it and at that point i was in bed and just dealt with it. Overall I stayed and didnt move hotels but dont plan on going back.

  • Liked — the location and lobby renovations
  • Disliked — the rooms, internet, etc
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2008

Pros: Great location across the street from John Wayne Airport. Cool 2 person showers.
Cons: Old and smelly. Parking is annoying.
The Atrium is but outdated in its decor, but I found it clean and fairly comfortable. I had a non-smoking room, but it must have been a smoking room at some point because the static items, like drapes and furniture, reaked of old cigarette. I was a bit concerned as the lock on my patio door did not work. Fortunately, I was on the third floor, so I let it slide. The walls are indeed paper thin. I could hear the person in the next room taking a leak every morning they're that thin. And there was always the pleasant sound of the maids yelling down the hall at 6:30am. The hotel gym is closed, but they do offer you free passes to the local gym. Parking is $12/day, but it's a pay lot and you have to call the front desk to identify yourself every time you try and leave. I wasn't charged for Internet, but it says it's available for $9.99/day. Again, you have to call the front desk on a daily basis to get that day's password. The Waterfalls restaurant had great decor and they played this new-age music during breakfast. The buffet breakfast is great with lots of choice, but honestly, the service sucks. They have all this great food available, but it's missing the basics like coffee and cream, and ketchup. You have to request these items, and they tend to be slow in serving you. For the cost of a room, I feel the hotel is overpriced. I'd recommend staying at the Howard Johnson down the street for $54.99/night instead. There's a reason this is the lowest rated hotel in Irvine on TripAdvisor.

  • Liked — Nice clean showers.
  • Disliked — The smell.
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Bay Area, CA
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 19, 2007

On the plus side, this hotel has spent money and energy on the pool area and other common areas. The pool area with bar, cabanas, lots of palms, happy hours and terrific lighting is right out of the Las Vegas-Rat Pack era. I thought they did a great job with it. Also positive: every staff member I encountered was friendly and helpful.

However, everything in my room, where I actually spent several hours at a time, was at least 15 years old and needed a complete refurb, including the bathroom and surrounding hallways. The mattress was cheap and uncomfortable (ditto pillows) and the A/C situation is so antiquated it doesn't actually blow air- allegedly you turn the thermostat to your preferred temperature, make sure the slider to your balcony is closed, and you should reach the temperature you want within 30 minutes. Fiction in September, must be a damn LIE in July. I found an employee delivering fans and requested one too, which was cheerfully and hastily brought to me. For such modest conditions, they should not charge $10/day for parking and $9.95/day for internet access in addition to the room rate. And skip the fitness room until they do some improvements, find a local gym.

This is a convenient hotel for business travel, with Enterprise Rental Car in the lobby, and it's across the street from the airport with a free shuttle to and fro, as well as within 3 miles of the hotel by arrangement. South Coast Plaza is very close. Lastly, I like having an outdoor area (balcony or patio) with my hotel room, and this hotel provides that- at least 15' x 5' of balcony. Most other hotels in this area appear to be glass-enclosed towers except the Hilton next door.

If you need luxury, look elsewhere until they completely refurbish the interiors, including the hallways. This is a Holiday-Inn quality room in a fun, funky nouveau-retro setting.

  • Liked — Pool atmosphere; Staff
  • Disliked — Paying extra for parking/internet on top of high room fee for low-rent room
  • Stayed September 2007, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Additional Information about Atrium Hotel at Orange County Airport

Address: 18700 MacArthur Boulevard, Irvine, CA 92612
Location: United States > California > Orange County > Irvine
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #14 of 18 Hotels in Irvine
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Atrium Hotel at Orange County Airport 3*
Number of rooms: 195
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Resort style. Tropical Atrium lobby area. Lots of gardens and flowers. Low rise hotel centers around a tropical garden courtyard and pool area. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atrium Hotel Irvine
Atrium Hotel At Orange County Airport Irvine, CA

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