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“Never have I been treated in such a shabby, horrible manner at any hotel!”
Review of The Atherton Hotel

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The Atherton Hotel
Ranked #13 of 26 Hotels in State College
Certificate of Excellence
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level 6 Contributor
116 reviews
40 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Never have I been treated in such a shabby, horrible manner at any hotel!”
Reviewed July 18, 2010

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.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank PeterPiper1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2010
Thank you for your review. Please know we have addressed the issue with Priceline.com in regard to making sure that the parking fee is clearly stated on the information provided to guests. In addition the parking fee is clearly stated on the guest registration fee at check in. Please accept my sincere apology if our staff did not appropriately handle this situation. I hope you will feel welcome to contact me directly so that we can make the situation right for you.
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Rating summary
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English first
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed July 12, 2010

I have to admit I was a bit disappointed by my stay. The pictures I saw prior to my stay had me excited to be staying at a charming historic property but I was disappointed when I saw the hotel in person. There is a lot of potential in this property if it was to undergo a update to bring the property back to it's original charm. It looked as though the last update was done in the 80's as some of the more contemporary items just seemed out of place.

The room was large though and reminded me of a country inn. Again could use some polish.

I think my biggest complaint though would be with the staff though as others mentioned. I just really felt like they were unprofessional and unpolished. As a guest I shouldn't feel like I'm putting out the staff to cut off their personal conversations. As others have stated it is not clearly communicated that there is a charge for parking in the hotel parking lot...it just mysteriously appears on your credit card after your stay. At no time during check-in did the clerk indicate their was a charge for parking there, just asked for the make and model of my car for the placard I needed to put in my front window to indicate I was a hotel guest. I too called about the charge when I found it on my credit card statement. I would hope with so many people expressing frustration over this poor communication the hotel would do something about it to make sure it is better communicated in the future. Yes, $5 isn't much to pay for parking, but when you specifically state it's free don't get all defensive when your hotel customers are upset that you are charging them! Don't make excuses and argue with the guests...just make sure your staff communicate clearly to each and every guest that a charge for parking will appear on their credit card. It's really that simple.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank scoutgirl1228
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2010
Thank you for your review. Please note that we have addressed the issue with priceline.com in regard to notifying guests of parking fees made through their site. I am glad to know that you enjoyed the hotel's excellent location downtown. If I can be of further assistance to you in rectifying this situation, it would be my pleasure to do so. Please contact me directly if there is something we can do to improve your impression of our property.
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Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed July 11, 2010

So many problems at this hotel that cannot be overlooked. I made reservations in February for an executive room for Thursday & Friday evening during the arts festival. I had asked for a nice room with a view of the city; what I got was a room overlooking the hotel's garbage dumpsters in the back of the hotel. What is worse, there was a steady and very noisy stream of garbage trucks starting in the wee hours of the morning and never stopping; so our sleep was disturbed. Now, after our first day in the hot July sun, I looked forward to coming back to a clean room for a cool shower and much-needed nap. To our horror, there was no maid service in our room, even though we both clearly remember putting the sign out to have maid service. I was very unhappy about this because the condition of the room when we came in was unsightly, with candy wrappers strewn about and a lot of debris around the base of the bed which looked like it had not been swept for ages. So, a good cleaning was hoped for on our second night, but we received none at all. I asked if I could just check out and was told that we would still be charged for the room. I asked if they could at least send some towels and new soap up to the room. I waited for over an hour and no one came or even called. My husband called down to see if he could just pick up the towels at the front desk himself; whereupon, he was told that they had run out of towels all together and did not know when they would be available. Here I sat waiting to shower with no towels available, except for those that still sat in a wet, smelly pile on the floor of my bathroom. I was to meet friends at 6:00 but could not do so because I was trapped in my room waiting for towels to arrive. Finally, nearly two hours after requested, two bath towels arrived...no wash cloths or hand towels, only 2 bath towels. In order to save the time we lost trapped in our rooms, we decided to meet our friends at the hotel for dinner, which was another mistake. There was only one very stressed out waitress on staff to wait on everyone in both the restaurant and bar areas and she told us the kitchen was short-staffed as well.. They began to run out of food choices as well, most notably they had no dinner rolls, which would have at least sustained us over the hour long wait we had for dinner. The lone man who was working the front desk, was also running back and forth and seating people at the restaurant. This was even more incredulous to us, as we were there during the Art Festival weekend, a weekend that is historically one of State College's busiest weekends; but instead of preparing for this with extra staff members, they were running with a skeleton crew.The hotel desk clerks were neither concerned nor able to handle any problem I presented to them. Each time I asked to speak to management, I was told that there was none available (on either day I was there). I was told to leave a note for management, which still has not been responded to. I do not blame the college kids who staff this hotel for the plethora of problems that occurred; rather the management or lack thereof. Please get your acts together; this hotel simply is not running as is should be due to the appalling lack of basic amenities, cleanliness and professional, knowledgeable staff members manning the hotel. This hotel cannot run on college kids alone and it shows.....very, very disappointed.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ladyphats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, August 5, 2010
Thank you for your review. If I can be of any assistance to you in regard to your stay, I encourage you to contact me directly so that we can make this right for you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level 5 Contributor
43 reviews
39 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 71 helpful votes
Reviewed April 28, 2010

