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“Outstanding Service”

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Hotel Aura San Bruno
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in San Bruno
Madison, Alabama
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Outstanding Service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 8, 2010

My husband, son and I, stayed for one night at this Howard Johnson. We were just in transit for a night. I did book the room based on the reviews and price (since I knew we were only going to be there for one night). I have to admit that the first impression was a little disappointing. However, I have to keep in mind that it is, after all, a budget hotel. Perhaps I was expecting a little too much in terms of decor.

The room was adequate. The bathroom looked newly renovated. I did not like that the bathroom door was designed to close on its own. We prefer to have the bathroom door open so had to prop it open with a piece of luggage. The main complaint I have is the carpeting -- it looks old and well worn. Having that changed would have helped tremendously.

I have this "thing" about hotel room floors -- either I feel okay walking around bare-footed (which is good), or I keep my socks on because I don't want my bare feet to touch the carpet (which is not good). I kept my socks on. Other than that the room and bathroom appear to be adequately clean.

Breakfast was also adequate, with fresh fruits, hard-boiled eggs, and the usual muffins, bagels, cereal, coffee, juices, etc. We had an early flight to catch so we were there early and everything was plentiful.

The one thing that stood out, however, was the service. We expected to catch the 6:30 airport shuttle, and thought that we had until 6:30 to get down to the lobby (we were running a little late). I thought we still had 5 mins. to get downstairs. When I got to my room 5 mins. prior, however, the phone rang, and it was the front desk , calling to tell me that we were supposed to be there 5 mins. before, and that the shuttle was already here! So, of course, we gathered all our luggage, and flew out of the room to catch the shuttle (which thankfully waited for us).

I have to say that I was very surprised that I received that call from the front desk. I know I told the receptionist the night before that we are going to try and catch the 6:30 shuttle and would therefore like a 5:30 wake up call; but I did not expect her to make a note of it, and I definitely did not expect a call when we weren't at the lobby when the shuttle got there. After all, we were told that the shuttles run on the half hour, and assumed it was our responsibility to get down there to catch whichever one we needed. Needless to say -- I am very impressed with the level of service from this hotel!

This could be a great little hotel -- if they would replace the worn room carpet. Also, the one piece of carpet in the lobby (under the coffee table) looks dirty, and is stained. Replacing/cleaning that would help their image tremendously.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Coconut1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHOJO, General Manager at Hotel Aura San Bruno, responded to this review, June 11, 2010
Thank you for your review and your constructive criticism.

The carpeting is being addressed over the next week and is scheduled to be deep cleaned. We've already begun the process and should be done very shortly.

I'm very happy to hear that my staff was on the ball with alerting you to the shuttles early arrival. Sometimes the dirver of the shuttle service will be a little ahead of schedule and we do our level best to ensure that our guests get on the shuttle to make their flights. One way or another we get you there.

We look forward to hosting you again soon if you happen to be out this way. Take care and thank you for staying with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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655 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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Farmington Hills, Michigan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 6, 2010

We stayed here for 5 nights May 26-31. If the name on the sign didn't say Howard Johnson, this would be at least a 2.5 and probably a 3 star hotel. The location is superb with neighborhoods surrounding it. San Bruno itself is a bit gritty but this hotel sits in a nice area. Lots of roses and other flowers in the house's garden nearby. In fact, we enjoyed each and every walk to the CalTrain station (only half a mile and just $5.00 round trip to San Farncisco).

The rooms are comfortable but nothing special. But that's all you can really ask of a room in the Bay Area at a $35 nightly rate. The microwave and fridge were most welcome for a longer stay. Beds were comfortable and even included 3 different pillows each for different guest preferences. Bathroom was fine - only minor issue is door automatically closed and we prefer it open when showering. As for cleaning, recent compalints are mystifying. Room was clean when we got there and was cleaned well each day.

Breakfast suited us just fine. Selection is rather narrow but I've seen worse at most other hotels in this price range. They did keep it well stocked throughout the entire 6-10 am period. While location could be better, it certainly works where it is and is easy to find and access. For a quick breakfast, it certainly is very nice.

The one area where this hotel truly stands out is service, All of the staff are willing to do whatever they can to help - but you've got to ask. We had a computer power cord go bad and they provided electrical tape so we could get back operational! Staff was also very knowledgable about the area and Bay Area in general. They were always helpful once we requested help, It's not the Ritz where they anticipate your needs - but the rate is 10-15% of the Ritz's.

All in all, this hotel deserves 5 stars based on good performance and a phenomenal room rate. Very rarely do you see all the assets we saw here in an inexpensive hotel. So for those reviewers who want more, be prepared to pay more - a lot more - for it.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank reanders19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHOJO, General Manager at Hotel Aura San Bruno, responded to this review, June 7, 2010
Thank you so much for your review of our hotel. It does our hearts good to know that our efforts are not in vain. I'm glad we were able to help with the issue with your powercord and anything else that might have arisen during your stay.

