Staying at the Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort (the "Sycamores") was my second-worst lodging experience ever. (My worst, in Newark, NJ, included being awakened by the sound of plate glass being smashed, followed by gunfire and an unannounced entering of my room by the police.)
Lodging units at the Sycamores are designated by name, not Unit number. There are two problems with that: (1) you can't find your assigned unit on their sprawling complex by its proximity to other units, and (2) electronic reservation systems remember Unit numbers perfectly but evidently not Unit names, as described below.
We arrived after 6 P.M. The desk clerk assigned us to Room X. We tried driving close to Room X. Because it was dark and it is difficult to read maps in the dark, we arrived at Room Y. To the considerable annoyance of the occupants of Room Y, we made two attempts to enter Room Y before concluding that it wasn't Room X.
We then drove back along the route we had come but ended up parking much further away from Room X than before because of inadequate parking space. After we parked, I walked to the building containing Room X and climbed the stairs (there was no elevator). I tried to enter Room X. It was occupied. I tried again. The occupant demanded to know my name and what I was doing. I explained. I was informed by the occupant that the room was occupied.
Being unable to reach the registration clerk by phone, I walked to the registration desk. The only clerk there was busy on the phone. I nonetheless informed him that we had been assigned a room that was occupied and tossed my room key onto his desk. He ignored me and continued on the phone for a few minutes. It turned out that the occupant of Room X was on the other end of the phone, was quite angry and was demanding more than an apology from the resort.
The clerk (who had assigned us to the occupied Room X) was initially baffled. He queried his computer system, then stated that we had been correctly assigned to Room X. Eventually he stated that we should have been assigned to a different room and assigned us to Room Z, which was near Room X. He did not indicate whether or not it had the same amenities as Room X.
I then went to Room Z to determine whether it was vacant and whether the electronic key given me for Room Z worked (the key he had given me for Room X hadn't worked). Satisfied on those points, I then walked back towards our car.
But since I had not returned to the car within the time interval expected, my roommate had concluded that I expected her to lug all of her baggage to our room by herself. We met as I was walking back towards our car. Both of us were now very upset. Those feelings did not quickly dissipate.
The walls between units were paper-thin. I was awakened in the middle of the night by people in an adjacent unit. Later I heard snoring from that unit. You'll need earplugs if you stay here.
Comfortable chairs for reading, relaxing, watching TV or conversation? There weren't any. Chairs in an average Motel 6 are slightly better. I have a bad back and was in considerable pain when we checked out.
Here is more information you might want to know before booking a stay at the Sycamores.
Drinking glasses or cups near the sink? There weren't any. Even Motel 6 provides drinking cups for water. If you have ever experienced a dry throat during the night, bring your own bottled water or paper cups.
Some units are not on the ground floor. There was no elevator serving our room on the second floor. The corridor serving units above the ground floor was an outside, narrow ledge which made lots of noise when walked on. Anyone arriving after we did or departing before us disturbed our stay, just as our arrival and departure must have disturbed other guests. Motel 6 has outside ledges but they're quieter.
Only one flight of stairs served the entire building, was outdoors and was at the end of the building furthest from the roadway nearest the building, i.e., the worst possible choice for a single stairway. If your assigned unit is upstairs and at the end of the building nearest the only roadway nearby, you must traverse the length of the building twice to reach your room in addition to climbing the stairs.
Don't arrive after dark. Building identifications are hard to read. Signs directing you to your destination (e.g., hotel registration) badly need repainting. For first-time visitors, it is a complete guess which building houses the registration desk.
In many cases including ours, it was not possible to park anywhere near our unit. So you'll probably need to bring an umbrella in case it rains.
There were no manually-operated luggage transporters, devices available without charge at virtually all commercial lodging facilities of any quality. That, in conjunction with the unavailability of proximate parking and our upstairs accommodations, left us with these choices: (1) valet service; (2) a bag-free stay; (3) an unpleasant experience handling our own baggage. To make a rational choice among these, one needs to determine where one's assigned room is and the availability of temporary parking near that room, if any, and then estimate how arduous the trip(s) between parked car and room would be. My roommate and I agreed on neither the choice nor the process to use in making a choice.
The hotel lobby doesn't exist. If you wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep (because of noise in an adjacent room or otherwise), there is no place to go to read or watch TV; you must either disturb your roommate(s) or suffer in silence.
The resort dining room was a joke, unable to handle at any one time more than a small percentage of the total guests there during our stay. That feature would have been acceptable if there were other places to eat nearby, but there weren't.
Hand soap had an ultrathin cellophane wrap which I found impossible to remove with wet hands. Nor was the wrap discernible, even after trying to use the soap. (You don't need to know this if you don't mind having unclean hands.)
Sheets, towels and robes were very clean, indicating a professional linen service and putting Motel 6 to shame. (Budget motels are usually operated by proprietors who do their own laundry.) And the toilet paper was comfortable, unlike that of Motel 6.
If you're going to arrive late, don't bother calling to tell them that because they won't make a note of it. My surmise is that if they reserved a specific room for you, it might not be available if you arrive late for a weekend or holiday stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort rests atop hot mineral springs and spans more than 100 acres of forest, hills and meadows on the picturesque Central Coast of California. An authentic California resort, the property features hillside mineral springs hot tubs, a beautiful spa, the Gardens of Avila Restaurant, a labyrinth, private balcony hot tubs, meditation gardens, and wide selection of mind-body classes in our Yoga Dome. Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort -located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles is just a short walk to the ocean and close to award-winning wineries, golf courses, Hearst Castle, Pismo Beach, and San Luis Obispo. Escape to our historic resort voted best Spa and Weekend Getaway on the Central Coast. Experience rustic elegance in a serene and relaxing environment surrounded with the best California has to offer. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Travel Republic (UK), TripOnline SA, Agoda, Evoline ltd, Cancelon, HotelQuickly and getaroom.com so you can book your Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort and Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Sycamore Mineral Springs Hotel San Luis Obispo
- Sycamore Springs
- Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort
- Mineral Resort Springs Sycamore