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“Suites are great.”
Review of The Atherton Hotel

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The Atherton Hotel
Ranked #11 of 26 Hotels in State College
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Summary

1) Large Suites. Can't book them on line, you have to make a phone call to get one.
2) Great Location for Downtown.
3) Boutique style older hotel recently renovated but deliberately in a 1940s style, with a pretty lobby and wood paneled elevators with classical music in the halls and elevators.
4) Convenient Services.
5) Nice oasis in the middle of a busy noisy downtown area.
6) Parking garage under the building. A big plus in downtown State College.

7) WiFi a little weak on the 6th floor.
8) Older style heating air conditioning units that can be noisy (white noise).
9) Windows not completely soundproof but we slept just fine but were on a higher floor.
10) Hours for services change depending on how busy they are-- so double check.


Stayed here recently for the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts which takes place in downtown State College. This hotel was a perfect location. We had booked a single room but when I asked at the desk if they had suites they said yes and then upgraded me at no extra charge. Was there for 3 nights.

The suite is two former hotel rooms jointed together by French doors. There is an entrance hallway with a side table and then a kitchenette area with a small refrigerator, a sink and cabinets. Between the side table and the kitchenette there is a closet with extra pillows and an ironing board and iron. The living room has a sofa with two end table and lamps, an arm chair with a standing lamp, a chest of draw with a new flat screen TV, and also a writing desk with a lamp and mirror and internet hook up.

The bedroom was very pleasant with a large king bed with two night table and a chest of drawers with a second flat screen TV. Large bathroom with Jacuzzi and shower and sink.

The furniture in our room was new but in an older style fitting with the decor of the whole hotel. Although the lamp on the desk might look like something from the 1940s the base had a port for an internet line. A number of people had commented that the furniture is outdated. It is not worn, it's actually pretty new, it is just deliberately in an older style, as is the whole hotel. When I was there everything was quite clean.

One advantage of the suite is that both rooms have a heating air condition unit so at night we put the one on in the living room and turned the one off in the bedroom and kept the French doors open slightly. Kept the room cool just fine but we could not hear the air conditioner turning on and off in the living room. In a single room it might have kept me awake. It's about as loud as a window unit you would buy for your home.


Went down to their bar/lounge which is nice and they sell 6 packs so I got Blue Moon and took it back to the room and put it in the refrigerator. But they have a good selection including Stella Artois, Hoegarden, Newcastle Brown Ale and about 12 other selections. Full bar with nice sitting area. Ate lunch there twice and liked the food. Nice selection on the menu. Had shrimp with BBQ sauce and blue cheese dipping sauce just because it sounded so unusual and it was quite good. Price very reasonable and on the second floor above the street level it was a nice quiet place to get away from the crowd out on the street. However the bartender told me that during football weekends the bar is quite busy and not so quiet. They sell out on football weekends.

We did have trouble getting WiFi reception on the 6th floor but my smart phone is also a router so we used that instead. There is also a strong signal called StateCollegeWifi that we could get but it would have cost $9 a day and it said it did not do streaming video but that was a five out of five bars signal.

With the next renovation it would be nice to get more soundproof windows and quieter heating air conditioning units and stronger Wifi. But in spite of this I would stay here again.

If you are coming for an event in the downtown area or visiting a student this location is close to a lot of the dorms and restaurants along the College Ave and Beaver Street corridor.

We were going to get room service for breakfast on Monday morning but when I called the night before it was not available but they had a continental breakfast in the lobby from 7 to 11 AM.

The hotels in State College tend to operate on a boom or bust cycle. Either they are full because there is an event going on like the Arts Festival, Graduation, or a football game, or they are near empty.
So it is understandable that they can't maintain all services like room service all the time. The bar and the restaurant in the hotel seem to open every day though. Although on Sunday night the restaurant closed at 8 PM, it is open until 10 PM when they are busy. But there are a lot of restaurants on College Ave so we went out there but a lot of them were closing at 9 or not open on Sunday. The Corner Room was open until 9 that Sunday and is a reasonable choice. Not gourmet, but not bad.

