Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Riverside Corona/Norco Review

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Booking & Stay Details

Business brought me to this area for a small project. I booked the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Riverside Corona/Norco a day in advance during my stay in San Luis Obispo while enjoying the beautiful California Central Coast. The reservation was made through the app and I booked the Executive Suite directly through the app. I continued my drive to the hotel on Superbowl Sunday. I am not all into Superbowl but I tried to capture the Heritage Flight over the stadium. As you can imagine, the stadium area was way too packet and I captured the heritage flight in San Pedro. You can read all about it here. After that, I continued on for another hour to get to the Fairfield Inn in Norco.

Location

Overall, the location here is nothing really special. I wouldn’t come here to vacation. There is not really much to do here. The hotel’s location was just convenient for me as it was close to my project site. The Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Riverside Corona/Norco is located next to I-15 along Hamner Ave. The interstate is far enough away to not have any noise impacts on your stay. On the other side, you have convenient access to I-15 to get around in the area or wherever you might have to go. The hotel is located near the border of the town and there are a few restaurants nearby. Right across the street is Neal Snipes Park. It’s a small and little hilly park. Good for a walk or run. 

Check-In

This was one of the weirdest check-ins I have had so far. When I walked in, I got greeted by the guy working the front desk and he let me know right away that their card readers are not working. First, I thought, will they even let me stay here? Maybe he can type in my credit card number manually or have me swipe it the next day when their system is back up and running. Just as I finished these thoughts, he continued and told me that they currently can’t make any room keys and guests have to be escorted by the staff to the room. I was completely off with my assumption of the credit card reader not working, it was actually their room key machine. After giving him my details, he found my reservation and asked me if a room on the third floor would be ok. I agreed and he handed me an empty room key envelope with my room number on it. For whatever reason, the envelope showed a room on the second floor rather than on the agreed third floor. I didn’t mind at all and actually just wanted to get settled in. He accompanied me to my room and unlocked the door with his master key. I already figured that this would be a little bit annoying and inconvenient if you have to get someone from the front desk to always go with you. What if they are all busy checking in people? Or the person is already out, letting someone else in their room and I would have to wait for them to return. I decided to go with it and was hoping it might be fixed the next day as this would be a Monday. Monday came and they told me that a new machine was overnighted and will be here Tuesday. Tuesday came and the guy who checked me in Sunday night told me that the company where they get the machine from found out that the hotel still has to pay a $300 fee for the old, broken system before they can activate the new system. He continued that it would be another four days to sort this out before they can get their system back up and running. $300? Seriously? If that’s true, they better close the hotel if they can’t afford $300 to have their system up and running again and give guests access to their rooms. 

Lobby and Front Desk

Because of the whole room key dilemma, I ordered food delivery and had them drop it at my room door to avoid having someone go with me to let me in my room again. Of course, as usual, the restaurant forgot to put utensils in the bag and I had to go downstairs to pick some up from the breakfast area. At the same moment a couple was checking in and they were heading to the same floor as me. The guy from the front desk told me that he will let them in first and then come over to my room. When he unlocked the room door for the couple, he unlocked the wrong one. He gave them the right room number but he just did unlock an already occupied room. The only thing I heard was a bunch of “sorry, sorry, sorry”. Then he double-checked with the couple and opened the right room door which was on the opposite side of the hallway. That was a sign for me to make sure my deadbolts are all set when I am in the room.

1 King Bed Executive Suite (Room 228)

This room is one of the more spacious ones at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Riverside Corona/Norco. The bathroom is immediate to the right of the room door. Inside the bathroom, you have the vanity and a single sink on your right. Above it is a large wall-mounted mirror. Next to it is the toilet. On the opposite side of the bathroom is the shower. The shower had a glass door for you to get in and out. Surprisingly this shower didn’t have the wall-mounted dispensers most hotels have now in their shower. 

In the entryway, next to the bathroom door, is a small closet that holds a small refrigerator, coffee maker, and microwave. The entryway then leads into the sleeping area of the room.

