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“limited hours of service at the front desk is not helpful”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Union Hotel

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Union Hotel
Ranked #3 of 5 Benicia B&B and Inns
Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
40 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“limited hours of service at the front desk is not helpful”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2012

The historic nature of the hotel and the furnishings that coordinate with this historic feeling are appealing. Unfortunately, it is on a corner above a bar so there was a lot of noise during the night. Breakfast...cooked for us individually each morning...was very nice, and the hotel is convenient to a variety of restaurants within a few blocks. The oddest thing about the hotel is that there is no one at the front desk except during the hours of 3 and 6 pm. For guests who have to arrive after 6, they have a system where they leave a key in an envelope with the person's name at the front door. After opening the front door, that person's key is in an envelope on a table in the front hall. This system doesn't appear to be particularly safe to me. Fortunately, we arrived during the 3 hours when there was someone at the front desk when we stayed at the hotel. We'll be going back to Benicia in the future, but I haven't decided if we'll give Union Hotel another chance or not.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank Travels4Fun3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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    20
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 4, 2011

Mixed experience. Unlike other reviewers who complained of bad check-in service, we had a good experience with the young helpful woman who checked us in. She carefully explained everything, and emphasized the phone number to call if we had any questions or needs after the desk closed at 6 p.m.

Also unlike others who reviewed, we found our room (The Coast Lotus) to be very nice (with only a charming bit of shabbiness), with a beautiful view and a comfortable bed. No complaints there. Unfortunately, though, there was a loud fan noise directly by our room. We tried to nap around six, and found it impossible to sleep. When we investigated, we found out that the hotel restaurant chimney, topped with vent fan, is bolted to the wall of this room, so the whole east wall (right by the bed) vibrates with the noise! Remembering the nice young woman's info on the after-hours number, I found it and called. No answer, so I left a polite message asking if we could be moved to another room if the noise was going to continue after about 10 p.m. I left my cell phone number since we were about to head down to the restaurant for dinner.

Well, no call on cell. No message left on room phone. No response at all. The fan finally was turned off a few minutes before 11, and THEN, the kitchen staff from the restaurant could clearly be heard through the window on that same wall, loudly talking and throwing bottles and other trash into the dumpster right under the window until 11:30. The hotel guests are supposed to be quiet starting at 10 p.m., according to the directions we were given on check-in, but that apparently doesn't apply to the restaurant staff!

It took a while to wind down and get to sleep. Then, voila, about 7:30 the fan comes back on. Wish I could give this place four or five stars, but the bad night's sleep and lack of response definitely cuts the rating back. Even a polite call from staff saying, "Gee, we're sorry, but all of our other rooms are booked" would have been better than no call at all. The kicker is that this is a premium rate hotel. If it was a Motel Six I would have thought, "Well, that's what you get at a budget place."

Room Tip: Don't know about the other rooms, but do not go for the Coast Lotus unless noise does not bother...
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Carolyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
102 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 2, 2011

Stayed for 4th of July, lots of fun, everything went well

  • Stayed July 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Chellyj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerville, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
193 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2011

We stayed here for three nights as part of a wedding party. I got to see some of the other rooms as well as our own so can compare them. As a frequent traveler, I am aware that some one horse towns won't have the Ritz, then again you won't be paying severe prices either. I do, however have some comments.
1. The bed must have been 4 plus feet off the ground. My wife left the sheets tucked in so she wouldn't fall out. I had to hit the bathroom at one point and forgot the height issue....oops.
2. There was only one waste basket in the room, and that was in the bathroom.
3. The wallpaper was hideous...matter of taste is one thing, but every thing didn't match, from wallpaper, to border, to bedspread to lampshades to curtains. You can't get period designs and expect them to automatically match.
4. As a result of three, I'd advise against any people prone to seizures from Japanese videos to avoid the "Wild Peony" room at all costs.
5. Room was in back on third floor...dump truck was only noise we heard one morning. I heard the street side rooms (front) were quite noisy.
6. TV was broken, but didn't comment to staff as it wasn't what we were there for.
7. Ever hear of an elevator needing a key to operate....this is your spot.
8. Staff, when we met them, were really nice and accommodating. Only issue was booking the place...had to do by phone...as home page has no options for online booking. Booking took a few attempts but we got it in the end.
9. Place is supposedly haunted...can't confirm or deny...but added to character.
10. I was in two other rooms and they had real colors, not the crazy wallpaper that we had - see photos.
11. Parking is easy and free.
12. Late check in was a breeze
13. Breakfast of OJ, coffee, bacon and eggs wasn't great. That's a basic breakfast but still some places/people have issues with it. Some good diners near by and Star$s Coffee is at top of street, if needed.

