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“Good, but not great” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The College Inn

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The College Inn
1.0 of 5 Hotel   |   4000 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (University District)   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #72 of 95 Hotels in Seattle
Top Contributor
137 reviews 137 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
“Good, but not great”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2008

While I think it was a great option for the price, I wouldn't rave like the other travelers have. I do have some complaints.

We had a 2-bed room that unfortunately sits right above the pub - noisy if the windows are open at night. It seems to be a popular place and we didn't have the option to relocate in the inn.

The hallway carpeting was gross - replace it! It had bad stains and sometimes smelled.

There was enough dust in the room (baseboards, head board of bed, shelves) that I only left a small tip for housekeeping.

Also, we found communication to be lacking. We tried for 3 days to contact them about our late arrival. Luckily we got hold of them en route to our plane, but criminy - call us back! And not to offend but the Asian guy at check-in (I'm also Asian) was really not helpful at all, didn't seem familiar with the area.

However, on the up side, location was central (although I wouldn't be walking around alone after 11), breakfast & internet were free and you couldn't really hear noise from the other tenants. For the price, we were happy overall. I would probably stay there again if I wanted to save money.

  • Liked — Price value
  • Disliked — Cleanliness, outside noise
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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67 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2008

I thought this hotel was charming. Customer service was great. I had never ridden a bus before, much less in a big city. The manager and owner helped figure out which lines to go on, and what to expect. I was nervous but they made me feel comfortable. Going to this hotel and Seattle, WA was my first trip alone (I'm 19) and so this hotel greeted my kindly. All the guests were very friendly, and the breakfast was quite delicious. The rooms were clean, as well as the bathrooms (yes they are shared, though I had no problem to it. Especially since it says on their site and in their hotel description on Expedia). There were lots of places to eat around the hotel. There was also a nice park with hiking trails... About a 20-30 min. walk. It was very nice and relaxing. My bed was also extremely comfortable.

In reference to other reviews:
RE: Shared Bathrooms
It says this on their site
RE: Have to ring bell to get in every-time and wait for someone to open for you.
Not true. The manager of the hotel gives you a key, and you open the door yourself. You only have to ring once when you first go into the hotel, or if you loose your key. It's there for safety reasons >.>
RE: Noise, couldn't sleep
I slept fine. Mind you I was on the 3rd floor, but still. There was even construction going on right behind the hotel at the time, and I still slept fine.
RE: small mirrors, no clean towels to conserve on water
The mirror to me was perfectly fine, no need for a 10ft mirror or anything. They DO clean your towels everyday if you wish for them to. They have a note saying something along the lines of,"To be eco-friendly and to conserve on water, we encourage our guests to reuse their towels. This conserves on energy and water.." It actually makes a big difference when guests do that. Not just for the hotel but for the environment. Even hotel 8's and hotel 6's have those up now. As well as Travelodge, and others.

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1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2008

The customer service at this hotel is terrible. I reserved, in January for a May trip. I noticed they billed me in April. I called to ask what was up and they never returned the call. I emailed three times and no response. I canceled my reservation and contested my bill with my credit card company. I am amazed by their lack of professionalism. I am still working with my credit card company to get my money back. Stay away from this hotel they are unprofessional. I have noticed the College Inn and on my many visits to Seattle I wanted to try it because of the excellent location.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Customer service and communication
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled solo
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
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Seattle, Washington
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
85 helpful votes 85 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2008

I love to stay in small-scale, modest inns and consider myself to be tolerant of a bit of grottiness, minimal service, noise, etc.... Being a Seattle native and UW alum, I've wanted to try the College Inn for years.

I was thus so very inclined to like this place -- but came away with a combination of anger, disappointment, and the decision not to return. Here's why:

--This place is not clean where it matters. The blanket on my bed STANK of some other person's perfume or deoderant -- very distinctive, not an aftersmell of detergent. If they wash the blankets at all, they don't do a very good job.

--The shower drain was badly plugged up, so that within a few seconds I was standing in my own wastewater, which, of course, then sloshes together with the remains of other people's showers -- ugh, I don't want to go on thinking about that....

--I was promised a double room and received a twin room (two twin beds). This was after having booked well ahead of time and getting both a phone and email confirmation of this. They were completely full and since we were staying for only one night, I have a strong suspicion that we were given whatever was left over. I also know that they had switched rooms on us at some late point b/c I had received a call from Chris, the manager, giving me the room number and telling me that since we were arriving late in the p.m. to get buzzed up and just go straight to that room which would be unlocked. On arrival I found that the door was locked (I probably disturbed whoever was there by trying the knob), and I had to buzz the staff who live upstairs to let me into the room that they had set aside for me -- a different one from what I was originally promised.

