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“Bed bug FREE and close to everything!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel

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Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4200 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054   |  
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Ranked #13 of 33 Hotels in Santa Clara
GreenLeadersSilver level
Roseville
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Bed bug FREE and close to everything!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

After spending a LONG day at Great America, we were ready to unwind and relax. We were not disappointed.

We checked in around 8:30 on Thursday, and were greeted by a wonderful friendly face behind the counter. I explained that I wanted to check the room completely for bed bugs or anything else BEFORE we brought anything into the room and she was completely accommodating. We went up to the room and tore it apart, and I mean A-PART! Lifted the mattresses, pulled the sheeting and bedspreads from the bed and looked at EVERYTHING to guarantee that there were no bugs of any kind roaming around. This place was clean! No stains on the bed, frame, sheets, or bedspreads. The carpet was a little stained and worn, but so what? There weren't any bed bugs! That is HUGE!!!!

Next it was time for our twelve year old daughter to take a shower. She came out and mentioned that the shower felt like a thousand bees stinging her, so my husband adjusted the shower head and then he took a shower. He said it was better, but still hits you hard. The next morning when I took my shower, I felt what they were talking about - it was definitely like the water was stinging you, but I can only imagine what it must have been like for our daughter before he adjusted it. SUGGESTION TO MANAGEMENT: get a water restrictor for each shower head from Lowe's at the cost of $1.30ish and not only will it reduce your water usage, but it will make the shower less of a stinging sensation for your guests.

The room was quiet, and dark enough. (My husband is like a vampire - he needs COMPLETE and TOTAL darkness and he didn't complain about it, so it must have been okay!) We got a good night's sleep, and woke up the next morning feeling refreshed.

We then went down to IHOP for breakfast and the service there was very good. It's nice to get a 10% discount for guests, so we can't complain about the savings there! :)

We checked out at 11:30/11:45 (ask for late check-out - it's totally worth it to not have to rush in the morning instead of the usual 11:00 check-out time), and again were greeted by friendly staff.

We would definitely recommend this place to other travelers, and will stay there again if we're down that way.

By the way, in case you're wondering which room we can guarantee as being bed-bug free - it's room 215.

Room Tip: Ask for a room in the back if you need darkness and quiet. The front rooms run the risks of hearing...
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamie L, Front Office Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, August 11, 2014
Thank you for your review Caroline! I am so glad to hear that you had a pleasant experience with us and enjoyed the friendly service of our front desk team!

Thank you for the heads-up about the water pressure issue. I will be sure to look into option in getting this addressed for our guests!

We hope to see you again!
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282 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

So no matter how much you try to disguise it, a motel is still a motel - the absence of a corridor gives it away. If you open you door in the morning and you see sunlight, its a motel, despite what the name say. It has nice bright colors and my room was clean, small but clean but it's expensive for what you get. One of my colleagues could not say the same about his room wing clean.

If you're a light sleeper, you will get woken up all the time. The trolleys start early in the morning around 5:30. If the person next door uses the bathroom, you will hear exactly what they are doing to the point you can hear if they are standing or seated never minding flushing toilets. The walls must be made of paper or something. Early risers seem to have no problem talking to each other from different floors when leaving, so I was listening to a conversation at 4am, but of course I'd already been woken up at that point.

I simply don't understand how people can sleep here.

The iHop is really slow with their service. The only highlight is the free beer at happy hour!

Room Tip: Go as high up as you can - but even that won't shield you from the noise.
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  • Stayed June 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamie L, Front Office Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, August 11, 2014
Thank you for taking the time to write this review Michael. We believe that hearing your feedback about how we can improve is one of the best ways that we can continue to grow and improve the level of service we provide for our guests.

My sincerest apologies on your less than desirable experience.
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Santa Clara
1 review
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

I made reservations being familiar with branch in Sunnyvale,CA. No comparison!
Avatar was under construction, which front desk will deny if asked, & no prior warning. Outside my door were exposed plumbing, dirt & wood pallets as a fence, wheel barrels lying around. Orange cones. The room was dirty, bathtub dirty or grossly stained.
I immediately tried to resolve matter & switch hotels with extra fee or try another room. Front desk was rude & didn't try to accommodate or attempt to call another hotel for us. I left & went to Sunnyvale Domain, for less money.
I would never go near hotel again.

  • Stayed June 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adam F, Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, June 16, 2014
Hello Mccoyj,

Thank you for contacting us about your stay. I am incredibly sorry about your experience! Yes we are under going construction and in the process of the a large refresh around the pool area. I apologize that this was on going through your stay. As it mentions on our website we will be continuing with the refresh until July 1st around the pool. The majority of the work is complete now and only have some planting left to do. We have cemented the area where you saw the piping to expand our pool deck and have laid brand new turf in other areas around the pool. I would like to invite you to contact me directly at your most convenient time so I can personally invite you back once everything is complete so you can experience our property for what we truly stand for.

Again I apologize we were not up to par during your stay and we are working as fast as we can to get everything in better condition than before we started for all of our guests to experience.

I look forward to speaking with you soon,

Adam Finch
Operations Manager
408-454-6884
afinch@jdvhotels.com
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Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
272 reviews
150 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 239 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2014

Joie de Vivre brand promises classy property, but it's not. The entire hotel setup is still in its motel origins. Yes, the rooms were upgraded, but you still don't feel the comfort (motel-type front entrance with little privacy, thin walls, no curtains, just shades, lots of noise from around). Big disappointment for JdV branded hotel.

