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“Spacious rooms/friendly staff” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Center

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Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Center
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   3896 Bigelow Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15213   |  
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Ranked #36 of 56 Hotels in Pittsburgh
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
“Spacious rooms/friendly staff”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2009

If you are doing college tours in Pittsburgh, the Residence Inn is a great choice. The rooms are more spacious than a typical hotel, and include a full kitchen. Although the hotel was full the night we were there, there was almost no noise to be heard inside the room.
There is a garage for parking, but since we were out so much, we just parked on the street.
The unusual feature here is a large outside terrace with tables and a barbeque grill. So, there was a nice place to just sit outside in good weather.
A full breakfast is included, with enough tables to hold everyone, even at a busy time.
Right across the street is a good Southern Italian restaurant called Zarro's-delicious homemade pastas and friendly service.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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202 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2009

Perfect location in relation to Tree's Pool at the University of Pittsburgh. Great Shuttle Service, and the Terrace could not have been better for unwinding with the other swim team families after the meet Rooms were perfect for the family and they modified the breakfast schedule to get us to the pool each morning on time. There we finals each night and with that schedule there plenty of places to eat after the meet.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2009

I have been a customer of this hotel for 5+ years now (my daughter went through undergrad and is now in grad school in Pittsburgh so we are frequent customers). We first discovered this hidden gem with a web search when looking for the best price in the Oakland area. All other hotels were booked.

The first visit was a bit confusing; the layout is slightly odd(split lobby), and the neighborhood seems (at first glance) to be a bit isolated. We soon grew to love the place:

All rooms have a kitchen. As a vegetarian, a frugal traveler and a cook I love being able to prepare my own meals. We eat a big lunch at a local cafe, then hit the famers markets and shops for local produce for the evening meal.

The rooms are LARGE. The last time this place I was full, I booked a room at another, pricier, swankier hotel and felt waves of claustrophobia.

They accept pets! We didn't realize that on our first visit, but now always include our dog. She loves the pet walk area, and scoops and bags are provided. The staff is really wonderful about dealing with our four-legged family members.

The breakfast is ample and includes hot items, including eggs, oatmeal and waffles. There is an outside terrace (and grill!) for dining and the cookies in the afternoon/evening are yummy.

The parking garage, while pricey, is secure. Keycard entrance and exit, video and security guards. Consumers less worried about safety and looking to save some $$$ could get by with on-street parking.

The indoor pool and spa is clean and well kept and feels bright and sunny. I normally hate indoor pools.

Finally, the location. It sits on a hill; some of the rooms have wonderful views of U Pitt and the Bloomfield neighborhood. I was happy to see, on this last visit, that a new cafe had opened just across the street. I find it easy to zip down Craig Street to the cafes and shops (and CMU, and Shadyside and Squirrel Hill...) or down the Bloomfield Bridge into the Little Italy/Polish HIll neighborhoods, The Strip and on to Downtown. I generally ride my bicycle. If you like old houses, consider a stroll in the Schenley Farms National Historic District just down the hill.

I was also happy to note , that some recent upgrades have been made. Granite in the kitchens and baths, crisp new linens, contemporary furnishings and new carpet through- out. The only thing that could be possibly upgraded (in the future?) would be new appliances and flat screen TVs.

Finallly, what really makes this property stand out, for me, is the staff. Everyone, from houskeeping, to maintenance, to front desk, to kitchen staff, to management.....all seem to be stellar people who strive to make their guests feel welcome and content.

I would NOT recommend this hotel for: People with pet allergies, People who need room service.

I WOULD recommend this hotel for: Families. People who have pets. People who love exploring diverse and interesting neighborhoods. People who ride bicycles. People who love to cook and/or have limited/restricted diets.

Stayed July 2009, traveled as a couple
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 20, 2009

I had no say in staying at this hotel - in Pittsburgh for a conference (we stayed Friday-Sunday) and the leader of our group booked this place. I would not choose it! There is absolutely nothing nearby as far as restaurants or shopping. It was at least a mile walk downtown but even the security guard told us not to walk around at night because we were just a block or so from the "ghetto" (his words). That was the only helpful thing he did - he gave us all the creeps. When he asked us to leave the indoor pool/hot tub area because it was closing time, he just sat there and ogled us girls as we towled off and got our cover ups on.
We were there for a conference at the Peterson Events Center - a mile walk up hill from the hotel. We were told the 2 hotel shuttles would run every 15 minutes. On Friday night we waited 40 minutes for it! The creepy guard told one of my friends to go inside and have the front desk call to see where it was. If she had done that, there was a chance she would have missed the van. The employee should be the one calling. So my friend asked him nicely to call but he still had another lady call! He was either Incompetant or just plain lazy. The van driver was very nice though. And Saturday morning we had no wait at all.
For an extended stay hotel, there were only 2 tiny trash cans in the room. Several rooms on our floor had trash out in the hall because the cans just didn't hold anything. Room itself was clean (except for a stain in the tub that appeared to have been left from an old bathmat) and kitchen was fully stocked. The one light in the bathroom was near the toilet so the shower area was kinda dark.
There was a free breakfast that had a great variety - even hot foods (scrambled eggs, home fries, buscuits). One nice feature of the hotel is an outdoor terrace. The hotel is on a hill so you get a great view of the city. The majority of the staff were very helpful and nice (except that guard mentioned above). The other one I took issue with was the man on duty when we checked in Friday night. This hotel was hosting a lot of conference attendees so maybe he was stressed, but he was very short with us and acted like he couldn't wait for us to go away.
A charge of $13.50 per day to park in the hotel's own garage is ridiculous! Overall the hotel had some nice features but not enough to make up for the old rundown, questionable neighborhood it is in.

