I travel around the western U.S. with my daughter, who is on am all-star competition team, so I stay at quite a few hotels, some nicer than others, as we compete. Since I really do not like leaving less than stellar reviews, I want to start off first with the good. And even the bad is not "bad" per se, but more of a heads up for people who think they are booking a suite (or what they would consider the best room in the hotel, hopefully.) The location of the suites leaves so much to be desired that I would NEVER book another suite at this hotel.
The front desk staff and housekeeping staff at this hotel are by far the friendliest I've encountered in a very long time. It's always nice after a long days' drive to arrive and be greeted by a friendly smile. Both on check-in and check-out, I enjoyed my interactions with all of the front desk staff. Extremely friendly, kind, listened to my concerns, listened to my complaints (suggestions) when I checked out, etc. Stellar service.
The facilities themselves are clean, I did not see the pool area or the work out area as the weather was 41 degrees during our stay. The lobby is clean, breakfast area kept clean, I think I even saw cookies sitting out the evening we checked in. Once we were checked in by the wonderful front desk person, we headed on up to our room on the 3rd floor. As soon as we exited the elevator, we were greeted by the loud sound of an ice machine humming loudly and the ice clanking down into the ice machine and the hum of the huge soda machine right next to it. And guess what-- Our suite, the Santa Clara suite's door about a foot or so from the clanking ice machine and almost directly in front of the elevator door. As anyone knows there are two rooms you REALLY DO NOT WANT at ANY hotel, and that is the one right next to the elevator or the ice machine. And yet, this Comfort Inn & Suites has placed their best rooms in the absolute worst locations in the hotel.
We opened the door, but as I listened to the new ice that was clanking down into the ice machine as it was being made, I turned right around, drug everything back down to the front desk and asked to be switched to a different room.
They were extremely nice and kind about it. I explained that I hated to complain but that I had booked what I thought was one of the "best" rooms in the hotel (The suite complete with the balcony, fireplace, jacuzzi, etc.) only to find that backed up directly to the horrendously loud ice machines and soda machine. They were super nice, even acknowledging when I asked that I was not the only one to bring this up. (By the looks on their faces, I'm sure they have dealt with this situation more than they cared to admit.) She looked for a different room but because they were apparently booked full the following night I could not be switched but she said it shouldn't be too bad in the room "once you get everything on, have the TV going, etc." Because I did not have time to locate new accommodations and we were tired from our long drive to get there, we turned round and went back up to the room. The room itself seems to have been updated in some way, but with the most odd color combinations from the 70's that it dates the room pretty badly. I could have sworn the carpet looked almost new, honestly--but looked as if it was for a hotel room from the 70's. The furniture was clean, there is a balcony that we never used, mostly because it was chilly and secondly, it overlooks a parking lot and a freeway- But I didn't choose this hotel room for the balcony, the fireplace or the jacuzzi (we used NONE of them.) I booked it thinking it would be the best, largest and probably "quietest" room in the hotel.
The room itself is set up quite odd. The only bathroom in the suite is directly by the entrance door. It contains the shower/tub combination and the toilet. The vanity and sink to get read is opposite that, again directly inside the door to the room, next to a closet with an accordion type door. Someone had unscrewed or it was coming off the wall, the shower head in the shower, so the first time we went to use it water sprayed EVERYWHERE all over the wallpapered walls, the ceiling, and onto the floor. It took me awhile but once I figured out that the entire showered was coming unscrewed from the wall, I was able to fix that myself. You then have a bar sink/area counter where the coffee machine is and then a large open space (with an odd electrical outlet in the middle of the floor in the carpet?) and the fireplace. There is nothing in front of the fireplace, it's just sort of sitting there on the large wall with no way to enjoy it, no couches to sit on in front of it, etc. I suppose you could lay a blanket on the floor in front of the fireplace, but the couch, TV and a chair are down further towards the balcony end of the room. The fireplace is just sort of an odd, tiled thing in the room that makes you go, "Huh?" The pink mauve tiles coupled with the odd green and yellow and red carpet motif just didn't go together, but again that was trivial, as I was there with my daughter for a competition and didn't plan on using the "romantic" fireplace anyway. The "bedroom" area of the room seems as if they just took the room next door and made that the bedroom, which is fine, except it contained only the king size bed and the dresser that held the other TV. This left a HUUUUGE part of the room just empty, except for the lonely odd silk potted plant they had over in the far corner, across from the pink mauve 70's looking jacuzzi tub in the other corner.