Rooms are spacious and comfortable. New bed. But again motel-style bathroom split with the sink outside (in the corner of the room). At least the bathtub and shower are upgraded. Still, you hear the neighbors snoring and see the people walking across your window to their rooms. Added value - 5-6am wakeup service provided by the IHOP deliveries or trash collectors. WiFi free, but rather slow. Very little security - the potential thief has only thin doors to cross to reach your room; and they can get to the property unnoticed from any angle.

Breakfast "served" in the adjacent IHOP (extremely slow service, 30 minutes waiting for the order to be received, then another 20 minutes waiting for the omelet). And you get only 10 USD voucher for the breakfast, so you will need to pay the unavoidable difference even if the rate says "breakfast included".

Talking about the rate - if it would be at 100 USD level, then this place would be a no-brainer for cost conscious travelers. But it's much more, easily getting to twice this value, which renders the offers of nearby Marriott and Hyatt much more attractive.

Room Tip: a room at the end of the corridor will limit the guest traffic in from of your window
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  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jamie L, Front Office Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, August 11, 2014
Thank you Miramaks for your time to complete this review. I'm so sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your experience with us. Please know that we read and take these reviews very seriously when considering ways in which we can improve our guests stay and our customer satisfaction.

Thank you again. I truly appreciate your feedback.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
44 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I checked into this "hotel" as I was attending a conference across the road, and the host hotel was full for that night.
I told them I was arriving late, requesting a higher floor room.
When I got in, it took a while to get my booking, and you get breakfast vouchers to the iHop adjoining it, but they did not have it ready.
My room was in full view of the car park, accessible from just about anywhere, and you had to go through a desolate area to get to it.I was really uncomfortable with that.
The room was utilitarian - modernish decor but that's about it.
I was going to stay the 4 days of the event, but decided to move the next morning. Plus, the description of just across the road was inaccurate - it was quite a walk to manoeuvre my hand luggage across the road.
Oh yes - and even though I was quoted a day rate, it was not honoured, so I ended up paying a ridiculous price to boot!
There is no chance I will be back to Avatar hotel, even though I am going to be back in the area.

Room Tip: If you want the security of a regular hotel, you will not get it here.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark S, General Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
I apologize that we did not meet you expectations. Our hotel is basic in the amenities offered but it does meet the needs of many business travelers. We are in the process of enclosing the property with a secured perimeter fence and re-landscaping the entire exterior. I am sorry once again your stay was not what was expected.
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Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
62 reviews
52 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2014

This was the first time I stayed at a Joie de Vivre property. To be honest, before this I was not aware of such a hotel chain. This was a chance discovery.

I had booked on-line. The website needs some functional improvement.

Check-in was smooth and pleasant. Room decor and furnishing was bright and pleasant, though some repairs were needed. Wi-fi worked well.

The inter-connected iHop restaurant is a functional add-on.

In short, a good place to stay for the special pricing I got. Would go back again if I get the same price. I understand their "normal" pricing is way too high to be competitive.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark S, General Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
I apologize that we did not meet you expectations. Our hotel is basic in the amenities offered but it does meet the needs of many business travelers. We are in the process of enclosing the property with a secured perimeter fence and re-landscaping the entire exterior. I am sorry once again your stay was not what was expected.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fresno, California
Level Contributor
20 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 19, 2014

Like most Joie de Vivre hotels in which I've stayed, the Avatar is a comfortable and assidiuously clean property with quirky décor and an effective yet casual staff. Like others in the chain, the place is clearly designed to accommodate the travelling employees of the nearby high-tech businesses. Because of this fact, weekend rooms are a bargain! These rooms are outfitted with a refrigerator, but lacked a microwave. The "bar" open until 10 p.m. on Friday night reminded me of a giant family room, but served only beer and wine.

The staff members went out of their way to help, including accommodating a late reservation change, helping find the best place for dinner (Firk's steakhouse is blocks away), and making doubly sure that we had our complimentary bottle of water in the room.

Don't be alarmed when you hear people screaming in the distance as you walk out of your room. Great America and its roller coasters are literally across the street, making a great choice for a family trip to the theme park. The property includes a modest pool and hot tub.

IHOP shares the building. As usual, the food there was nearly inedible, but that is what I get for ordering anything other than breakfast at IHOP. Bennigan's is next door and a bounty of dining choices surround the hotel. Room service is available for lunch and dinner from an outside delivery service.

Green Features: The hotel obviously follows "green" practices, including low-flow plumbing (watch out for that jet toilet flush) and decorations from renewable materials.
  • Stayed May 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mark S, General Manager at Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel, responded to this review, June 2, 2014
Thank you for staying with us at the Avatar and being a loyal Joie De Vivre customer.
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Additional Information about Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel

Address: 4200 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Santa Clara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Green Hotel in Santa Clara
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Avatar Hotel, a Joie de Vivre hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 168
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Sync up with Avatar Hotel, the perfect portal to the vibrant technology hub of Silicon Valley. Our boutique hotel will keep you connected, rested and comfortable throughout your stay. Embrace your inner tech nerd. Our newly renovated rooms feature a large working desk, 37 inch flat screen TV, Ipod docking station, refrigerator and free high speed internet access. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Santa Clara
Holiday Inn Santa Clara
Santa Clara Holiday Inn

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