On the right side is the King bed with a nightstand on either side of the bed. Each nightstand has a lamp on top of it. Only one lamp had power outlets to plug in a charger for your phone or other devices. Opposite the bed is another closet. It has three drawers and on top is one of two TVs.

Wall elements on either side of the room visually separate the sleeping area from the living area. There is no actual door or curtain to physically separate the two areas of the room. 

The living area comes with an L-shaped sofabed and opposite of it is a work desk and office chair. The desk has rollers at the bottom and you can place the desk as you desire. A shelve on the wall holds power outlets and USB ports as well as a lamp and another TV screen. 

A window is placed centrally in the exterior wall. Right below it is the AC unit which can be controlled remotely from a panel next to the bed. From the window, you get a look at the hotel’s parking lot below, Hamner Ave, and Neal Snipes Park across the street. Nothing really spectacular.

Public Areas & Amenities

Inside the lobby, near the front desk, you find a couple of sofas and chairs to sit down. This takes about half of the depth of the building. Once past the center hallway of the building, you have the breakfast area with even more seating. The seating area is open all day and can be used to meet up with colleagues and set up your laptop to work on stuff. 

Lobby Seating

A business center is located opposite the front desk. It comes with two workstations and a printer.

Business Center

Heading down the right corridor of the central hallway you get access to meeting rooms as well as the fitness center. The fitness center is small and has basic workout equipment. Nothing special. However, you need your room key to access it and with the hotel’s machine being down, I never saw anyone using the fitness center. The window from the fitness center faces out towards the front parking lot. Access to the fitness center is granted 24/7.

An outdoor patio is available at the front of the building. The patio has a fire pit with some chairs around it. On the patio is also the outdoor swimming pool. To enter the pool area you need your room key as well. There is only an outdoor pool on the patio, no whirlpool. The pool area is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

As you continue on the right corridor, you will pass a few meeting rooms and find the guest laundry facility all the way to the end of the hallway. Inside you have two sets of washers and dryers.

Dining

Breakfast

I was very disappointed by the breakfast, to be honest. I just stayed at the Fairfield in Santa Maria not too long ago and they had a great continental breakfast. Here you have a subpar breakfast experience. No eggs or bacon. The only “warm” food you get is heated breakfast muffins bought in bulk. Not very tasty. I would almost say the once you get at Mcdonald’s tastes better. Sorry, I forgot to mention oatmeal is available as well. There is no toast either. You get some fruits, yogurts, cereals and that’s about it. Not much to choose from to have a good start on a busy day.

The buffet area is separated from the actual dining area. They will close the buffet area after breakfast hours but you still can use the dining area to sit down. Breakfast is served as follows. A coffee station is located in the dining area and is available 24/7. 

Monday – Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Saturday & Sunday: 7:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Next to the front desk is the Corner Market, where you can find snacks, drinks, and some other stuff you might need for your stay. The market is open 24/7 as well.

Conclusion

I stayed at the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Riverside Corona/Norco for a few days and had no other issues besides the room key dilemma. When I checked out of the hotel, I asked if they would hand out bonus points for the rook key issue and the front desk agent told me she was not able to do points but she could give me a $50/night rebate. Initially I was hoping for points but I am pretty sure they would have never given me the same amount of points. I accepted the offer and was happy. Wi-Fi was fast but the portal lets you select for how many days you want to buy the premium internet access but you have to select it over and over again, every day. I only choose premium internet, which is $4.95 a day because it is complimentary for Platinum and above Marriott Bonvoy members.

Fairfield Inn Norco

Parking is at least complimentary at this location. Other hotels, like the Courtyard in San Luis Obispo, charge for parking as an extra revenue source with no reason to have parking charges. 

The staff was helpful and nice as they had to do many trips up and down the hotel floors to let people into their rooms. I haven’t heard anyone complain. Sometimes the front desk is unattended and then you need to wait a while for someone to come back to be able to get back into your room. Again, the whole room key dilemma was the worst part of the stay.

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