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The Mission Inn Hotel and Spa
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Reviews (1,716)
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Reviewed December 25, 2007

We decided to book a room at the Mission Inn on Christmas Eve for just one night so that the following day we could continue on our journey to visit our family members for Christmas Day. Our incentive was that the hotel definitely has interesting architectural features and is listed on the Historic Hotels of America's registry. Also the Festival of Lights is an outstanding sight after dark. We tried to make reservations for dinner at any of the hotel's restaurants a month in advance, but they were completely booked. Instead we made prior reservations for our dinner at Mario's across the street. Smart idea. They seated us immediately in a cozy little booth. There was live music, efficient service and the meal was quite good. We felt sorry for the patrons at the Mission Inn restaurants. There were extremely long lines and even longer waits to get into the hotel restaurants on Christmas Eve. Many of the people had to eat their dinner outside in the hotel gardens or on the patios in the windy cold weather.

Our experience overall with most of the hotel service staff was a good one. Although harried with crowds, everyone from the parking valet to the front desk clerk to the waiter who served breakfast to us was polite.

Our room was on the first floor above the lobby overlooking the pedestrian mall with shops. We were surprised to find that the hallway was dimly lit and had a strange odor (similar to a nursing home). The odor permeated into our room. There were places in the hallway where we could feel that floorboards were broken or missing under the carpeting. Also there were places in the hallway where the carpeting had been cut out and glued down again perhaps from past repairs.

Our room #113 decor badly needed updating. This was especially evident in the bath which had a deteriorating black wallpaper with dark green flecks. It needed to be replaced, or at the very least, perhaps all of the splotches of toothpaste, etc., washed away. The toilet did not flush well, the sink drain backed up while we brushed our teeth and the tub/shower filled up when running the shower. Perhaps some draino is needed or perhaps the old plumbing needs to be updated. The inaccurate thermostat would not warm our room during the cold blustery night.

When we opened the door of our room on Christmas morning to make our way to breakfast, there was a very strong skunk-like odor throughout the hallway. We arrived at the restaurant at 6:30 am. There were only 2 other tables with customers at breakfast. What luck we thought! But our joy was short-lived. Our orders were only half good (the toast and a bowl of oatmeal) and the not-so-good half consisted of a very unripe banana, partially cooked (runny) scrambled eggs, and a wedge of decaying melon that should have been tossed out days ago. We were surprised at the lack of quality of the food for the prices and the reputation. We wished we had gone to Denny's instead.

I seriously doubt that we will return to the hotel in the future. Obviously, the magic just isn't there for us. Hopefully someday the hotel will be restored back to its previous grandeur. But at this time, we could not in good conscience recommend a satisfactory stay to other travelers.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
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9  Thank Junie13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2007

We have stayed at the Mission Inn on several occasions and love the atmosphere. Our most recent stay was for the Festival of Lights lighting ceremony in Nov. We have always spent the extra to stay on the 4th floor (mission rooms) and feel they are worth the extra $, but when the service is SO bad, it makes me think twice. While waiting for the lights to illuminate by the pool, we decided to have a drink to celebrate. Imagine our suprise when we walked to the bar in front of Duane's and were told by the bartender (who had NO ONE sitting at the bar) that even though we were hotel guests, he could not serve us, because we did not have reservations for Duane's. The bartender said it was an "upper management decision". We were told to go to the courtesy phone at the pool and order room service. After we couldn't get anyone to answer that phone, I then ventured to the Presidential Lounge, only to be stopped by security and told to wait. I understand it is very busy on this day and they are trying their best with crowd control, but I paid $405 for 1 night, all I wanted was to BUY a drink. After 10 minutes of pleading and complaining to security that I only wanted 2 drinks to take to pool area, I was let through the ropes to get my drinks. By the way, some other people by the pool got through on the courtesy phone and after an hour and a half, their drinks NEVER did come. After the lighting, we walking down the street to a local bar since the Mission Inn didn't seem to want our money.
Will we return.....probably because of the atmosphere, but I will DEFINATELY be more vocal to management immediately regarding dissatisfaction of service.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
6  Thank melbertie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 19, 2007

This is my first review but I felt compelled to write about a horrible experience.

My mother and I were very disappointed with improper treatment on a Saturday by a server at the bar/dining area of the Mission Inn.

We arrived around 3:15 p.m. (not the peak of any mealtime) and wanted to get seated and have a drink and something to eat. We asked a curly hair brunette (never got the name because we barely saw her) if we could sit in the dining area outside the bar. Her answer was already a curt "sure" and looked as if had already asked her too much. There were 2 other tables of people, who looked like they were almost done with their meal and a table full of half-eaten food that hadn't been bussed so we knew that people were eating there.

After patiently waiting for 10 minutes, with no one coming around, when the server passed by (after talking with one of the tables but not ours) we got her attention again and politely asked for a menu. She stopped, looked at us, barely nodded and with out a word, walked on by.