I would say if the deliberate 1940s feel of the place is going to put you off then this is not the place for you. But we travel a lot and enjoy the variety. Not everything has to look modern. The boutique hotels we have stayed in when we are in Manhattan all tend to have a 1940s look also. The furniture is about 5 years old and in good condition and clean as are the halls and the rooms whenever we have stayed here. The lobby is very pretty when the elevator doors open and you see the grand piano and the chandelier and very large grandfather clock and about 6 sitting areas each with sofa, coffee table and two arm chairs.

The Wifi worked great in the lobby and in the bar. Did some computer work in the bar since it was quiet that day. I didn't eat in the restaurant but other people have commented that it is very good.

Best tip would be to stay in a suite. You can't book them online-- you have to call and talk to someone to get one.

Also if it is quiet in State College when you are there double check that the services listed in the information package in the room is accurate for that day. It is accurate at busy times but subject to change when things are slow.

Considering that State College is a large town surrounded by miles of rural area, this is a very nice hotel. It's not going to be a full service hotel like in New York or Chicago, but they would probably go bankrupt if they tried to do that in State College.

Always have liked the Atherton, tried other hotels like the Nittany Lion Inn but never found the larger size or the more complete full services to make up for the out of the way location from the downtown area. But if being near the downtown area is not a priority than that is another full service hotel on the other side of the campus away from the downtown. If you are high maintenance then the Nittany Lion Inn might be a better choice. If you are adaptable and want to be near the downtown this is the better choice.

Room Tip: The suites are the way to go.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank PFDJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotel, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2012

Thank you very much for your review and insight. We are so glad that you enjoyed your stay and our suites. If I can ever be of assistance to you during future stays at The Atherton, please feel welcome to call upon me.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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381 - 387 of 487 reviews

Reviewed June 24, 2012

This hotel is average. Nothing great, nothing horrible. Needs some updating, but a fair price for the room and services. Staff was helpful and polite. Overall, as long as you realize what you're getting, you will have a nice, average stay.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
2  Thank LittleItalianGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotel, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2012

Thank you for your review. We hope that next time you will try our award winning Tarragon Restaurant, or take advantage of the hotel's complimentary use of the area's best fitness facilities and Penn State's natatorium. If I can ever be of service to you in the future, I hope you won't hesitate to call upon me directly.

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Reviewed June 20, 2012

i stay in a number of motels and hotels around Pa as my job is training police officers around the state. i have stayed at this hotel in the past as well as this week.

large rooms, yes it is an older hotel, but i found the rooms and training rooms to be claen. staff was very helpful in getting us set up. off road parking in a garge. food was good and price was fair.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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Thank deputychief408
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotel, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2012

Thank you very much for your review. It is wonderful to know that you enjoyed your stay. We appreciate your patronage of the hotel and for letting others know the aspects of your group's stay that stood out to you. Please come back soon and often. If there's ever anything that I can do to assist you during future visits to State College, I hope you will not hesitate to call upon me.

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Reviewed May 25, 2012

We had a reservation for a year in advance for Graduation 2012. The day before our stay they called and left a message that they were moving our reservation to another cheap hotel down the road. They had our $750 for a year for a 2 night stay. They tried to put us in a smoking room at the other hotel. We were traveling with an 88 year old Grandmother with allergies. They gave us no explanation why our reservations were cancelled. We were the first people to reserve for that weekend. We were at their front desk the 1st day reservations were made and they still cancelled our reservation.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
2  Thank Paul S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotel, Front Office Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded August 1, 2012

Although we regret that we were unable to provide a room at the hotel and know that was disappointing, we were glad to be able to extend a full refund in addition to paying for your room at another hotel so that you were able to stay for the weekend in State College absolutely free of room charges! We extend our most sincere apologies that our hotel was not able to accommodate your reservation.

