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“Nice theme, but dirty”

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Best Western Plus Como Park Hotel
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Saint Paul
Reviewed June 18, 2008

I really liked the railroad theme and someone did a nice job renovating this old building 20 some years ago, but it is really looking down at the heels. Our room was large and the beds were fine, but it was not clean. Dirty scuffed up walls, a divider wall that was so dirty it was sticky to touch, etc. The lack of ventilation was also a problem -stale stuffy air and no windows or air controls. The pool area was filthy with cracked floors, dirty towels all over, etc. The property is a nice idea, but needs better execution.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled with family
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Thank grecole
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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576 - 582 of 595 reviews

Reviewed May 26, 2008

We stayed at the Best Western Bandana Square Hotel in St. Paul, MN for only one night. We attended a concert at the Excel Center.

We had an excellent stay. Our room was nice with a refrigerator and microwave. Not sure if all rooms have this but I believe it is available on request. The bed was very comfortable.

The hotel has a very unique historical atmosphere about it. It was a former train station. They still have some train tracks running through the continental breakfast area and some of the ceilings still have the original beams. It's amazing how they can blend some of the original architecture with modern day conveniences. I didn't use the pool but it looked very inviting.

The staff was excellent. Anything you asked for they were there to help you out. We really appreciated the hospitality.

There was a sports bar that was easy walking distance from the hotel that had good food. The Minnesota State Fairgrounds are also very close by.

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled as a couple
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Thank gothic1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2008

This hotel sounds like it would be great, but they don't have a heating/air conditioning system that functions - I mean, no air comes out. Our room was at least 80 degrees, despite the fan that we were loaned. The staff was kind, but there was nothing they could do. How can you have a hotel with no air system, no windows that open and expect to succeed?

  • Stayed: May 2008, traveled on business
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Thank Carol K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2008

My husband chose this particular location as it was conveniently located to his nearby training session and because it has a train theme for me, the family train buff.

On the positive side, let me begin by saying that the room itself was nice enough and certainly a good value for the money. The housekeeping staff were friendly and kept the room in good order. Also, the morning breakfast area was very welcome and nicely stocked and maintained by a very pleasant woman and her staff.

The nice part basically stops there. When we arrived, our room was at a roasting 80 degrees. No matter what we did, we could not get the temperature to come down. When we left for dinner, we spoke with a young woman at the front desk who asked us if the baseboard heater was on. I’m sure we looked puzzled because 1) there is nothing to even hint of a baseboard heater in the room (we assumed the thermostat on the wall controlled heat/cool functions) and 2) born and raised in California, I’d never even seen a baseboard heater. We told her we had no idea and she said she “could” have someone look at it. The way she said it made us wonder if she could but wouldn’t or, if she actually would have someone come in. A very strange interaction with the front desk to be sure. When we returned, the temperature was down to 75 and we seemed able to control it ok for the rest of the stay. It may just be that it was so miserably cold outside that we had it cranked on high the entire time.

Upon coming back to the hotel after dinner and exploration of the city, we found that none of the additional exterior doors to the hotel were working and that we were required to go all the way around to the front entrance to get inside. This was a major problem in the following days as the temperature with wind chill dropped down in the neighborhood of MINUS 35-45 degrees. We were there for an entire week and never noticed anyone even attempting to work on the doors and the repair status never changed. It was basically get out of your car and run for your life through the screaming wind, ice and snow to the front doors.

Although wireless internet service is touted as an amenity at this hotel, not once during the entire week were we able to hook up to the service with either of our two laptops. We complained to the front desk and were told that other guests were having problems as well and that she would see if she could reset the system. She also said something to the effect that the manager had been off the last two days so there wasn’t really anything she could do about it (same girl as before – same weird/less than enthusiastic attitude). We used the computer in the lobby to check our email occasionally in case there was anything that needed our attention. Even it had issues; Internet Explorer would “reset” every few minutes for no apparent reason and you’d be forced to sign on again. I would have not taken up the space to haul our computers if we’d known they would be unusable for the duration of our trip.

One evening, we decided to take advantage of the indoor spa. We went in the gate furthest from the spa to get the very last pool towel in the otherwise empty rack. My husband continued across the pool area closest to the wall, encountered an unseen large amount of standing water on the slick, painted surface and promptly fell. He was bruised on his hip and forearm where he hit but thankfully was otherwise ok. To add insult to injury, the one towel available flew out of his hands and ended up in the pool when he fell. While we were in the spa, another guest came in and almost suffered the same fate while turning on the timer for the spa (in the area next to the shower). Needless to say, we opted to not visit that part of the hotel again. The slick pool area surface is dangerous and should be addressed immediately.