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed March 22, 2009

We just got back from staying at this hotel for one night (Friday night, March 20th to check-out on Saturday morning, March 21st). I went with my sister and my nephew to check out University of Pitt Campus and they had a "Spring Tour" scheduled for Saturday, March 21st. We arrived around 5:30 pm, Friday night. Now, I knew from doing my research about this hotel (reading the reviews on this website of course!) that we would have to pay a $13.00 parking fee to leave our car in the hotel garage for the duration of our stay. I would complain about that, but I guess I can understand as there really is no place to park your car and they have to pay for the parking garage somehow. The only problem is it's a $13.00 DAILY parking fee. Now, luckily they do not charge you on the morning that you check out (in our case, Saturday, March 21st). But imagine staying there for 3 days. The hotel is not exactly cheap to say the least, and then to add on a parking fee of $13.00 per day is really expensive and outrageous. The problem I have most about this hotel is how much they charge per room. Now, since we were there for the Spring Tour for University of Pitt, we received a University of Pitt discount. So we stayed in a one bedroom suite with pull out sofa bed (it just gives you a bit more privacy with a door that closes in the bedroom (queen bed) and therefore separates you a bit from the kitchen/living room). This cost us $129.00 for the night (including tax). When we first walked into our room, I was very impressed as it looked very nice, and very updated. I have to say it seemed very clean for the most part until I took a shower that night. The shower was not clean AT all. There was hair on the sides of the bathtub and I was just grossed out by that. What else bothered us was that the room did not have any air circulating in it. There weren't any ceiling fans in any of the rooms and when we tried to turn on the air conditioner (yes, I know it was still kind of cool outside, but my sister and I like it cool inside the room), it wouldn't work. So when we asked the front desk, they told us that the hotel is in charge of regulating the air system. In the summer, they turn on the air, and in the winter, they turn on the heat. We just didn't like that, especially for the amount of money that you are paying for your room, you should be able to be comfortable in it. Everyone has their own different comfort zone. Anyway, they did offer to have someone come in and open a window for us. When we got to our hotel room, there was a man there from security who opened our window in the bedroom. Thank god for that. Now a potential problem there was that there was no screen for this window. So thank god there were no bugs outside to come through the window and that it was a crisp cool night. We were lucky to just get some fresh air. Now, maybe we are being picky about the air situation and the lack of screens, but, again, with the amount of money you are paying for this room (and we weren't even paying the real rate!), come on.

Two more complaints. We called down to the front desk 3 times to ask for them to bring us up extra pillows. These pillows never arrived. A call was placed 3 times! What kind of service was that? Ridiculous. Finally, the refrigerator. When we first came into our room, the refrigerator was not working. After we figured out that the temperature of the room was regulated, and we weren't getting anywhere with security bringing us up our pillows, we just didn't even complain about the refrigerator. Well, we had bought ourselves some sodas. After dinner, we wanted our sodas to be cold. But in order for them to be cold, we needed ice from our refrigerator, which was not working. So, I looked in the refrigerator again, and finally I saw a switch to TURN ON the refrigerator. It was as simple as that. I know that sounds stupid for us not to have figured that out. Here is my problem. Why do they turn these refrigerators off in the first place? Okay, maybe b/c it's expensive? I get that. Well, then let the occupants/guests know to turn on the refrigerator when they check into their room! Simple as that. A little help here please! I don't know, maybe the refrigerator incident was our fault. I just think that with the whole thing of the hotel controlling the air system, that we just automatically figured they controlled the refrigerator too? Plus, we didn't want to call b/c we weren't getting anywhere with that either, as no one was bothering with us.

Okay, that's it for me complaining. I just wanted to vent and let everyone know how we made out on our visit.

Again, just my opinion.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled on business
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2009

This hotel was so well managed and with a great professional staff. Breakfast was outstanding and kitchen staff was very friendly. Hotel had a great upbeat look to it. I will definitely be back and will choose this hotel when I return.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2009

Mediocre extended stay ex apartment building turned residence inn. Staff was very nice but busy. The room was clean. The surrounding area was difficult to navigate. There were no restaurants, convenience stores, grocery stores, or anything except the university/medical center in the immediate vicinity. The parking set up was a mess. One half of a toilet paper was all that was left in the relatively substandard residence inn one bedroom room, so we had to track down the maid. Find someplace else if you have to go to Pittsburgh on business, and pass on steeltown in general. The whole area was kind of a dump.

  • Liked — nice staff
  • Disliked — in pittsburgh, ugh
  • Stayed January 2009, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Center

Address: 3896 Bigelow Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Pittsburgh
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #36 of 56 Hotels in Pittsburgh
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Center 3*
Number of rooms: 174
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Also Known As:
Residence Inn Pittsburgh University/Medical Hotel Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh Residence Inn

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