The size of the room was great, but the issue I had was, if you wanted to take a shower, you had to walk all the way back through the living room and kitchenette area in your wet towel to get back to the bedroom? So odd. There is so much unused space in the bedroom area, you could have put an entire bathroom in that room as well, which would make it much more convenient than having to parade through the living room in front of anyone else who is in your hotel room. I suppose you could bring all of your clothes and leave them sitting on the toilet, so when you get out of the shower, you get dressed immediately and THEN go to your room, but that is not how most people "get ready" in the morning.
NOW THE NOISE: She was right, during the day, when you're in the room and you have the TV on and the louder wall units for the heater/air conditioning, you really only slightly head the "humming" noise of the ice machine and the ice clanking isn't that bad. You still hear EVERY SINGLE PERSON as they get off the elevator and are laughing, talking, kids running, squealing, etc You hear everyone's conversations as they stand there together getting their sodas and ice at the ice machines. Fast forward to 11pm, when you're trying to sleep, and now your room is really quiet-- Yep, that's the ice machine humming...Yep..there's the clanking (I think the ice machine drops ice about every hour or so, I didn't time it because I tried to just ignore it an not be upset that my "suite" was in the worst location in the hotel.) The first night, about 11:45pm, the jacuzzi started making this really loud noise.. It woke me up and I actually got out of bed and walked over to it. There must be another jacuzzi tub in the room below us that shares the same pipes...because the noise echo up through to our jacuzzi! That wasn't great, but thankfully they didn't seem to take a super long jacuzzi bath. About 1am the second night, a group of loud people came off the elevator obviously excited and happy about something, so that woke me up. Just overall, the "experience" in this room is not what you'd expect from a suite.
Most people who travel know that, again, there are a couple rooms you "don't" want: The room directly next to or directly across from the elevator and the room next door to the utility/ice/soda machines.(unless you need to be close to the elevator because of a handicap, which incidentally, this room WAS a handicap accessible room. I did not request a handicap accessible room, and I made my reservations for this room 5 MONTHS in advance. It's not like I got the "last" suite available and got "stuck" in this room. I arrived right on time to check in (around 4pm) so it's not like I arrived late and got "stuck" in this room either. )
All in all, we were stuck in the room the entire weekend. I was disappointed in the room's location,noise level, etc. We dealt with it, but I still feel like someone needs to acknowledge and let it be known that when you are booking a suite, they said that ALL of their suites located in the same area. I asked them why in the world they would put what they bill as their "best" rooms in the worst location and they acknowledged it did seem odd, they apologized, and said that they used to be a different hotel before, etc. etc. I get it--but why not remodel, move your suites to a better location and turn these rooms back into two regular rooms at a discounted rate or something. When customers book a "suite" or what they consider to be one of the better rooms of the house....and they get off the elevator and see that their wonderful room is RIGHT THERE next to the busiest and loudest places in a hotel hallway--it's hugely disappointing.
But again--You are lucky that you have such wonderful staff up front to deal with all of the disappointed suite customers--and they said I am NOT the only one who brought all of this up, because I did ask them if others complained too, because I felt bad complaining and they assured me, with telling smiles, that indeed, this was not the first time.
Book a regular room and ask to be further from the elevator. Stay away from the Santa Clara suite or any other suite on the other levels that is directly in front of the elevator and where the ice machines are built into an alcove butting directly to your "suite."
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the beautiful city of Visalia, CA just 39 miles West of the fabulous Sequoia National Park at Hwy 198 and only seconds from Hwy 99. All of our completely renovated rooms include microwaves, refrigerators, irons, ironing boards, hair dryers and coffee makers. We serve Complimentary Full Hot Breakfast daily and offer Free WiFi for all our guests. Our Fitness center includes a weight system and other state of the art equipment as well as a Sauna for your convenience. We welcome pets. Plaza Park Sports Complex is just across the street and it includes a fun dog park as well. We’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay with us. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Comfort Hotel Visalia
- Comfort Inn And Suites
- Comfort Inn Visalia
- Visalia Comfort Inn