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“A nice, very well located hotel, but some annoyances” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Atherton Hotel

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The Atherton Hotel
3.0 of 5 Hotel   |   125 South Atherton Street, State College, PA 16801   |  
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Ranked #15 of 26 Hotels in State College
San Jose, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A nice, very well located hotel, but some annoyances”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 14, 2013

To start with--great location. That can't be overlooked. Nice room too, fairly spacious. I paid I think $5 extra for an "Executive King" rather than a regular King, and it was a nice room. Parking in a garage under the hotel for $7 a night. They were up-front about charging for parking, but it wasn't easy finding out how much. I didn't think $7 was unreasonable.

I requested a quiet room, by which I really mean "Please don't put me right next to the ice machine and the soda vending machine or the elevator". They read the request and put me in the back, not the front. I'm sure there's more traffic noise in the front, but I'm not sure it's so much it's bothersome.

They just happened to push some of my buttons.

I hate having my hotel room look like the cash register counter in a convenience store. It really irks me to have a basket of juices and snacks on one of the tables that are for sale. If you want to give me something and it''s included in the room rate, great. If you want to sell me something, put it in the lobby.

Also, I checked in after 10 pm and it had been a warm and humid day. The air conditioner was not on, and the room was definitely stuffy. I turned it on and went out to find some food. By the time I returned, it was pleasant enough. But I was glad I wasn't planning on going right to bed. I know they don't want to waste electricity, but if a room has been closed up all day and whomever is checking in is checking in late, I think turning on the air conditioner at 6 pm or so would be most appropriate.

In fairness to the owners of the hotel, maybe saving a little money on electricity and earning a little more on an add-on sale makes the difference between profitability and breaking even. I just felt that if they were just a little less cheap, what is already a very nice hotel would become a pleasure to stay at.

So I'd call it a near-miss for an excellent hotel, but there's still a lot to like about this place. Did I mention the location?

Room Tip: Definitely consider the upgrade to an "Executive" room if the difference in price is reaso...
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Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
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292 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 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 (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
86 reviews 86 reviews
69 hotel reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
76 helpful votes 76 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2013

I stayed at The Atherton for five nights while attending a conference at Penn State. I'd be very happy to do the same again if/when I go there again.

The hotel has a certain "quaint" feeling. I don't know how old it really is - surely not many decades - but the style and feel of the elevators prompted one colleague to suggest that they may have been installed by Mr Otis himself. This style extends to the lobby and lounge area - somewhat reminiscent of a Parisian Salon. That said, everything was in good condition, well-maintained, and scrupulously clean.

My room was adequately spacious, and well-appointed. It overlooked the main street, but was not particularly noisy. The free wifi coverage was fine for me - though colleagues in other rooms found it marginal in some of them.

Breakfast was a surprise - this is the only hotel I've stayed in for many many years that offered only an a la carte breakfast, rather than a buffet. The selection on offer wasn't bad - but if you want to try many things for breakfast, the price will mount up. I did find myself going to Starbucks around the corner on several mornings, instead. I didn't eat a regular dinner in the hotel, but we had a conference dinner there, where the food was of a good standard.

The hotel gym is very basic, BUT the hotel has arrangements with two local big commercial gyms and gave me a free pass for those, for the duration of my stay. One is about 20 mins walk away; the other needs a car. I went to the latter, and it was excellent, with every kind of equipment and free weights you could want.

Generally the hotel is well-located. It is an easy walk to the western end of the Penn State campus, and to all the local bars, restaurants, and shops. The hotel car park always had enough space if you drove down to deep enough levels - and were willing to pay $8 per day. The staff were friendly and the service good.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
    • 4 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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Flemington, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2013

This hotel gets a lot of use and it's in good condition. It's well maintained and the staff is friendly and professional. We asked for a refrigerator and were easily accommodated with a large, clean and quiet unit that fit nicely in the corner. The rooms are large and come with a Kurig. The decor is dated and a bit cheap but it's neat and clean. The beds however are hard and in no way a plush nights sleep. On the other hand the rooms were really quiet and there was no street noise, bar noise or hallway noise.
At first the entrance and parking seems awkward and confusing but they've done the best they can with the orientation of the lot.
Easy walking distance to downtown shopping and even the far end of campus if you're ok with walking. Starbucks right around the corner as well as plenty of restaurants and shopping.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Houston
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 20, 2013

The Atherton is one of those hotels that some people might call "old fashioned" while others call it "charming." Yes, the decor is a bit dated, complete with Muzak in the lobby, but it's clean, very clean and that's always the most important thing about hotels for me. The rooms are spacious. The beds are comfortable. And the location can't be beat. You're right on the edge of campus with shops, bars and restaurants a block away.

My room faced the street on the front of the hotel. We were on the fourth floor so the traffic noise was noticeable. But the air conditioner/heater had a "fan only" setting so I used that to drown out the street noise. Those sensitive to noise might want to request a higher room or one on the back side of the building.

Finding the driveway and front door can be a bit tricky because of the one-way streets (and construction) in the area. The hotel could invest in a couple of more street-level signs to point first-time visitors in the right direction.

While I was in State College for business, Moms and Dads visiting campus would feel very comfortable staying at the Atherton.

Stayed April 2013
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York
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2013

I have to begin by admitting that I stayed at the Atherton Hotel somewhat against my will. I typically stay at one of the University owned properties (the Penn Stater or the Nittany Lion Inn), and I particularly like the Nittany Lion Inn's location on campus. However, I was attending a meeting in the Atherton Hotel, and it really just made sense to stay there. After reading some of the reviews, I wasn't particularly looking forward to the stay.

The entrance is a bit off-putting -- parking is in an underground garage, and you enter the facility through a lower level that contains only elevators (the lobby is one floor up). It is true that the interior is somewhat dated -- lots of curtains and more wallpaper than I have seen in one place in a very long time (every wall -- and I do mean every wall) was covered in wallpaper, leading me to wonder if someone had gotten a really good deal at some point.

BUT -- the room was well-sized (the bathroom was particularly spacious), and everything was very clean. The Wi-Fi worked effectively, and the room had a Keurig coffee maker with a small selection of coffees. The location is terrific -- I parked the car and was able to walk everywhere, and it was close enough to downtown that I was able to make a number of forays out and back for dinner and shopping (the Bare Foot shoe store downtown is a good stop for those of us with the "shoe" thing), and I also came back with some books from Webster's new (and expanded) location.

All of the staff that I encountered were very friendly and accommodating -- and a late checkout was no problem.

This was a much nicer stay than I was anticipating -- and while the wallpaper and decor isn't my favorite, the other benefits more than made up for any outdated wall coverings. The location is perfect if you want to visit both the campus and downtown. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2013 via mobile

Like a lot of Alumni I love coming back to PSU. This hotel is the best place to stay. It's clean, convenient, and lovely. Perfect for a girls weekend. I always try to get a room here because its my favorite hotel!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Newton, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Lovely older hotel in a time warp. Accommodations satisfactory with wallpaper overload Dining room pricey but convenient. Located near stores, many bars and dining options available. On site parking with elevator access to all levels.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about The Atherton Hotel

Address: 125 South Atherton Street, State College, PA 16801
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > State College
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Business Hotel in State College
#13 Family Hotel in State College
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — The Atherton Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
150 room full service hotel in the heart of downtown State College, PA. One block from Penn State University. Comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, restaurant, bar, room service, excellent location. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atherton Hotel State College

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