Travel Blog


Holiday Inn Express – Surprise Arizona

January 28th, 2015 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

Holiday Inn Express - Surprise ArizonaWhen we are traveling, we look for cleanliness and hotels that meet the same standard no matter where we stay. The Holiday Inn Express – Surprise Arizona meets this requirement very nicely.  Very clean hotel and rooms, free parking and great breakfast. Nice rooms with standard Holiday Inn furniture, fridge, coffee etc. We do not want surprises when we arrive late at night and this one clearly met our requirements. We would stay at this Holiday Inn Express any time and would recommend it to anyone looking for a place to stay. Another location that we can vouch for is the Holiday Inn in Fort Stockton.

Holiday Inn Express – Surprise Arizona

Very good breakfast again standard at the Holiday Inn Express – Surprise Arizona
Electrical plugs available in breakfast area to charge smart phones and computers. Many hotels that are not modern or have not been upgraded do not have these features. When your cell phone battery dies or your computer battery fails, you need a place to plug it in and recharge it so that you can continue working.

The front desk clerk was friendly and helpful, kitchen staff also friendly and helpful. They kept everything clean and immaculate despite a few kids and adults making a little bit of a mess. Tables were quickly cleaned and ready for the next guest to have their breakfast.

There are no restaurants near by, and you really cannot walk to one either. Plan to take your car to any restaurant in the area. Traffic is not too bad in the area at night.

Lots of parking at the hotel, in a nice residential neighborhood. If you are looking for night life, then this is probably not the place to stay. There are more business people and travelers like ourselves passing through the area staying at this particular hotel. We will stay at this hotel again in Holiday Inn Express – Surprise Arizona again the next time we go through the area.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Holiday Inn express Fort Stockton

January 27th, 2015 ernie Posted in Hotel Service 1 Comment »

We recently stayed at the Holiday Inn express Fort Stockton and were not very impressed. Normally we depend on the chains such as the Holiday Inn Express chain, because they maintain good standards of cleanliness and breakfast menus. Not so with this particular hotel:

  • No coffee in the morning for breakfast
  • Phones did not work in our room and had to move
  • Gravel in parking lot from construction
  • Gravel tracked into the hotel and onto the floors
  • And onto the upper floors where there were new carpets
  • Even elevator walls were dirty from someone rubbing a dirty muddy hand on the walls

Do not stay here at this hotel.  They wanted $137 per night for a room and did not even give us a discount because of the issues we identified. Even worse was the attitude of the front desk clerk in the morning. He actually smirked when I complained to him. Told me there was coffee in my room and there was nothing he could do about it. The manager was not in and that there were no coffee filters to make coffee with. Nothing he could do about it.

With this attitude, even though they are spending a lot of money upgrading the hotel, it will deteriorate very quickly and all of the investment will be for nothing. We plan to never stay there again and will do what we can to warn other travelers that they should not stay at this location. You would think that with online reviews etc and customers reading them, that these hotels would smarten up. No wonder many are struggling and they have no idea why their customers are going to other locations.

We were on a tight schedule otherwise we would have reported it to central reservations. While they might not do anything at least we would have had some satisfaction.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Holiday Inn Express Webster Texas

January 24th, 2015 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

We recently stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Webster Texas and overall found it to be very clean, up dated and modern. This is a place we would definitely stay at again if in the area. The Holiday Inn Express Webster Texas met the standard we expect for the Holiday Inn Express chain.

Holiday Inn Express Webster Texas

Rooms were clean and met the standards we expect at a Holiday Inn Express. Breakfast was also very good and had everything we needed. They have a very nice pool and hot tub at the back of the hotel. We did not try it but saw some people enjoying the hot tub.

The only issues we had with the hotel are that it is hard to find. There are very few electrical plugs in the breakfast area to plug in computers or smart phones to charge them.

