I've never been steered wrong by TA so I was disappointed by my experience after reading the great reviews on this place. I needed a place to stop overnight on my way to Yosemite from Southern California and was debating between this place and the Holiday Inn in Selma about 25 miles up the road. I chose Visalia because of the good reviews and because it's a bigger town.
A couple of thoughts on location. For my road trip, I realized in hindsight that the Visalia location is less convenient because you have to get off the 99 freeway onto the 198 freeway, as oppose to the Selma location which is located right off the 99 freeway. Minor point. But the Visalia HI is located near nothing, absolutely nothing. There's a nice park across the street and that's it. It's not actually in town.
On service, I had a few issues. When booking online, I checked the price in the morning and planned to book that evening. By evening, the price had gone up. I called reservations to see if someone could help me but the agent was of little help so I asked to speak to a manager. She put me on hold, I waited for a couple of minutes, then got routed to the main wait line which said the wait was 5 minutes. I hung up and just paid the higher price but was unhappy with the unhelpfulness that I experienced.
I guess HI offers a breakfast buffet. When we went down for breakfast in the morning at around 8:30am, there was a line, quite a long line. Eventually when the hostess came around, we asked her how long the wait was and she said 5-10 mins. Ok. So we waited. 15 mins later, the line had not moved and people were giving up and getting out of line. We overheard a guy in front of us say he had been waiting 30 mins already. So we gave up too and loaded up the truck. 30 mins later, I went to check on breakfast. The line was shorter now so I asked her to tell me honestly how long the wait was because of our experience earlier that morning. And the hostess gave me such attitude that I was taken aback. It was Memorial Day weekend, she said, and the hotel was at maximum capacity and everyone came down for breakfast all at once, etc...I walked away feeling scolded. So we checked out and got breakfast outside. The HI system of breakfast buffet where you have to wait to be seated seems very inefficient to me. I normally stay at the HI Express and I've never had any problems with the seat and serve-yourself style of breakfast.
The front desk was very friendly. The rooms were standard for a HI. Nice enough. The windows opened a few inches, which is good for some fresh air. We had a truck full of camping stuff and were nervous about it in the parking lot overnight. I did run into night patrol in the parking lot late at night. He said he was patrolling all night so that was reassuring.
Our room had a clogged sink and bathtub drain so we had to call for service to unclog them. No other issues.
The bed was comfortable and the room was quiet. We faced the parking lot and although we could see the freeway, the noise did not bother us at night. We looked at the indoor pool, which was really nice, but had a strong smell of chlorine so I could see how rooms facing the pool might smell it.
Overall, I'd say this experience was not the best, not the worst. I've certainly had better experiences at Holiday Inn. But prices are decent and it's pretty comfortable.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Visalia Holiday Inn is San Joaquin Valley's largest full-service hotel with conference center between Sacramento and LA, bordering Plaza Business Park and the 40-acre Plaza Park with a fishing pond and wild ducks, 27-hole Valley Oaks Golf Course, 8 tennis courts, and walking and jogging paths.Experience the Downtown Fox Theater, home to Tulare County Symphony, with free trolley, art galleries, art walk tour, antique shopping on Main Street, 200 restaurants, the Chinese Cultural Center, Murals of Tulare County, Children's Museum, Bravo Farms for artesian cheeses and wine tasting and the year round wonderland of nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Guests enjoy award-winning dining in our onsite restaurant, Cafe California, specialty drinks and an extensive appetizer list in our onsite Mahoganys Lounge. Relax and unwind in our heated outdoor pool, indoor pool, Jacuzzi or fitness center. Business travelers enjoy free high-speed wireless Internet throughout hotel, business center, executive boardroom, 12 banquet rooms, two ballrooms (5-1000 attendees). Hotel is smoke-free. Complimentary shuttle from/to Visalia Municipal Airport. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Visalia Hotel & Conf Visalia
- Holiday Inn Visalia Hotel And Conf Center
- Visalia Holiday Inn