I stayed here while visiting Penn State. It is great location; only a block or so away from the university. The hotel is a very nice remodeled older property. The lobby is quite elegant--think chabby chic with Victorian antiques. I had breakfast in the restaurant, which was very good. The room is large and has high quality amenities. Internet is free in the lobby and restaurant and it is very quick and easy to log into. The room could be a bit cleaner. Found some stray hairs in the bathroom and some towels that they provided should be changed. The shower was OK. Lots of channels on the TV to choose from. Only 2 pillows on the bed, but who needs more...you might it you are traveling with someone. In any case, check in/out was easy. Parking is free and covered. I left at 4:45AM to catch an early morning flight and the hotel arranged for a taxi who arrived on-time. Can't go wrong with this one.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank lizicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, April 29, 2010
Thank you for taking time to share your experience. It's my pleasure to know that you enjoyed your stay with us. If I can ever be of assistance to you during future visits to State College, please let me know.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2010

Good desserts. Its been a while I have had a good chocolate cake thats rich but not terribly sweet and over-garnished or tired.
I am a local, so I didnt sleep here whereas some of my colleagues did, who were also visiting town for the weekend. The social we had there was fun and well served. The desk service was good. Parking was tough but availability and passes a breeze.

  • Stayed April 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank kolC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, April 29, 2010
Thank you very much for taking time to share your review.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
western pa
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 3, 2010

We stayed here for a weekend in March. The hotel is very clean, great location. It is within walking distance to resturants, bars and great shopping. We ordered room service one afternoon and was very surprised with the quality of the food. I would highly recomend the hotel resturant. We were very happy with our stay and will stay here again next time is State College.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jostenta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, April 29, 2010
Thank you for your review. I'm so glad to know you enjoyed your time at The Atherton.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
manhattan
1 review
Reviewed April 2, 2010

I stay at the Atherton Hotel quite often for business. The rooms are nice with a beautiful lobby and friendly staff.

Often the highlight of my trip is after work and hanging out at the lounge there. I'm often lucky enough to be there when a couple of local regulars are there. I know the one guys name is Dean and the other I think is Tim. Dean is most likely the one you'd hear from first as I've seen him say hi or greet nearly every guest at the bar. The great interaction they have with the staff makes the whole bar feel even that much more homey. Almost like its been your neighborhood bar forever. It's worth the stay for the chance to talk to them. They will definitely make your trip.

Otherwise, I occasionally eat at restaurant. The food is almost always exceptional, but on the pricey side. You can also eat in the bar which also had good, more moderately priced food.

  • Stayed March 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank alwaystravling1969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TheAthertonHotelgm, General Manager at The Atherton Hotel, responded to this review, April 29, 2010
Thank you for sharing your review. I'm pleased to know that you found Rumors to be a pleasant and relaxing place to relax and unwind.
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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

Property: The Atherton Hotel
Address: 125 S Atherton St, State College, PA 16801-3827
Phone Number:
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 (Based on Average Rates): $
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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