March 2013 Trip to California: Clarion Hotel in Concord

After a day in San Francisco and dinner with our friend at a place he had suggested we drove to our next hotel, the Clarion Hotel in Concord. I had booked us a room for three nights at a pretty good rate of around $50 per night. I thought the appearance of the hotel was quite impressive considered what we paid for our stay.us-spring-13-0438lg

Hotel exterior

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Walkway towards entrance

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Peek into lobby

After entering the lobby and approaching the front desk the fun part started. I can’t say that check-in were quick and efficient. I was pretty aware of the fact that I had booked an exterior room (with a king bed) though there were interior corridors as well. It seemed that my gold status with the Choice Privileges program somehow triggered something in the front desk agent’s mind.

I didn’t know that elites in this program are entitled to anything except some bonus points (10% for gold members) and some other benefits that are of no use to me. But maybe she thought it would be nice to offer me some upgrade to an interior room?

She typed away and said, that unfortunately there were no interior rooms with a king bed available. Only with two queen beds (or doubles?). She asked if that would be okay with me. Well, sure, why not? We prefer king beds, but on the other hand, an interior room is also nice. She then encountered some technical problems because the system told her that the paid rate were not eligible for such a room change. And she did not have the power to override that rule. Well, we would have been lucky with the booked room type but she was determined to give me a room with interior access.

So she called a colleague on the radio. After a while he appeared, listened to her, and then typed away. After a long, long time we were checked in to room 345 with access from an interior corridor. Yay!

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Hallway to room 345

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Peek into room 345

This room included a cool corner between the actual room and the bathroom where a tablet with four glasses and an ice bucket was placed.

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Cool 😉

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Room

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Room

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Room

Entering the room the bathroom was on the right side. There was a large mirror on the right side with a single sink and lots of space to place our stuff. To the left was a soaking tub with a shower.

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Bathroom

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Bathroom

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Soaking tub with shower

We slept quite good in one of the two beds and the next morning we encountered a problem. We were not able to use the hairdryer. For me this is no problem with my short haircut. I don’t need any hairdryer. But with Karin it’s a different story. The problem was that the power socket did not deliver any electricity and the hairdryer was immovably mounted to the wall so that we were not able to use any different power socket.

Well, on our way out we stopped at the front desk and I explained the problem. This was also a little adventure, it happens from time to time that people don’t listen as it seems to me. We had power in our room, lights were working. There was no power coming from the outlets. I had to explain that simple fact a couple times so that it was logged correctly. We were told that we could be moved to a different room on our return later that day.

When we returned from another day in San Francisco and some dinner at a Black Angus restaurant with our friend I spoke with a different front desk agent and asked if the problem had been solved or if we were moving to a different room. Problem had not been solved and … the room we should be moved to was not available. Weird. But another room was available, just next to our old room. So we moved to room 347.

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Room 437

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Room 437

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Room

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Comfortable chair

This room did not have that cool corner within the room. So the tablet with the glasses and the ice bucket was placed in this cupboard.

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Different layout

This room’s bathroom also provided lots of counterspace.

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Bathroom

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Tub with shower

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Working hairdryer

Our last two nights went by without any further problems. All in all it was quite a nice property. Inexpensive and still nice. In fact, there was only one issue, the one with the power sockets not working in the bathroom. This problem could be fixed by switching us to a different room.

Funny was our check-in experience. It is nice to have an interior corridor room, that’s for sure. But what was all the fuss about? And why? Did they try to impress me as I am a quite loyal elite member? Well, it does not take much to reach gold status which is the lowest elite level with Choice Privileges, only 10 nights in a calendar year.

Well, staff was friendly, no doubt about that.

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