We came to stay in Merced after reaching California a day early on our US trip. We tried to book into our San Francisco hotel a day early, but they were fully booked, so we stopped here with a view to driving to Yosemite for a day the next day.
The staff were polite and friendly and booking in was not a problem. I guess Holiday Inn would be classed as a budget hotel and it shows in the accommodation. The bedroom was tidy, but in serious need of updating. The AC unit underneath the window was very noisy and could not be set from the controls on the machine, but from a room control, which seemed to make no difference to the noise, no matter what temperature you set it to.
There's no WiFi in this hotel as far as we could tell, though there is an internet enabled PC in the lobby, depending on how busy it is in the hotel, you may have a wait to use it.
The bundled breakfast compounded the budget status of the hotel. Plates and cutlery were plastic, with a selection of 3 cereals, waffles or boiled eggs. The saving factor was the toaster.
We didn't use the hotel pool as it was being used by some men who were staying at the hotel from some construction project they were working on. Obviously there's nothing wrong with this, but my wife felt intimidated by the general brash noisiness and tomfoolery going on, fueled by alcohol.
The front of the hotel looks quite modern, for a basic budget chain, but once inside you see the 'condominium' style which is seriously outdated, with open corridors and coarse exterior paint splashed everywhere.
We need somewhere to stay at short notice, as did the chaps working nearby and as such what should people expect for their money? I just know that Travelodge in the UK keep their hotel rooms to a modern clean standard and they do not cost more than this place did.
A small note about Merced. It's a small town, which seems friendly enough. We went to a bar just over the road from the cinema and eventually took in a film. I doubt you would stay here as part of your holiday, even if you were planning to spend a few days in Yosemite, as there are nicer hotel within the parks limits.
Room Tip: Room on front, as the back faces a freeway.
Ask for the front and rear faces a freeway
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.