I spent nearly a week at this hotel. As a business traveler, my needs are simple: peace and quiet, hot shower, temperature control, wake-up call. I was offered a choice of several hotels in the area by my client, and chose this Quality Inn because of the perks: free hot breakfast, parking, wifi, fridge and microwave.
Things started going south upon check-in, when the desk clerk put me in a room that didn't remotely resemble the one that had been booked for me: a king bed suite with a pull-out sofa and balcony. Instead, I was given a regular room with 2 queen beds and no balcony or sofa bed. The clerk said she'd move me to another room the following day, but although I saw her at the front desk literally every day that week, she never followed through.
I soon discovered the refrigerator in my room didn't close properly, and thus spoiled $15 worth of leftovers. A male desk clerk replaced the fridge for me the following day--good. However, that night the same female desk clerk failed to plug in my wakeup call for the following morning--bad. Luckily I had my iPhone alarm as a backup.
On the second night of my stay, I was extremely tired, and at 8:30PM ready for bed. I had no sooner doused the lights when a ruckus in the parking lot outside my window woke me up; it was a screeching chorus of hundreds of pre-teen children's voices, in a Chinese dialect. At first I thought, "Oh, surely they're just making a pit stop at the McDonald's next door," never dreaming the screeching throng would be checking into the hotel. But they did, by the busload.
Yes, this rowdy group of at least 100 noisy children swarmed into the hotel lobby, which was just below my room. In her infinite wisdom, the female desk clerk managed to book two groups of pre-pubescent boys--4 to the room--in the room adjacent to mine, and the one directly above me. My room had a shared door with the room next door, and the kids continuously tried to enter my room, pounding and shaking the door as they hollered at one another. The kids above me must moonlight as gymnasts, because they were constantly stomping and pounding on the floor, to the point that the ceiling and walls in my room actually shook.
After half an hour of chaos, I went down to complain to the front desk clerk. She said "we're getting a lot of complaints," as if our conversation should somehow end there. Luckily, the hotel's manager, who is of Chinese ancestry and spoke the same dialect as the youngsters, appeared, and said he personally would speak with the children in the room next to mine. True to his word, he admonished the kids to keep quiet, as did the 3(!) adults traveling with the 100+(!) children. The kids did settle down; but the little gymnasts upstairs tumbled for another hour.
After another complaint to the front desk clerk yielded zero results, I finally went upstairs myself. A young kid who couldn't have been older than 8 opened the door; he spoke enough English to understand what I was saying, and apologized for the stomping/jumping. I asked him if there was an adult in the room, but there wasn't, only 3 other boys, none of whom appeared to be older than age 10. All was well for about 20 minutes; then the stomping resumed. Again I had to contact the front desk, and after about 30 more minutes, things were finally quiet. By that point I had lost 2 hours of sleep.
The next morning I woke at about 7:30 and went down to the breakfast bar; to my dismay, the horde of children had descended upon it en masse, and 6 deep. A tiny opening appeared in front of the coffee machine; I had no sooner edged toward it than 5 kids ran right in front of me, cutting off access. Even more maddeningly, they just stood there, obviously not interested in coffee, merely wanting to cut in line just in case there was something they did want. The poor woman who serviced the breakfast bar tried to wade through the kiddie swarm, holding hot dishes aloft and hollering "excuse me, excuse me!" to no avail, as the kids wouldn't even let her through to service the bar. Finally, an adult connected to the group appeared, lectured the children loudly, and managed to get them to form a queue--which lasted for about 15 minutes. I grabbed what sustenance I could and escaped to my room.
Shortly before I left that morning, I saw the children's bus outside my window; the kids were boarding, suitcases in tow. "Good!" I thought, optimistic this episode was a fluke, that the rest of the week would be quiet, and the hotel would in fact revert from a playground to a hotel.
Alas, the following evening--and EVERY evening thereafter--a similar group of children appeared like clockwork at 8:30PM, swarmed the lobby, and treated the hotel like it was their personal, noisy playspace. Same complaints to the front desk, every night. Same problems with the breakfast bar ... every morning.
It's unfortunate, because this hotel had such promise in the beginning. Yes, they're doing some things right--free perks, even underground parking--but there's no substitute for peace and quiet and a good night's sleep. Business travelers, caveat emptor.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Quality Inn & Suites hotel located in Central Orange County provides inviting accommodations close to many leisure and business points of interest. Saddleback Church, Irvine Spectrum Center, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Laguna Beach, Saddleback Memorial Medical Center and the University of California, Irvine are just minutes away from this Lake Forest, CA hotel. All spacious guest rooms offers balconies, refrigerators, microwaves, coffee makers, large working desks, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards and cable television with free Movie Channels, ESPN and CNN. Select rooms include in-room hot tubs. We are 100% NON SMOKING Hotel. Connecting rooms can be requested per availability. Ask about our pet-friendly rooms (fees apply). This Lake Forest, CA hotel provides features like: Free hot breakfast featuring eggs, meat, fresh fruit and make-your-own pancakes; Free wireless high-speed Internet access; On-site authentic Chinese restaurant; Outdoor pool and fitness center Business and leisure travelers visiting this California hotel will welcome additional conveniences, such as an on-site guest laundry, business computer center and access to copy and fax services. The hotel offers two meeting rooms for meetings and social events that can accommodate up to 100 people. The area includes a multitude of fun and exciting outdoor activities including championship golf courses, tennis courts, and attractions. Shopping, eateries and entertainment venues at Laguna Hills Mall, South Coast Plaza, Fashion Island and Orange County Great Park are all within 15 minutes of the hotel. The John Wayne Airport is just 12 minutes away. Anaheim resort attractions such as Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are within 20 minutes. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Quality Inn & Suites Irvine Spectrum Hotel Lake Forest
- Quality Inn And Suites Irvine Spectrum
- Quality Inn Lake Forest