Best Western High Sierra Hotel – Mammoth Lakes, CA
Overall Score: B
Leaky shower curtain
Problem with charges at checkout
High up at 7,880 feet, Mammoth Lakes is a beacon for both skiers and hikers alike, aspiring to embrace the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains. For my family and I, it was the starting and end point of a hike to Thousand Island Lake (read about my hike here). We chose to stay here at the Best Western High Sierra Hotel mostly because of the price, Trip Advisor reviews, and because of the reputable quality of most Best Western hotels. We stayed here for two total nights, both on the night before our backcountry hike and the night after our hike. Here is my review.
To begin, the hotel is not easy to find off the road. It’s difficult to find because it is not located on the main highway, but rather back from it. The hotel’s driveway is nestled in between a sports store and a gas station/car wash. The hotel’s sign is on the road, but as it sits on the frontage road and not on state route 203/Main Street, it’s easy to drive by it. Once we found the hotel, we entered to check-in and found the hotel clean and inviting. Next to the front desk, there is a coffee counter set up as well as a small sundries shop. Reception gives guests one parking pass per reservation, as space is limited. The elevator is centrally located, so if you are entering via a wing, you’ll have to walk all the way to the center of the building to take it. We chose to take the stairs, as they were right next to the wing’s exit. Just to note, this hotel recycles and reuses their key cards. They will charge you $1 for each hotel key card issued that you do not return.
Our room had two queen beds, a small bathroom, a separate vanity in the main room, a desk, television on a dresser stand, and a microwave and refrigerator. There is also a small closet with an ironing board and luggage stand. On the bed was a lap desk containing hotel information, remotes, and papers on it. This lap desk proved to be a nuisance as I spent more time moving it out of the way than I did ever using anything that was on it. (As we had luggage, camping gear, and 4 large backpacks, space was at a premium!) In terms of comfort, the beds were satisfactory, the air conditioning worked well, and there was minimal outside noise. It was nice to have a refrigerator, microwave, and coffee pot; however, I did not use the latter two. In addition, a blow dryer and toiletries were provided. There were minimal towels in the bathroom so we had to call the lobby for more. It took two phone calls down before we ever received the towels.
The bathroom and vanity were suitable, with the exception of the shower curtain. The curtain bowed out a bit to allow more room, but it didn’t attach to the tub properly to keep water from hitting the floor. Needless to say, we had a bit of a lake on the floor after each shower. Most shower curtains leak a bit of water, but this was more than usual.
The Best Western High Sierra Hotel has fair wifi. I got very frustrated using their wifi. See the Speed Test results below:
Kids club – I did see a Kids Club room on the second level, but I couldn’t see inside the room. According to their website, the hotel does provide kids’ activities and video games, but since my kids are too old to use it, we didn’t look into it.
Hot tub and pool – The hot tub and pool were used once during our stay. The hot tub was nice and hot, and the pool was heated, comfortable and wasn’t filled with too much chlorine.
Complimentary Breakfast – In order to attend breakfast, we were given yellow tickets at check-in. These tickets would allow us to eat in Cafe 203 that is connected to the hotel. (This restaurant also serves an Indian buffet for dinner, along with other American items.) There was a cook behind the counter that would make gluten-free pancakes, eggs any way, and omelettes. In addition, the other hot food that was served was breakfast potatoes and meats. The rest of the spread included oatmeal, cereal, pastries, fruit, cereals, yogurt, coffee, and juices. Overall, it was a nice free breakfast and I was pleased!
Other amenities – According to their website, the hotel also has laundry facilities (coin-operated) and an exercise room. I cannot review these amenities as I did not see them or use them.
The only real issue we had with the Best Western High Sierra Hotel was during check out. As we had a larger group, we had two different rooms. When checking out, the rooms were charged different amounts (one was $52 more!), despite being the same cost when I made the reservation months ago. After much explanation and what seemed to be a slight argument, the staff finally fixed the charge so both rooms were the same cost. I even had all of my reservation information and what I was quoted when making the reservation. I don’t know why it took about ten minutes and some mild frustration to fix this issue.
Overall, our stay proved satisfactory at the Best Western High Sierra Hotel. We needed a nice place to rest before and after our big hike and their complimentary breakfast was a real treat.