Room Tip: Stay at the back (noise) and avoid the Wild Peony (weird)
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Waidesworld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 21, 2011

I spent my birthday weekend at this cute little hotel. You have to keep in mind that its one of the oldest hotels around, that being said it is a lot better than others I have stayed in. It was really cozy, the bed was huge, the service was very friendly and overall its a pretty hotel. They were most accommodating with my birthday needs and were wonderful at breakfast. The location is also a plus.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank istangelo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2011

It took fifteen minutes to check in, and that was the best part of our stay. The bed was like a hammock and it had covers that were torn. Tiniest tv you've ever seen. Occupants upstairs ran their jacuzzi from before 9 pm until after midnight. Upstairs drain pipes seem to run right by the head of our bed, and were in use all night. Trains run constantly nearby with very loud horns all night. We were awakened in the morning by someone banging on our door demanding to know our name; there is no peephole in the door so we have no idea if this staff, or another guest, or an intruder. Breakfast is eggs, scrambled or over easy, two tiny slices of bacon, two unbuttered pieces of toast, no potatoes.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else if you value comfort or sleep
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  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank 60713Worldtraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Benicia hotels

Walnut Creek, California
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 6, 2011

My husband and I stayed there for one night in April. In short: very charming, historic hotel, rooms are just the right size, very clean, extremely friendly staff, in a heart of historic Benicia with walking distance to boutique stores, cafees , various restaurants and the trail along shoreline (with picturesque marina).
At night the main street was quiet, but next time we would choose the room facing away from the main street. Excellent restaurant adjacent to the hotel (historic as well). A little gem in this
undiscovered town.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jola61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Union Hotel

Property: Union Hotel
Address: 401 1st St, PO Box 874, Benicia, CA 94510-3207
Location: United States > California > Benicia
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Benicia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Union Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Union Hotel, a unique hotel in the San Francisco Bay area, is nestled on the edge of a calm bay in Benicia, California close to nearby scenic attractions of Northern California. The city of Benicia is home to a bustling marina, antique shops, art studios, restaurants, historic landmarks and shopping. Our Inn is in the Bay Area, located near the Carquinez Strait, which is part of San Francisco Bay. The comfortable décor of this Benicia, CA hotel is reminiscent of California's past and is highlighted with touches of European elegance. In the middle of the nineteenth century, this beautiful cream-colored hotel welcomed guests from all over the world with warm hospitality. The tradition continues today at the Union Hotel in lovely historic Benicia. Each luxuriously appointed guestroom features a private bathroom with Jacuzzi, distinctive amenities, private phone lines, and period interior. Some suites feature spectacular water views and spacious bathrooms with Whirlpool Jacuzzi tubs for two. Guests on business can enjoy wireless internet service, voicemail, private phone lines.A combination of beauty, history, and comfort has created a distinctive place to stay at The Union Hotel, a Northern California Inn. Whether you are visiting the San Francisco Bay Area for a romantic weekend getaway, honeymoon, anniversary, relaxing vacation, or business trip - we hope to see you at The Union Hotel. ... more   less 
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