My Choice of Property in the Fresno Hotel Wasteland

Fresno is something of a hotel wasteland. There’s a Marriott Courtyard, a couple of Holiday Inns, the local Picadilly chain (which years ago was about as nice as it got), a Radisson, a couple of La Quintas, and a well-placed Hampton. Supposedly there’s a Hyatt Place coming.

Not a lot as far as full service properties go.

And with a penchant for Starwood properties, I wind up at the Four Points. I wish it was further North, it is it’s on Blackstone (a main drag, across the street from a mall that’s been surpassed many times over and that’s fairly dead, and near a Starbucks and the 41 freeway) about 10 minutes from the airport. The neighborhood isn’t the best in Fresno, I lived there at one point in Northwest and this isn’t Northwest. Not Northeast either. But I never felt uncomfortable in the area, and hotel keycards are necessary in order to get into the inside corridors of the buildings.

The rates here are often great, when I stayed a base-level room was going for just shy of $100. It’s a category 2 property, so free nights are 4000 points during the week (I’d just assume pay cash!) and 3000 during the weekend. Of course, Starwood has introduced cash and points awards for category 1 and 2 properties, during the week that’s a pretty good deal especially.

The hotel is laid out in several separate two-story buildings. There’s no elevator, but for a single flight of stairs this isn’t a problem. The grounds themselves are nice enough but the old concrete buildings don’t give off a high-end impression from the outside. Ground floor rooms facing the courtyard have sliding glass doors. All things equal I’d probably take a second floor room for a greater feeling of security.

Still, this is a very nicely renovated Four Points. Flat panel TVs, Four Comfort Beds, curved shower heads with the Bliss Shine products, and a free bottle of water as well as in-room refrigerators.

After some confusion at checkin on my last stay, arriving late at night during Fresno State graduation weekend and being given a lesser room than I had booked (all that was available, I booked late and online inventory didn’t match actual inventory properly), this time I was given a suite which was really two adjoining hotel rooms opened up with one of the bedrooms turned into a big living room and therefore the suite had two full bathrooms.

The lobby area has been nicely renovated with a sitting area, coffee station, and one computer with internet. When an older couple was monopolizing the machine and I needed to print out my boarding passes, a staff member invited me to use her checkin computer behind the desk. Very thoughtful of her!

I’ve never checked out the pool, though the website highlights the cabana-style tents beside the pool which look nice in the photos. The fitness room is small but perfectly serviceable.

Most importantly, platinum treatment is excellent. Platinums are given coupons for free breakfast and also free cocktails in the on-property restaurant, benefits not required by the Starwood Preferred Guest program. The breakfast buffet is modest but better than offered in many domestic lounges, eggs, breakfast meat, potatoes, waffles, toast, biscuits and gravy, yogurt, cereal and fruit offered in a proper restaurant with a waiter bringing coffee, etc.

Given the dearth of properties in Fresno, this one is my choice. Location isn’t ideal, but the renovation is nice, the staff are friendly, and they treat elites very well.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Sounds like a great stay. The last time I was in Fresno, I stayed at the Radissen, the most decent hotel at the time (before 4 points was built). The room never left the 70’s, with rattan furniture and big round table with glass tabletop that provided ZERO productivity for laptop user, plus it smelled like someone smoked pot in it.

  2. @ptahcha – the Four Points used to be the Smugglers Inn (the restaurant still bears that name) and isn’t a new property.

  3. > Fresno is something of a hotel wasteland.

    I think you can get rid of the word “hotel” in that sentence 🙂

    Ok, I am probably entirely unfair here with my coastal California bias, eh, perspective. But for me the central valley is generally a place to drive through to somewhere nicer, including, say, Death Valley.

  4. I really do not like the neighborhood the Four Points is in. The Hilton Garden Inn in Clovis opened last summer, and has both nicer furnishings, and a safer location. The property is less than a mile from the eastern edge of Fresno St.

  5. For those of us still living in the newly-crowned “America’s Drunkest City”, by Men’s Health Magazine, I say come to Fresno for the cheap motels eligible for the Wyndham BMI 5,000 point bonus offer. We’ve been overbuilt with these since the opening of Interstate 5. And we’ve got a brand new La Quinta in Highway City overlooking some homes that would have been condemned long ago in the Ninth Ward. Come to Fresno, and you’ll see why we have the 10th busiest airport in the state servicing the 5th largest city. Our airport has a multi-million dollar redwood grove,but all back-up generators failed during last week’s power outage. Fresno is proud to be the largest suburban area in the US still looking for an urban area to attach to. Oh, and we used to feed the country, too.

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