Can't believe that the Howard Johnson name is associated with this property. We have stayed at several "HoJo's" in the past and really enjoyed them, this was the one exception that made our family rethink staying at another Howard Johnson property.
We reserved on line, trying to prepare as best we could for a college road trip- budget was a top priority. We weren't expecting anything fancy since we really only needed a place to lay our heads- we were afraid to even do that here. When we arrived we noticed that the downtown Stockton area was actually fairly clean for a "big city", we got to the location at approximately 6pm on a Thursday night, too late to cancel per our on-line reservation agreement. The streets were not busy and most businesses had closed for the day INCLUDING the restaurants that were in the vicinity so we had to drive about 15 minutes away to find an OPEN restaurant. We decided, partially due to the abandoned car in the parking lot, clientelle and staff that we'd get take out and "hunker down" for the night. While doing your research you should note that the county courthouse is right across the street from this location and the police station is just the next block up so because of the condition of this property you may consider some of the clientelle to be "undesirable"-- but you would think many professionals doing business with the county & other local business would be attracted to the location of this property. We did not realize the actual location until we arrived. It's also right across from the river walk & Stockton marina, which is really nice, again you would think this property would keep higher standards.
The property- the exterior is old and needs to pressure washed, that would take care of most of the visual appeal from the outside. There was an abandoned red car that must have been there for atleast a week, enough for spider webs to appear and leaves/rubbish to gather around the tires. the hotel signage boasts "renovated rooms", we were NOT in one of them. After check out we joked about that since it technically would not be false advertisement if they did have only 2 renovated rooms! There was a man "dumpster diving". When we arrived on our 2nd floor corridor we found 2 dirty/stained towels just outside our doorway. The elevator wreaked of urine!
The room- at first glance, visually would have been acceptable just old.
BUT it didn't just "smell", it wreaked of smoke & cigarettes. A closer look- the a/c was falling apart, the temperature only functioned at one temperature, COLD! Glad there wasn't a fire because we didn't even have a working smoke/fire alarm! There was a dead moth & dirt/dust in the bathroom, and years of dirt buildup in the corners of the room and sink area. Basically housekeeping is paid to walk in and walk out of the room. The bed sheets seemed to be clean BUT were stained. The sink area smelled like a mens urinal, we hoped that someone had not relieved themselves and hoped that it was just the smell of pine-sol, wishful thinking? The light fixtures had junk in them that could easily have been cleaned out. There was no remote control for the TV. The bathtub was badly stained and tub grips were peeling away. One of our neighbors was extremely loud yelling and banging doors/dresser drawers. The a/c drowned out most of the other noise except the occassional loud motor and booming bass & music at 2 in the morning! Did we feel comfortable? NO- we slept with the lights on and one eye open, hoping the rental car would still be there in the morning. We included some of the pics, sorry but we didn't feel that fixing the beds would have enhanced the picture for you.
The staff- the only good experience was at check out, the girl that worked on Friday morning was very pleasant and apologetic when I asked about breakfast. She explained that the "guy" who gets there breakfast items did not return from his scheduled vacation so their menu was limited. I only saw bulk cereal, did not even see any milk- we chose NOT to have breakfast here after the night we had.
ALSO those 2 towels I mentioned outside our door- we now believe they belonged to our room. I called to the front desk, figured I'd be able to walk down and get 2 more towels. We had four people and only two towels upon arrival. The girl at the front desk(April) answered, I asked for 2 more towels and she asked me what room we were in. I said room #223, and she said, "umm...oh, we don't have any more towels available". I was of course shocked and perturbed, explained that to the family-- toughed it out and used the HAND TOWELS as bath towels for two of us! Internet, they say they have it but we were not able to get access and again the front desk was of no assistance.
Advice-- if you stay here make sure you're getting a newly renovated room and don't expect ANY SERVICE. And of course definitely request not to be in room 223. BETTER advice do NOT stay here. Again if we could give a NEGATIVE 5 stars we would!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Currently upgrading and renovating, we are working hard at improving our property for you! ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Stockton Howard Johnson