I am so disappointed to have the problems that we had on this trip. My husband will have numerous training sessions over the coming years and this hotel is perfectly located for our needs. I loved that it was in an old train repair shop. I had a wonderful time exploring all sorts of fun train related things in the city (the model train museum in the next building was great!); the Transportation Museum, the Winter Carnival, Mall of America, etc. plus it’s wonderful to be close to a very active track area near the hotel for train watching/photography.

I hope that we find that the problems at this property have been fixed. We’d love to stay there again, but certainly won’t under the conditions we found on this stay.

  • Stayed: February 2008, traveled on business
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Thank eviltwin01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2008

We stayed there recently and you can clearly see there is potential in the facility, but that the current management doesn't have much interest in bringing that potential to the surface. Maintenance is clearly not a priority.

The room's ventilation system howled and whined 24-hours a day. The thermostat had been punished by a previous guest and no longer functioned. The bathroom was small and dark. The room was large, but dark. When they added the curved shower curtain rod there was clearly no effort made to disguise or cover the holes in the wall from the previous shower curtain rod.

The side doors don't open via key card despite having key card readers. Those readers haven't worked for so long that the signs taped to the doors announcing the fact have started to fade. As a result, other occupants of the hotel prop the side doors open, creating a security problem.

Most annoyingly, we discovered on our last morning there that the room's door didn't lock. When we brought this to the attention of the girl working the front desk, her responses were, in order:

"Well, maintenance doesn't work today."
"You're checking out in a few hours, aren't you?"
"I can give you ten percent off the room."

My wife was quite upset about this as she had stayed there for several days by herself before I joined her. Given the problems with people propping open the side doors, she felt that her personal security had been compromised and the girl working the front desk completely failed to empathize or acknowledge the problem. Giving us 10% off the room was almost an insult.

We didn't find any elevators and some rooms are a long walk from the front entrance.

The parking is free. The surface lot seems to be coming apart as there is plenty of loose asphalt around. The parking structure seems to be solid though there are good sized pits on all the exits where the tire puncture devices were removed and their holes never filled.

The breakfast is passable. The food is nothing special and served using plastic utensils on disposable plates and bowls. When they say it closes at 09:30, it closes at 09:30 and not a minute after, so don't be late.

There is one sports bar within walking distance. Como Park is a long walk away. Plan on driving to everything else (except the urgent care clinic that shares the building).

  • Stayed: April 2008
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Thank ayti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2008

I've actually stayed at this hotel twice.... Once back in 2006 with a bunch of guys on a hockey trip. The hotel was perfect for us... cheap, clean, pool, good breakfast and just down the road from a bar that had a shuttle to the XCel Center.

My second trip I brought the girlfriend and two kids (9 and 3). They loved the train theme, and they were quick and helpful when it came to supplying us with a roll-away. The atrium area was a bit drafty and cold. The pool was okay - but they have a "NO CHILDREN" policy for the hot tub, even if supervised. That didn't go over too well with the kids.

We had some issues with the pay per view tv, and the girl at the front was less than helpful. After 1/2 hour of fighting with it, we gave up and got our money back.

My girlfriend also misplaced her cell phone while there, and it was turned in to the front desk. The girl decided to call every phone number in the contact list (roaming charges + out of country charges) trying to figure out who it belonged to. We weren't overly impressed with that.

The breakfast was excellent, one of the better continentals we've had in awhile.

This hotel was only a 15min drive to the Xcel Center and the Childrens Museum (worth a visit if you have little ones) as well. Bonus.

For the money, it was a decent hotel and I would probably stay there again.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with family
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Thank Azarius74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 10, 2007

When we checked into the hotel we were infomed that our room was one flight up and to the left. No elevator! No one to carry our bags.
When I asked about the pool the desk clerk wasn't sure if there was a pool.
i had looked at the hotel online and knew more about the place than the desk clerk!
When I got to my room the heat was on. It was August!
I called the fromt desk and said I needed a room with AC I was told that they would try to find one.
We went to my friends room to wait for them to tell me what room I would be going to and when they never called. We tried to call the front desk BUT my friends room phone was not connected!!
We had to call the front desk from a CELL PHONE!

aside from the above problems the place was UGLY!

  • Stayed: August 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank jenni7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Plus Como Park Hotel

Address: 1010 Bandana Blvd W, Saint Paul, MN 55108-5107 (Formerly Best Western Plus Bandana Square)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Saint Paul
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #10 of 16 Hotels in Saint Paul
Price Range: $103 - $162 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Best Western Plus Como Park Hotel 2.5*
Number of rooms: 109
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Also Known As:
Best Western Bandana Square Hotel Saint Paul
Bandana Square Best Western
Best Western Saint Paul
Saint Paul Best Western

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