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 A number of people had commented that the furniture is outdated.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.
- 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