Special warning: DO NOT sign anything they give you without reading it. Beware the Atherton Hotel parking scam!
I had an experience at the Atherton unlike any I've ever had at any hotel. I parked in the underground garage that is listed among the amenities for this hotel on their website. The staff person gave me a 'Guest parking pass' to put on the car.
The next day, to my surprise, I found out that they were charging me for parking in their supposedly free parking garage. I told them that no one had mentioned anything about a charge at check-in (as you would expect at any hotel) and that there are no signs or anything that would tell you that there is a charge.
I was thinking it was just a misunderstanding and that they would promptly remove the charge from my bill, but the front desk person would not do it and referred me to the manager. I expected that, after a short discussion, we would be able to clear things up. I explained that I had not been informed about parking fees. The manager, a middle-aged lady, insisted that I should have read the booking email I supposedly got, and went on arguing about this for ten whole minutes, eventually becoming belligerent and -- here is the most unbelievable thing of all -- She was actually threatening to call the police -- in a three star hotel. I was very calm the entire time, never raised my voice at all, so her reaction shows that she was defensive and must have known they were trying to put one over on the guests. (mind you, I'm not the first one this has happened to.)
Right ahead of me, another woman who had stayed on a government rate had also been charged for parking without being informed about it in advance and was also attempting to get the charges removed.
The sort of treatment I received is practically unheard of in a three-star hotel. Usually we've received nothing but the most polite at gracious treatment when staying at the Courtyard, Doubletree and similar places. The is the first time I've ever had such horrible treatment.
You might read this review and think it's just me, and maybe I didn't hear them when they mentioned a parking fee. Please don't just believe what I say, please read ALL the reviews for this hotel under 'Terrible' and 'Poor'. At least twenty people have had similar experiences or worse. Several people have had an almost identical experience with a mysterious parking fee being added to their bill even though no one ever mentioned a parking fee.
Sorry to say, my experience with the hotel management and staff completely wrecked my stay there. Hopefully you'll have better luck yourself if you decide to try it.
I hope this hotel can clean up its act, get new management and trains staff in how to treat guests with dignity and courtesy (to say nothing of genuine warmth and friendliness which are entirely lacking in this place. )
By the way, when we arrived there were dirty dishes from the previous guest outside of our hotel room! Unbelievable.
- 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