Fortunately we had a GPS or I am not sure we would have found the place. There is a back road leading from the back of the mall to the hotel property which greatly simplifies things, but it is full of pot holes so drive slowly.

The front desk clerk could not help at all re electrical plugs and there did not seem to be any except for one on the wall where a lamp is plugged in. I needed to charge both my smart phone and computer so I unplugged the lamp. This is definitely an area that should be improved on.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Spring Hills Marriott Hotel Knoxville

January 19th, 2015 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

We stayed at the Spring Hills Marriott Hotel Knoxville on Turkey Creek road on the west side of Knoxville. Excellent place to stay, perhaps a bit pricey for travelers, but clean and large well-appointed rooms.

Breakfast was very good with the standard hot breakfast fare that most hotels in this class offer free of charge to their customers.

Spring Hills Marriott Hotel Knoxville

The only complaints we would have is that there is a slight amount of road noise from the interstate which is located right behind the hotel. Customers might want to request a location that is on the other side of the hotel away from the interstate.

Also there are limited electrical outlets for someone who needs to plug-in their computer in the morning. If you are traveling with other devices that need an electrical plug, take an extension cord with you.

WiFi is wide open and free so anyone can use it including people who are not staying at the hotel. This is a potential security hazard for anyone using the WiFi. You can counter this threat by bringing a portable router that acts as a firewall to protect your security. The other approach of course is to limit the sites you access with your devices. Stay away from banking and any personal information sites.

For more information about hotel services and places we have stayed, click here.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Hampton Inn Martinsburg

January 18th, 2015 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

Hampton Inn MartinsburgThe Hampton Inn Martinsburg is easy to get to off route 81 in Martinsburg WV. It is a bit tired looking but still better than most. Rooms were fine, service is what you would expect and breakfast was standard.

While this may not sound so great from a review perspective, it is the fact that the Hampton Inn hotel chain can be depended on to provide good quality. There are usually clean rooms, a decent breakfast and free wi-fi with free parking. They are usually located close to the highway and at all major intersecting highways.

Rooms were quiet. There was not a lot of road noise which is important when you are traveling and need to sleep. There was a Logans steakhouse on the other side of the highway, so you need a car to get to it. There is also Ruby Tuesday’s and a buffet restaurant of some kind next door. It seemed to be busy, but we decided on Logans, a cold beer, peanuts in the shell and an excellent steak.

Breakfast was the standard fare and if you stay at Hampton Inn’s a lot, then it does get a bit tired, but it is dependable. There is cereal, fruit, eggs, sausage, yogurt and pancakes. Also toast and bagels along with muffins. You won’t starve and you will eat well. Don’t forget the coffee and orange juice. The Hampton Inn Martinsburg is on our list of future hotels to stay at.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Drury Inn – San Antonio

January 31st, 2014 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

We recently stayed at the Drury Inn in San Antonio Texas. This hotel is modern and looks great from the outside as well as in the lobby.

However it is very difficult to get to from the Interstate Hwy., #10 and 1604. It is right on the corner of these two major highways and very difficult to get to as well as to get back on the highway. We made several wrong turns erring to the hotel.

We recommend that you park using the garage parking lot. For security reasons you should park inside the gated garage to ensure that your cars contents and car remain safe at night.

Drury Inn – San Antonio – Good Deal

We paid $90 plus tax for two people. This includes a hot breakfast as well as hot hors d’oeuvres at night and three alcoholic drinks for each person. You can choose between beer, wine and mixed drinks.

While generally good value for the money, we did not get a good nights sleep. The king bed that we were provided was very soft, and moved each time the other person in the bed turned over. It was very disconcerting.

We’ve had too many situations where the comfort of the bed was not sufficient at this particular hotel chain and will not be staying at this hotel chain even though we will pay more for a single nights accommodation plus food.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Drury Inn Terra Haute Indianna

June 10th, 2013 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

Drury inn Terra HauteThe Drury Inn in Terra Haute Indiana is part of the Drury hotel chain. This chain is unique among hotels of this class. $99 for two people gets you a room, kickback and a hot breakfast! A pretty good deal if you looking to minimize your budget for dining as well as a hotel room.

