I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into El Grande Inn. The lobby leads into a cavernous, well-maintained common area that holds onto a 70s-80s era Spanish charm if you dig that sort of thing. I actually enjoy the brick red/brown color palette of that time, it gives off a warm and cozy vibe that makes me feel relaxed and at home. There are a small lounge areas with large, comfy couches and coffee tables in the hallways that I took advantage of when I wanted to zone out and on my phone for a bit outside of my room.
The room itself is basic - there’s enough space that you don’t feel claustrophobic but it’s still fairly tight, at least the standard rooms. The bathroom itself is tiny, but there’s a makeup mirror/hallway section right outside of it that helps. My biggest issue was that the bed was extremely uncomfortable, the mattresses are stiff (and I like a firm mattress) and pillows small and too soft. I did not have a comfortable night’s sleep. On top of that, my room was located between the elevator and a staircase, and the double door to the staircase kept getting slammed at night and waking me up. It happened multiple times an hour until around 3AM. The hotel management needs to adjust the door so it doesn’t slam, or lock it after a certain hour.
During COVID the indoor swimming pool was available, but limited to one family at a time and it had to be reserved. We took advantage, and the hotel sanitized the facilities before letting us in, which was appreciated.
The front desk person was not very friendly or helpful. We asked for extra blankets over the hotel phone and the response was “we might not have any more blankets”. First time I ever heard that from a hotel, and fortunately they did have extra. But in general she seemed annoyed to help us at all, even when checking in.
I’m also not sure why they charge as much as they do, considering the facilities themselves and the location. We paid around $165 total on a Friday night, on Saturday we drove to Napa and for the same price got a MUCH nicer hotel. Just makes you wonder.
Parking is free.
They don’t offer small cribs.
If you’re staying in Clearlake I would recommend this hotel, I just might bring my own pillow and would ask for a room away from the elevator and staircase. less