I'm pleased that you liked the new bedding that we have in place on all of our beds. The new color schemes and styles of the bed scarves and bed skirts, and the new triple sheeting of all beds, really does make a huge difference and is quite eye catching as soon as you walk in the room. As is standard, all of our rooms come with refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers and it's great to hear that you put them to good use. We are in the process of installing new pillow-top mattresses, as well, in all of our rooms, so please come back soon to give those a try when you find yourself back in our neck of the woods.

I'm thankful that the short walk to the CalTrain station was both easily traversed and, from your description, quite pleasant to the eye. Our hotel really is in a good spot here in San Bruno and for that we are all truly lucky.

We hope to see you back again very soon and when you're ready to book your future reservations be sure to contact the hotel directly because we can always give you a better deal than what you seen online with third party reservation sites.

Take care and thank you for staying with us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Medina, Ohio
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 4, 2010

Stayed one night near airport at the beginning & end of our California trip. $36 got us a clean, quiet room with breakfast & shuttle to airport. Staff were courteous & helpful!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank rodgersfamily8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHOJO, General Manager at Hotel Aura San Bruno, responded to this review, June 7, 2010
Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to review our hotel. I'm sorry you weren't able to stay longer and enjoy all that the Bay Area has to offer (great dining, entertainment, culture) but hopefully you'll return soon and have the chance to experience anything that you may have missed the first time around. As part of the service we offer here at the Howard Johnson SFO West, we are also partnered with a local ticketing agent and can provide you with the best seats to all the nearby sporting (49'ers, Giants, Warriors) or entertainment events (Wicked, Peter Pan). We can also make arrangements for day tours to Alcatraz Prison or sight seeing tours of San Francisco.

I hope we get the chance to host you again and maybe get to show you all (or at least most) of what the Bay Area has to offer.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MONTREAL
Level Contributor
19 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 2, 2010

Let me start by saying that we booked this hotel because of the excellent reviews we had seen online, we come from Montreal, and our flight was delayed for over 10 hours, the only thing that kept us going was knowing that we were going to a great hotel that night boy were we wrong!!! First of all, the neighbourhood where the hotel is, is pretty sketchy... very dark, desolate, and the parking lot of the hotel is even creepier... It's under the hotel, not much lighting and very isolated. When we finally checked into our rooms, we found pubic hair in one of the beds, and some sort of fluid... needless to say we slept fully clothed... The room was really dusty, old looking, and very dirty... I even found change and hair in the bathtub. The breakfast that everyone was raving about was terrible, there was no selection and the staff was far from being welcoming, think cold glares... We were so disgusted with the hotel that we checked out 3 nights early, when we voiced our complaints to the front desk, we got no apologies or nothing, it's almost as if they are used to this kind of thing.... I have read the other reviews where the hotel manager states that there is new management and such, but please don't believe it, I travel ALOT!!! And i have never, never experiences a disgusting hotel like this!!!

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JLOVESTOTRAVEL27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHOJO, General Manager at Hotel Aura San Bruno, responded to this review, June 4, 2010
This posting is from the same people as the one that follows. As stated in my response below, TA has been contacted to remove these postings. They are attempting to lash back at me, the General Manager, because they were caught using an invalid credit card on a closed account to book their reservations. Proof of this through an email thread between myself and the guests is being provided to TA. Also, video and audio logs of their check-out interaction show no mention of any service or cleanliness issues being brought to the staff's attention as they claim.
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Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 1, 2010

