I stayed at this establishment the same nights as the gentleman's review below. I can attest to every word he said about the customer service this past weekend, it was quite unpleasant.
I arrived at 5pm on Friday, and was tired as I was out on the road since 3 am. When I arrived, the hotel exterior looked very outdated, and not modern like MANY other Holiday Inn Express locations. When I walked in, the lobby looked a bit more modernized with a nice waterfall accent and a few couches. The first thing that immediately grabbed my attention was, I wasn't greeted with a smile, or even a "Welcome..." and the standard greeting I have normally received at other brand name hotel chains when I arrived at the front desk. There were 2 older female desk clerks (about age 40 and above). Both seemed quite occupied with things other than the customer (me). When they checked my reservation, the clerk never made eye contact, or even smiled or acted like they were really glad I was staying at this location during the entire transaction, and at the end since I was a Hotel Club member I was told I could pick a choice of snack out of a small bowl of chocolate bars and what appeared to be index cards showing different cans of soda pop. It really looked like some old bowl someone used for Halloween and they threw together what they had. Not really what I would call a warm welcome by ANY means.
I checked into my room, #103 which was a handicap accessible room (I did not need such facilities but I made due). I was in my room for about 30 minutes, and during the first minutes in your hotel room, normally you receive a call from the front desk asking if everything in your room was satisfactory, I never received a call. The shower area of the restroom looked like it had stepped out of the 1970's with brown colored tiles, and a very old shower temperature knob. The rest of the room was modern, as is standard with other Holiday Inn Express locations. It was raining and I did not want to sit in the hotel, so I went and had dinner, walked around the local mall (bout 3-4 miles west of this location), and relaxed.
When I got up on the morning of the 6th, I proceeded to the breakfast area. To me, it was like they took the area where the pool was, kept it enclosed and put all of the breakfast and food items in there. The bacon, was crappy (a lot of other words could go there but I am keeping this PG). The omelets not flavorful, and runny, the sausage and biscuits were the only good items on the menu that morning. Also, as I walked by the front desk again not even a "Hi." or any greeting. It was like I was disturbing them from watching whatever was on the TV across from the front desk. After that I packed up and headed out to explore Altoona and the surrounding area and arrived back at the hotel later that evening without any issues.
The morning of the 7th, I went and had some breakfast (extremely watery powdered eggs and some sausage and biscuits), I noticed a manager working on their pancake machine (which was out of order). Once again, not even so much as a "Good Morning" or "Hi" from this gentleman. I quickly ate and checked out. Once again upon check out, not even so much as a smile.
I have to say, out of all the experiences at various hotels I have stayed at, this is the only one where I would think twice about staying, and NOT because of the property, but because of the lack of a friendly atmosphere that was perpetuated by the hotel front desk staff. Never, have I felt so compelled. They really need to update their front desk staff, maybe hire on some younger personnel who know the meaning of keeping the customer happy.
I will say this. If you like trains and/or are traveling to Altoona to railfan or check out the local railroad history, this location is centrally located. It's about a 10 mile drive to Horseshoe Curve, and about the same to the Altoona Railroader's Museum and the Norfolk Southern Railroad Altoona Shops.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Everything at Quality Inn & Suites - Altoona, PA is designed so that you can relax. We know that all you really need is a place to be yourself. Contemporary hospitality and our friendly staff are eagerly awaiting your visit. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Holiday Inn Express Altoona Hotel Altoona
- Holiday Inn Altoona
- Altoona Holiday Inn