I am a former frequent business traveler, and have stayed in many hotels all across the United States and the world. I can confidently say that this visit ranks as one of the worst hotel experiences I’ve ever had, and that unless the hotel is gutted and replaced with a brand new infrastructure and insulation, there is no chance that I would ever consider going back here even with an offer of a free stay. I'm only giving this two stars because the staff were for the most part great and a lot of what happened was clearly beyond their control. I’ll list the pros and cons below, but let me sum them up by saying that I’ve never stayed in a hotel where practically every moment spent in the actual hotel room was unpleasant and nerve-wracking, not to mention almost sleepless.
- Staff for the most part was very friendly. I say for the most part because the woman who checked us in was fine but low energy and not what I would call “pleasant” or “friendly.” For example, she almost never looked us in the eye. Still, everyone else was fine, and quite helpful with minor issues, like our TV not working at first or us needing an extra blanket at one point. Also, see the bottom of the review for one other great staff experience we had upon checking out of the hotel. However, there are also negatives attached to the staff detailed below.
- Parking is easy and there are large spaces.
- Nice location in terms of access to the 101 and an easy if not exactly close walk to downtown SLO (about 15-20 minutes depending on how fast you are; certainly no need for the free shuttle).
- The wi-fi was great, though as is typical for hotel wi-fi, streaming was hit or miss and the network would dip in and out. Still, probably the best part of the stay.
- The walls are the thinnest I’ve ever experienced in a hotel, including extremely cheap budget hotels. We could hear practically everything going on outside and in the rooms next to us. And when I say could hear everything, I mean could hear noises while watching TV, with a loud white noise machine on to try to drown out the sound, and even while taking a shower with all doors closed. Let’s just say sleep was not easy to come by, and I was totally exhausted by the time we were ready to check out.
- I don’t know what the deal is with the infrastructure of the hotel, but every time housekeeping would go by with a cart (which was frequently in the early afternoon when we were trying to rest after a long morning), the entire front area would shake and rattle as if there was an earthquake happening; the noise was incredibly loud too. This would happen to a slightly lesser extent with suitcases going by. I’ve never experienced anything like this, and it’s simply inexcusable.
- It’s clear that there was an attempt to cram as many rooms into a small space as possible, and while this is I’m sure partially why the noise from other rooms was so bad, it also leads to the main area where the hotel rooms are being directly over the pool, which is open until 10. With the poor insulation and close proximity to the pool, this leads to loud noises from outside until quite late (the pool of course didn’t end up closing and getting everyone out until around 10:20 or 10:25).
- Following from the previous negative, the rooms themselves are tiny, certainly the smallest at this price point ($170/night with tax) that I’ve ever been in, and very difficult to handle with two people. The “desk” is crammed right against the wall where the hallway is and is tiny, and the bathroom is roughly 2 feet by 3 feet and opened via sliding door and is right next to the bed, making it impossible to be quiet when opening the bathroom door if someone is trying to sleep. The bed also takes up practically the entire bedroom area. I have no way of knowing this, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the hotel used to be more of a budget hotel when it first opened, as the room (a “King Suite”) reminds me of the rooms in some of the budget hotels I would stay at in smaller towns, albeit at typically close to half the price.
- There are two negatives regarding the staff. One is that we were never told about the building behind the main building with additional rooms; I actually only found out about it from reviews here! As we were basically offered our run of the place when we checked in (we were told we could choose from any floor), it would have been nice to at least have been made aware of that option, even if it meant upgrading or for a future visit if there weren’t rooms available. Two is that when we called the front desk last night to complain about excessive noise and voiced our issues with the stay in general, the immediate response was that there was nothing that could be done. While I understand there’s a good chance this is true, I’ve had issues at several hotels I’ve stayed at in the past where at least the first response was to see if there was some way to help.
- The hotel is marketed on its website as good for business travelers, which is absolutely not true beyond the better than average wi-fi. The rooms are cramped and excessively noisy, the desk is tiny, and at least in the two nights we stayed here, the main clientele were families, which is exactly NOT what you want as a business traveler due to them being generally louder and taking up areas you may want to work in. The hotel itself is also unimpressive beyond the somewhat ornate lobby, which is not conducive to meeting and impressing clients or fellow business associates.
- The breakfast was mediocre at best if not slightly below par. In the brief time I was there the morning that we checked out, I noticed at least four people throwing out close to full plates of food.
There are other minor pros and cons (shower was good, bed was OK but woke up with an achy back both nights), but these are the ones that stood out the most. It’s at least good that I can end this on a somewhat positive note. When we went to check out and voiced our concerns, we were comped one night, which seems reasonable, and the person at the front desk could not have been more helpful and straightforward with the request. She did however mention that she had been doing nothing that morning but dealing with disgruntled customers, and somehow I’m not surprised. If it wasn’t clear, I would never recommend staying at this hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Featuring complimentary breakfast, complimentary beer & wine tasting reception, and a downtown San Luis Obispo location, The Quality Suites San Luis Obispo awaits you with a combination of beautifully appointed suites and an array of area activities. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Quality Suites San Luis Obispo Hotel San Luis Obispo
- Quality Inn San Luis Obispo
- Quality San Luis Obispo