The kickback special is unique to most hotel chains. The Drury Inn kick back includes 3 alcoholic drinks per person and a buffet which includes salads, soup, baked potato, pasta and hot dogs!  Depending on the evening and the hotel they will also include chicken fingers or some other kind of finger food.  You can enjoy your dinner, although it may not be the most nutritious unless you just stick to the salad and soup combo, but it is certainly filling and something for everyone. What a deal? All of this included in the price of the hotel room which is also very competitive..

Asking as you do not need or want to go out to eat, this us a great alternative to eating out at a restaurant. And you usually meet people from all over as well. This Drury Inn fully met our expectations, was very clean and included laundry machines which you can use if needed  as well!

Drury Inn – Tips to remember

If you stay at any of the Drury Inns, always ask for a room on the upper floor on the opposite side to the highway. Although we have never had a noise problem when staying at one of these hotels we tend to make sure we stay on the opposite side of the highway to minimize the possibility of too much noise from outside.

We also found that the beds are not quite as good as other hotels. They are comfortable, but tend to move when your partner shifts their position in the middle of the night. It was enough to wake the other up during the night. We all want to get a good nights sleep.

Save

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Dealing with Allergies at Hotels is Getting Better

November 21st, 2011 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

Dealing with allergies at hotels is getting better when you are staying at hotels these days. Many hotels have recognized that there is a large percentage of the population that is dealing with allergies at most times of the year and they are going after this market.

If you are a traveler and suffer from allergies, don’t forget to ask for the following when you make your reservation, depending on your personal allergy situation:

  • Non smoking room
  • No pets
  • Foam pillows
  • Hypo – Allergenic room ( some hotels are now offering this feature)
  • Special foods
  • Other items that are personal in nature

Dealing with Allergies at Hotels is Getting Better

Again, don’t forget to re-enforce these requests when you check in. On occasion, the original request will not get sent to the check in clerk from the reservation desk, or they are out of your desired room and they just put you in any old room.

Non Smoking Rooms

We have also been in situations were we had requested a non smoking room and found ourselves on a smoking floor in a room that had been smoked in. Obviously the clerk was not paying attention or not on the ball. We had to move rooms and we demanded a discount for our troubles. Many hotels will offer discounts on the room rate or a free meal in these situations.

The hotels are also seeing the advantage of going to non smoking rooms throughout the hotel due to the cost savings they receive on not having to clean the remains of smokers ashes and smells. Lets face it , smokers are not that clean, they leave their ashes and cigarette buts everywhere and it all becomes a filthy mess. If they are forced to smoke outside, at least it is outside and not inside a hotel room were the hotel has to pay for cleaning.

Hampton Inn 100% Guarantee

Hampton Inns also have their 100% satisfaction guarantee as well which is well worth taking advantage of if you are not satisfied. We have taken advantage of this on several occasions that were legitimate issues.

Pet Friendly Hotels

This is another market that the hotels are catering to, however for anyone with allergies to pet dander, it can be a night mare. You cannot tell if you have been in a room previously occupied by a pet, yet you are reacting to the dander and have a miserable night. We just stay away from these hotels and do not give them our business!

Hypo-Allergenic Rooms

Some of the larger chains are beginning to offer these kinds of rooms to travelers. They are charging more for the rooms, but it can be worth it to get a good nights sleep. No smoke, no pets, no perfume of any kind, no deodorizer and odor free cleaning agents. If you are allergic to any of these items you may want to consider this kind of room.

