When Paul and I were looking for a place to stay in State College, we were looking for a place downtown so we could walk basically everywhere but that was as cheap as possible. Without a whole hell of a lot of research, we settled on Hotel State College, because it’s above our favorite bar and its was $65 per weeknight and $85 on weekends.
I kept joking that it was basically hotel roulette and that with that price, we could be walking into a horrible place, but it really wasn’t. It’s just that Hotel State College isn’t exactly a modern hotel. The rooms are all on the third floor, and the building has no elevator, so you’re taking the stairs every time you go in and out. Most of the rooms don’t have air conditioning, although they do have pretty effective ceiling fans. The rooms also don’t have microwaves or mini-fridges like most hotels no do, and they don’t have WiFi, either. I was able to pick up a signal from downtown State College, but you have to pay to use it and it’s something like $10 for 24-hour access or $20 for a week. The hotel also doesn’t have its own parking, so you have to rely on and pay to park in garages nearby. Fortunately, those aren’t very expensive, but between that and the WiFi, the extra costs are something to consider if your goal is to save some money. For a little more money on the cost of the room in another hotel, you’ll probably have Internet and free parking.
Costs aside, those aren’t necessarily complaints–the only reason I wanted WiFi was to have something to do other than watch TV in our room at night, and everything else I didn’t really mind. Two things that were kind of an issue, though, were the noise and hot water.
First, the hot water. Twice when I was showering, the water went completely ice-cold on me, presumably because someone else somewhere in the hotel was showering, too. The first time, it never warmed back up, not that I gave it much time to–I rinsed conditioned out of my hair and got the hell out. The second time, though, it came just as I was getting ready to get out, so I stayed in and basked in the heat.
Noise was the bigger problem, though. For being above a bar and restaurant, it’s actually generally pretty quiet–one evening when we went out, we couldn’t hear a thing until we opened the door leading downstairs. But the other side of that is street noise. It’s not too bad during the day, and even the usual noise from cars and buses isn’t too bad in the evening. But late at night, it’s tougher. I think it has to do with old, thin windows, but at night, it feels like you can hear people on the street below just talking at a normal volume. But when it’s late and people are out hitting the bars–and there are a few very close by–the noise is at its worst. I woke up a few times over the weekend because of it, including once at 2 a.m. when the bars close and everyone is in the streets yelling and laughing. If it wasn’t for the fact that we were able to sleep as late as we wanted and are both pretty heavy sleepers, it might’ve really detracted from the stay, and I’m sure for some people, it does.
All that said, the rooms are cute and our overall stay was pleasant. We did have a good time.
But we’ll be back in State College in September for a bachelorette party, and we’re leaning heavily towards going with a different hotel. The noise is a tough one to deal with.