Another 10 minutes passed by, nobody showed up. By that time we were very hungry, had no menus, and were getting upset. My mom had to get up from the table, go to the bar to find her. This was our 3rd time trying to get her attention. My mom asked her why we did not get our menus. She said "Oh, you want a menu?" Can you believe that? Did she just think that we were just sitting there for no reason and didn't want to order anything from the bar or restaurant? We waited another couple minutes to see if she would come with the menus and when she didn't ( and we were quite upset by then), we left.

My mom complained to the receptionist at the bell desk, who immediately called and asked the manager to come to talk to us. After another 10 minutes, Ms. Langdon (who wasn't the manger but was someone in charge) came to talk with us and was quite polite and sincere. She said she would seat us and take care of us but as you can imagine we were pretty much starving and done with the Mission Inn by then. We just didn't feel comfortable there and just wanted to get to a place that would serve us, so we left. Oh and in the almost 25 minutes from from sitting down to leaving, the 2 other tables left, no one else sat down, and half-eaten food that hadn't been bussed earlier was still sitting there. Fewer tables, but still no service.

It was supposed to be our mother/daughter get-together to see the famous Mission Inn Christmas Lighting. It did not turned out the way we planned and was actually tainted. We frequently patron Mission Inn and return at least once a year to see the Christmas lights. My mom was even proposed to there at the steakhouse so you can imagine that prior to this experience, we had nothing but good feelings toward the place. We were dressed very nicely (not that that should have anything to do with the service that you get) and never did anything to offend the server.

After leaving, we complained via email to the manager, Mr. Acosta, and he apologized for the service but and offered to use the situation as a model at the next training meeting. This was okay but I would think that someone who went through the process of complaining would deserve a better response, something more to encourage regular patrons to come back again. Both managerial staff apologized for the incident and one actually said that what happened to us was wrong and that we should have been served but it still felt that there was something lacking in the response. And of course in the original situation.

Of this experience, I rate this a "Terrible experience" but I will say that say that the receptionist at the bell desk and Ms. Langdon tried pretty hard to improve the situation. The manager did an okay job as well, responding quickly to our email and with his apology. But not enough to give it an okay or make us feel welcomed there. This is a beautiful, historic hotel but with waitstaff like this, the place is clearly lacking in service.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled with family
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7  Thank ca_glin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 14, 2007

I stayed two nights. The rooms are old. There was a window with curtains insid the shower, so if you are a big guy, your elbows and body will be touching the window curtains as you shower. When i was in the tub going for a hot soak (I don't ususally do this since I know tubs are NOT clean, but i was sick with the chills, and needed a hot soak), I noticed some mildew around the tub and alot of mildew underneath the spout where the runoff water goes).

I read few of the 1 (one) star reviews, and concur with most of them.

DO NOT stay on the first floor. REPEAT: do NOT stay on the first floor. There is constant opening and closing of doors on the ground floor below, AT ALL HOURS. I was awaken at the opening and closing of doors from 4am to 6am. Also, the hotel room doorst are VERY loud when closing, so when someone leaves their room, and the door automatically shuts, it's a "BANG"!

You also have to realize tha if your room is facing the courtyard, there are restaurants below, and if you open your window, you can hear all the customers talking, laughing, etc. until about 9 to 10 p.m. at night. So for those early birds...you definitely don't want a room on the first floor, go HIGHER.

Please read more of the 1 star reviews. I only pointed out the noise factor. There are other problems but i've typed long enough.

  • Stayed: December 2007
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank badbatzmaru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 26, 2007

We stayed here for the first night of the Festival of Lights. We got married here 2 years ago on the 25th. We thought it would be adorable to celebrate our anniversary and see the lights we didn't have time to see when we got married.
We booked the Festival of Lights package which include a $75 gift certificate, box of truffles, and a "special" calendar. So with a Mission level room that came to 405.00/ night. I do not mind paying for something if I feel like I am getting a good value, I didn't.
The place is beautiful. This is not a 4 star resort, I have gotten better service at a Hilton Garden Inn. I understand that the Mission Inn is a older property and has very unique characteristics. Every room has different accents and designs that are very charming. The rooms were remodeled with duvets and flat screen TV's. Odd things were: the toilet was abnormally high off the ground, so when you sat down, your feet dangled (husband who is over 6' tall was on his tippy toes), NO COFFEE MAKER, cheap toiletries, lack of typical bathroom amenities (sewing kit, cotton balls q tips), and lack of sufficient quantities of towels. The bed was hard like the ones you would find in mexico.

We ordered room service, which is relatively reasonable for room service prices. I forgave that it took over an hour, I understood the resort was busy, but the person who delivered didn't ask us if we needed any ice or removed any plastic wrap off the food and classes of ice water ( I have ordered room service enough to know what to expect). She just complained that the tray was heavy, dropped the food off, stood for any additional tip, and left. The food was very good though.

The lights and fireworks were very beautiful, and I was very glad I got married there because I have really great pictures. I just thought the service left much to be desired.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled on business
    • Value
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    • Check in / front desk
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6  Thank septocaine_queen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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