Unfortunately the smaller hotels and motels do not offer this type of room, although they generally do offer non smoking rooms. Dealing with allergies at hotels is getting better. For more posts about hotel service, click here.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Drury inn – Alburqueque

October 16th, 2011 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

We stayed at another Drury Inn, this time in Albuquerque , New Mexico and found that this location lived up to the value and the comfort that the first two locations we stayed did.Drury inn - Alburqueque This location is just north of the downtown area of the city off of I25 which takes you North to Santa Fe.

We got there just in time for the evening hot food and drinks that come with your room. We paid $81 plus tax for a room on a weekend with triple A discounts for a king bed , and two people.

With this we got the usual free long distance service, free wi-fi and a hot meal in the evening and in the morning as well. In addition we also receive 3 drinks each consisting of beer, wine and mixed drinks. There are also soft drinks and popcorn available 24 hours a day.

Drury inn – Alburqueque

We included a couple of pictures, one of the outside and then two pictures of the inside eating area. This is a really great place to stay at with not only the deal you get but also the location. There are at least 5 restaurants within walking distance of the hotel, if you decide you want something more than what is offered at the hotel.
Read the rest of this entry »

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Drury Inn in Nashville

October 14th, 2011 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

We recently stayed at the Drury Inn in Nashville, TN along I40 on the east side of the city. What a pleasant place to stay at and good value for the price as well. We normally stay at other chains, but decided to stay for one night at this hotel and would highly recommend it to anyone who is traveling.Drury Inn in Nashville

The picture on the right was taken with my smart phone and it is a bit dark even after adjusting the effects on the picture. Blame it on my smart phone and not the Inn. It is a bright, very clean eating area with lots of places to sit both at tables and on comfortable couches and chairs.

Drury Inn in Nashville – Hotel Renovations

The hotel apparently has been recently renovated. the rooms were large, well appointed with all of the amenities you need and lots of granite. We paid $109 with a Triple A rate, while the walk in rate was $129. We could have paid $10 less with two double beds instead of a king bed.  This may seem a bit high for some folks, but wait until you here about the advantages you get with this hotel for the price.

  • Evening snack which is really more than a snack
    • Baked potatoes with sour cream and butter
    • Chicken strips
    • Pasta
    • Salad
    • Soup
    • Hot dogs for the kids
    • Three drinks per person – beer, wine or mixed drinks
    • Chips and sauces to go with everything
  • Just about to have breakfast, so cannot provide a list, however looks like it is a full hot buffet breakfast with the normal things that you would expect and coffee and juice.
  • In addition, there are flat screen TV’s in every room, and free long distance calling across the US and into Canada as well and free parking inside a gated area.

 

Drury Inn’s

When you compare a cheaper hotel plus paying for two meals, this is really a good deal and  you do not have to worry about drinking and driving after your meal out at a local restaurant. This hotel really works for us and we would recommend it to anyone passing through Nashville. Apparently Drury has a number of hotels across the mid west so we are looking forward to staying at more of them.

Leave us a comment if you have had a similar experience. For more posts about hotel service, click here.

 

Save

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Hampton Inns 100% Guarantee

May 21st, 2011 ernie Posted in Hotel Service No Comments »

Many travelers may know about the Hampton Inns 100% Guarantee customer satisfaction guarantee, but have you ever taken advantage of it. We have taken advantage of the guarantee several times for legitimate reasons, and in fact it was the hotel who made the offer to us on one of the occasions!

Hampton Inn Atlantic City

The first time we used the Hampton Inns 100% Guarantee was near Atlantic city. We checked in, found our room to be fine and then took off for the casinos in nearby Atlantic city. We got back around 11pm and got ready for bed. since it was a warm evening, we decided to turn on the air conditioning, only to find that it was not working. In fact the coils where freezing up with ice on the outside which is a sure sign that the system is low on Freon or whatever they use these days. By the time we realized this, it was around 1 am and too late to really do anything about it so we just endured the heat and went to sleep.