--The next morning, when I mentioned the room switch, the manager did not at all appear surprised or concerned. He said that it should not have happened but his statement that it "shouldn't" happen again was not at all convincing.

--Website is dishonest: under Parking it says, "Saturday and Sunday free parking one-half block away on a space-available basis." When I called to get directions to this free parking area I was told that it is between 42nd and 43rd on Brooklyn -- which is more like 5 blocks away from the inn. We're walkers, so NBD, but this seems to me to be indicative of a tendency to paint a rosier picture than what actually exists.

--Having had a difficult day of travel and getting only 5 hours of sleep, the next morning I made the error of leaving a clothing item in the room. Two days later, I realize that it is missing and I work hard to follow up with the staff there to locate it. I leave a message, call back when I don't get the courtesy of a return call, stop by in person to inquire, speak with "Joe" (I think that was his name) as well as Dean. I get a couple of assurances that I will receive a call back -- they say they have to check with housekeeping. Even with my repeated calls, including an angry final call that got me the assurance that Chris would call me back the next day, nobody ever bothered to phone me, even to tell me that the item went missing. My guess is that this has happened before, so no big deal from their perspective, and that in my case the housekeeping staff knew someone who could use my clothing item.

The only positive comment I will make is a heartfelt one -- but it isn't about the Inn, it's about the College Inn Pub downstairs. The place is friendly and has an excellent choice of ales. Scruffy and real, if you are a beer enthusiast and are after authenticity instead of hype and polish, I would really recommend the Pub.

  • Liked — Near the U and the Pub downstairs
  • Disliked — Dishonesty and a screw-you attitude on the part of the staff
  • Stayed May 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2007

I was there last year, I was on a budget and it was a very decently priced place. Yes, the rooms are definitely smaller than chains and have shared bathrooms, but they are clean and a lot cheaper and if you are complaining about that in a review it's because you didn't read their website that explains all that before you booked.
Bus stops less than a block away.
The staff was really helpful, they offered to book transportation back to the airport that was a decent price.

The only down part is that it was a 5-10 minutes bus ride from Downtown places like Pike's Place rather than a short walk, but no big deal. They are shops around the area to look at as well.
It's right next to the University, so if you have stuff to do there, this is absolutely your place.

  • Stayed March 2006, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2007

This hotel is located in a lovely old yellow house, 30 mins bus ride from down town Seattle (lines 70-74). The rooms are clean, shared bathrooms are clean but expect to wait a little bit for your turn. Breakfast served at the top floor: cereal, granola, bagels, English muffin, coffee, yogurt, jam. Don't be late 'cause refills are scarce. Wireless internet, no TV , little sink in the room, windows are not blocking all the noise but the surrounding area is quiet. Prior to reservation we checked the reviews and asked for a room not near the bar, which fortunately was not active during our stay. 3 stories high with no elevator.. There are plenty of students cafes near by. Check the adjacent Washington university, it's gorgeous!

  • Stayed August 2007, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2007

This is a true Seattle gem, a lovely historic building.

The first reason I actually chose this hotel was because it was cheap, AND I could easily access the city via bus route. It is within very short walking distance of many bus routes to downtown or anywhere I needed to go, but I spent much less than I would have if I were to stay in downtown Seattle.

I was pleasantly surprised with my choice. If you are looking for a friendly, clean, modest home away from home, this is the place for you. I've stayed in many places, from hostels to bed and breakfasts to 5 star hotels. This place is sweet and minimalist. Service was excellent and very gracious, but be aware of the limited office hours. The manager was helpful with any questions or directions I needed help with as well. I wouldn't recommend it to those looking to be pampered and spoiled on their vacation, but for the down to earh traveller, its perfect. It is a European-style hotel with (very clean) shared bathrooms on each floor, so maybe bring a bath robe. There is a generous continental breakfast offered as well. Just downstairs is a fantastic cafe with delicious breakfast and lunch, and there is an array of ethnic restaurants and pubs within walking distance. I would highly recommend the College Inn!

  • Liked — The friendly atmosphere, the modest room, cleanliness of bathrooms
  • Disliked — the office hours- had to make sure to check in before closing
  • Stayed August 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The College Inn

Address: 4000 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
Location: United States > Washington > Seattle > University District
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #72 of 95 Hotels in Seattle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:1 star — The College Inn 1*
Number of rooms: 27
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
The College Hotel Seattle
College Hotel Seattle

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