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Reviewed May 22, 2012

We stayed at this hotel for two nights while attending a recent weekend conference on campus. We had two guestrooms and booked two months in advance. Paid about $105 per room per night.

The lobby looks pretty nice and elegant given where the hotel was located.

The guestrooms were nothing special but they were not totally filthy either. The mattress seemed to lack support and the housekeeper never tucked the sheets under the matress, not even at the foot of the bed. There did not appear to be a mattress pad underneath the bottom sheet either. There was a flat panel LCD TV in the room that worked fine.

The bathroom was large and there were enough towels, but the floor of the bathroom had not been wet mopped in several days or weeks as evidenced by the brown dirt imbedded on the tile floor.

The front desk staff were mostly pleasant but not the most proficient and they recoded our demagnetized room key for us when it stopped working. BUT THEY FAILED TO CHECK ID; THEY ONLY ASKED WHAT OUR ROOM NUMBER WAS. THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT SAFETY AND SECURITY VIOLATION. WHEN I POINTED IT OUT TO THE CLERK, HE DID NOT SEEMED CONCERNED NOR TO CARE. So be forwarned, if safety is important to you, this may not be the best place to stay.

We were charged $7/night for parking. We were also charged $2/night per room as a "booking fee" on your room bill. Never heard of such a charge, expecially since we booked through the Atherton Hotel's own web site. When I asked about this "booking fee" at checkout I was told it was a standard fee that was was already figured into the rate quoted to us when we made the reservation. So why bother to list it on the bill then??????

This hotel needs to get a grip on reality. Based upon my personal observations, and the comments posted by previous guests, it appears that this hotel or its management does not care what people think or say. The hotel and its staff just do whatever the heck it feels like and the guests can take it or find accomodations elsewhere. The hotel managers know they have a great location and the availability of quality lodging accomodations within decent walking distance of downtown is very limited. So be prepared to decide what is important to you when picking a hotel to stay at in State College.

Room Tip: Book well in advance and take your chances. It is a crap shoot!
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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3  Thank revpar77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AthertonHotel, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2012

Thank you for your comments. The Atherton Hotel takes customer security seriously and we do not give out keys to guest rooms without requiring identification. We are happy you liked our downtown location and want you to love the hotel as much as thousands of other fans do! If you feel that your stay was not satisfactory for any reason, we are happy to provide a complimentary stay on another date. Please contact me directly for details. Your insight and feedback are highly important to us.

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Reviewed May 21, 2012

We chose this hotel because of its location next to the campus. I had stayed here several times before and was familiar with the hotel, including some of its shortcomings. We enjoyed our stay, and I'd stay here again because of location. Breakfast was very mediocre. Coffee was watered down concentrate. Maple syrup, noted on the menu, did not seem to have ever seen a maple tree. There are lots of good breakfast and dinner places nearby. Try Zola's for dinner.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank compost4all
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AthertonHotel, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2012

I will pass your comments along to our chef and am sorry to hear that the maple syrup was not your favorite. We are glad to know that you enjoyed other aspects of your stay. Your insight is important to us. Thank you for your comments.

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Reviewed April 30, 2012

We stayed at the Atherton one night. The mattresses were pretty hard. The linen is outdated. Most hotels are switching to fresh duvets for every guest and the Atherton still uses the old bedspread style. The staff was very friendly, and the hotel was clean. Aside from the beds and linens, it was a nice hotel. We ate at the restaurant downstairs and the food was pretty good.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Crissy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AthertonHotel, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2012

Thank you for your comments. Your feedback is important to us.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Atherton Hotel

Address: 125 S Atherton St, State College, PA 16801-3827
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > State College
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#15 Business Hotel in State College
Price Range: $79 - $228 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — The Atherton Hotel 3*
Number of rooms: 150
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
150 room full service hotel in the heart of downtown State College, PA. One block from Penn State University. Comfortable, relaxed atmosphere, restaurant, bar, room service, excellent location. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Atherton Hotel State College

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