The next morning I mentioned it to the manager that the AC was not working and about the coils. I mentioned that he needed to get this fixed because the coils were icing up causing condensation in the room and that it could also damage the unit itself. He thanked me for this information and without asking, pointed to the Hampton Inns 100% Guarantee and told me there would be no charge for the room for that night. Since we were staying two nights, he moved us to another better room.

Hampton Inn – St Louis West

This is another situation were the Hampton inn did not meet our expectations. As we travel throughout the US, we have come to expect that every hotel will have laundry facilities and wireless internet throughout the hotel. We checked into the Hampton Inn – St Louis – West under these assumptions. When I asked for change for the laundry after having checked in, I was informed that there was no laundry on site. I mentioned that we were not satisfied, due to no laundry, no wireless and that we were not satisfied.

The manager offered us 100% back on our room cost, however I indicated that in this case in my opinion 100% was not fair so we agreed on a 50% rate reduction for the cost of the room. I think  that it is important to be fair in these situations with the hotel.

We also found out that hot chocolate chip cookies were also not provided.  To make matters worse we were told about the Drury Inn next door which was the same price, but also offers hot evening bar food as well.

Hampton Inn – Tucson

This last situation was really the fault of another guest. Apparently contrary to hotel rules, the previous guest smoked in his room and we were checked into this room without it having been properly cleaned. Note that the Hampton Inns, are all supposed to be non-smoking.

The hotel manager agreed to move us and reduce our room rate as well, making this a very attractive rate, although we had to change rooms.

Hampton Inns 100% Guarantee

The Hampton inn chain stands behind their service guarantee , although you must mention the issues you have to the hotel manager and request a discount to your room rate.

Their breakfast is average, with some hot and cold items on the menu with coffee, tea and juices.

All in all a great chain to stay at all over the country with competitive rates for most places. For more information about hotels we have stayed at, click here.

 

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Americans Friendly and Polite – Yes

December 29th, 2010 ernie Posted in Hotel Service 1 Comment »

Americans Friendly and PoliteAt least were we go, Americans seem to go out of their way to be friendly and polite. We are at the casino in Akwesasnee, New York staying at the Comfort Inn. First person I met said good morning to me. The lady looking after the kitchen asked if everything was ok with my stay and did I need anything. Americans Friendly and Polite, absolutely yes! This is the way it is all over America! Keep it up, the service is great and the quality is excellent.

We have traveled all over the US and Canada staying at various hotels and motels, visiting restaurants and tourist areas and we have found that there really is a difference in the way that Canadians and Americans treat their guests. American in general understand that their business depends on satisfied customers. Unfortunately we do not think that Canadians care and we wondered why this was the way it is.

Americans Friendly and Polite

One example is the breakfast area at the Comfort Inn in Akwesasene, New York. The breakfast area was really clean and the young lady in charge did a really great job at keeping up with making sure there was enough food available and cleaning up after everyone.

Americans Friendly and Polite

She even took time for a smoke outside, which she deserved without any problem around the breakfast area. This hotel is non smoking and they make sure that the rooms are clean and odor free too. She checked with all of us before leaving to make sure that we had everything we needed before going on her break.

The halls were spotless; everything in the hotel is nice and clean and as we mentioned earlier in the post the service and the friendliness of the staff was superior! This is pretty typical in terms of the service level that we have found, but there is one more point that we think deserves mention.

The staff was friendly, they spoke to their guests, they used the words please and thank you and they made sure that we understood that we were their customer and that they appreciated it. Why is the service level so much better in the US vs. Canada?

We happen to think that it is the maturity of the individual providing service. Canadians tend to hire teenagers who are more interested in their next date, the latest song or movie etc. they just don’t get it that they are there to provide excellent service. Adults who need the job are almost always going to provide better service because they want to keep those jobs.

Sure there are places everywhere that provide bad service from time to time, but they do not last long and all we are saying is that on average, service levels in the US are much better. In general, Americans Friendly and Polite – absolutely yes!

AddThis Social Bookmark Button


?>


Web Content Development