The Magnolia chain is typical of the new genre of trendy hotels based on re-purposed older factory or office buildings, magically transformed into lodging facilities -- often with mixed success. In Magnolia's case, the success was definitely mixed. The building's interior looks "tired" and dirty, and despite free night time cookies and a free happy hour we just couldn't get very enthused.
One reason was undoubtedly our check in experience. The hotel had given our reserved "corner king suite" away and the dim-wit desk clerk tried to pass off a queen suite with a jacuzzi as an upgrade. When I called them on the obvious bait and switch, they suddenly came up with another king suite, only it wasn't a suite, which we discovered only after schlepping our bags up to the room. When I raised hell with the manager, he produced a bi-level king suite, which by this time we accepted out of sheer fatigue. The only problem was, the suite smelled like cigarettes, was filthy, and had a bathroom reminiscent of a 1950s Howard Johnson. It had clearly been used as a meeting room overflow space. Oh, and because the college world series was in town, the tab for the room on the first night was $399... Welcome to Omaha.
We finally got the room cleaned, but the initial disappointment never quite wore off. That said, one bright spot was the restaurant and the bar and wait staff. Very professional, and the lunch and late night burger we ordered were surprisingly tasty.
Despite our unpleasant experience, most guests, busy road-warrior Millenials, probably on limited expense accounts, seem pleased. I'll admit, we're just not the Magnolia's target customers, so a nagging source of our issues was undoubtedly our preference for an environment with a few more traditional creature comforts. Like clean carpet, soft towels, unstained furniture, bathrooms where the door doesn't hit the edge of the toilet... You get the picture.
We won't be back, obviously. But if you're a thirty-something, on the road four days a week, and need a place to crash in Omaha, you might feel differently. Hey, the bartender told us that the bar scene was pretty happening most nights... Still, you might want to sleep with the lights on...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This downtown Omaha hotel offers stylish rooms & suites located near many major corporate headquarters and offices. The hotel also features meeting & event facilities and extended stay accommodations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Magnolia Omaha Hotel Omaha
- The Magnolia Hotel Omaha
- Magnolia Omaha