I dont know where to start on this one... very disappointing experience. First of all I booked this hotel online, got an excellent rate and thought the reviews were excellent. Left my credit card number since you had to, in order to book the hotel. Was flying in from Burlington, Vermont. On the day of my flight, I experienced long delays and was a very long day. At around lunch time, I received emails from the hotel manager telling me my card had not passed. Now, I didnt plan on using my credit card as a method of payment so I just listed it to confirm the reservation. The reservation indicated that nothing will be charged until checking out. So I thought it was quite clear. Apparently the manager thinks that placing a hold on your credit card is not considered a charge. Well to me, if you put a hold on my credit card, that prevents me from using my card and is therefore a charge that gets reimbursed. Since I had been travelling I had a hold on my card from my car rental so obviously the hold wouldnt be able to pass. The manager accused me of using a fake credit card and heckled me for a few hours while I awaited my connecting flight. Obviously you shouldnt have to worry about your hotel reservation when you are waiting between flights. The manager threatened to cancel my reservation. Most other hotel chains dont require a credit card hold so I found this to be unacceptable. After being in the air since 10am, I got to the hotel by 2 am, extremely exhausted at this point. Check in was surprisingly quick and efficient, and luckily the reservation was kept, but this wasnt the end of the bad news... Once we arrived to the room, it was absolutely disgusting. The room had 2 queen beds, and I have a tendency to always pull back the sheets to make sure its clean... the first bed i happened to pull the sheets back, I was disgusted to find long black hairs in the bedding itself... I went to check the other bed and it seemed fine.. being so exhausted we paid the full 4 night stay as soon as we arrived. The next morning my girlfriend woke up and noticed hairs on the pillow that she had her head on!!! The bed we slept on seemed ok in the dark the night before... but I guess we didnt notice how filthy it was. The bathroom vent was also full of dirt... you would figure something that easy to clean would have been... see the pictures I included. The bedspread also had numerous stains all over it... We couldnt believe that the hotel with all the good reviews could possibly be this bad... the parking garage was not that well lit, and was dark in places.. we did not feel safe leaving the car parked there as anyone could have walked off the street into the parking garage to break into a car or steal one. Also, on the night we arrived the elevator wasnt working so we had to haul our luggage up all the stairs... and anyone could have easily walked up to the 2nd level right off the street itself... very unsafe. Be sure to see the pictures I have left with this review.. absolutely disgusting hotel. The breakfast area is kind of like in the middle of all the rooms.. not very great place for it, as when we got there the tv was on loud and im sure the rooms within proximity of the breakfast area the people would be woken up from people getting breakfast there like the last reviewer mentioned...plus they have someone sitting right behind the breakfast area who didnt look very happy to be there.. so we ate, crappy and cheap breakfast selection while having someone stare at us from behind the breakfast thing... if she was pleasant and said good morning it would have been less annoying... the next morning we couldnt get out of there fast enough, so we went to the front desk and asked to cancel. We payed almost 250$ in full in travellers checks, and advised the lady at the front desk of our previous night and that she should do something about when there are hairs in the bed etc... The front desk lady did not respond!!!! This is the kicker. If someone is dissatisfied, how about an apology??? Nope she didnt say a word, and my girlfriend is a travel agent and said that this should concern her... but she didnt look like she cared at all... I couldnt believe it. The fact that we actually still had to pay for the nights stay was even more incredible... since they could have reimbursed us the full amount for the disgusting room they gave us. Upon returning our money, still not saying 1 word, they literally gave us a couple 20 dollar bills and a stack of 1 dollar bills, so it was very insulting to be treated like complete trash. No apology and giving us a stack on 1$ bills as our change.. completely unacceptable and not how you run a hotel chain. This hotel needs new management, its obvious they dont care about their customers, and be wary of the reviews you read on this hotel... just remember that anyone can review their own hotel... its funny how everyone else had such great service but we didnt??? We went to the Super 8 San Bruno and spent like an extra 5- 10$ per night, for a great stay over there. Check out my review for the Super 8.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank CH27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GMHOJO, General Manager at Hotel Aura San Bruno, responded to this review, June 11, 2010
The guest claims that the I, the General Manager, made false claims about him using an invalid credit card on a closed account. An email thread is being provided to TA to prove that the guest himself stated that he uses an invalid credit to book his reservations with. The guest also claims that the room was unclean and disgusting when all rooms are thoroughly cleaned and inspected daily before check-in and no room is released until it passes a rigorous 28 point check list. Lastly, video and audio logs from this person's check-out interact show that at no time did he or his girlfriend address any issues. These guests have a personal problem with me and are using TA to lash out at me through the hotel.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 29, 2010

The hotel is located in a very good place, near to the airport, the neighborhood is average, I could go out for a walk with no problem, felt secure doing so. The rooms are a bit old but they are still in good shape. When we checked in, the front desk girl was very nice (Andrea), we had problems with the AC, did a wierd noise and we couldn't sleep. Andrea changed the room very kindly and the problem was solved. The down side would be the breakfast and the eating area, breakfast is poor, they could put some more things, and the tables are located in the middle of the rooms, they need to get a better space for it. I could hear people from 6 AM right beside my door grabbing breakfast.

  • Stayed May 2010
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Falcon0580
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellingham
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2010

This has to be one of the best values in hotel accommodations in the Bay area. Fair prices, good service, and the bus stops right in front. Tucked out of the way in a working neighborhood, but with excellent mass transit services. We bused to the BART daily and went into San Francisco. It was easy.

Each night we came "home" to a spotless room.

The neighborhood is working class, but very safe. Surrounded by family restaurants with great food at great prices. All within walking distance.

I know exactly where I am going to stay next time I am in the Bay area. This is the first review I have ever written, but this hotel deserves the praise.

We want to go back, already.

Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank dkarlberg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Aura San Bruno

Property: Hotel Aura San Bruno
Address: 190 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066-5552 (Formerly Howard Johnson Express Inn San Bruno/SFO West)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > San Bruno
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 13 Hotels in San Bruno
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:2 star — Hotel Aura San Bruno 2*
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Hotel Aura in San Bruno, California is situated in an ideal location next to San Francisco Airport (SFO) for your next visit to the San Francisco Bay Area. When you stay at this affordable, yet luxurious hotel, you'll experience plush bedding, a wide range of amenities, and a variety of services such as free on-site parking for your vehicle. If you don't have a car, you can catch your flight out of SFO with our free airport shuttle service. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Howard Johnson San Bruno Hotel San Bruno
San Bruno Howard Johnson

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