Luke and I had a fun little over night get away. Last year, Luke did some work for trade and received some coupons for various and assorted things. One was an over night stay at a local lodge. This included vouchers towards a room, dinner and breakfast. This meant we could scoot off for the weekend without it costing us an arm and a leg. And maybe a finger or toe or two.
Luke made the reservations. He got a room with a whirl-pool tub and fireplace! This sounded so nice, and a little romantic to boot. After such a marvelous birthday last week, this seemed like the perfect add-on. We were both looking forward to a mini-vacation!
This room goes for $349 a night. That is a lot of money for a hotel room for one night. At least it is in my book. We checked in and headed off the find our room. The room was pretty nice. The fireplace was set up and ready to light. All Luke had to do was click the lighter wand and set the kindling a flame. In not time flat, we had a nice little fire crackling away.
Now, I want to stop right here for moment and explain a couple of things. Yes, I am going to complain about a room I stayed in for free. Why? Because the room is a $349 + room on a normal basis. If we had been paying for it, I would have been angry and disappointed. And also because a lot of the things we found with this room are things one finds in almost EVERY hotel room one may stay at in the U.S. (I can’t really speak for Europe, as my European experiences are very few). And I can’t figure out why they continue to build hotel rooms this way! I mean, really guys, there are better ways to do this stuff!
We opened the door and flicked on the lights. I said ‘We flicked on the lights’. Lights. Lights? Even with the lights on, the room was dim. As seems to be the custom here in the U.S., the light bulbs were a blistering 15 watts. Maybe 10. I don’t know for certain, but I DO know they did little to shed light on the room. Even with both sets of overhead lights on, you couldn’t see well. The bedside lamps were better, only because they were 3 way lights and could be made brighter. Why is it we can’t have real lights in hotel rooms? Especially at $349 a night! How much profit am I going to use up with a 60 watt bulb? Better yet, why don’t hotels use the compact florescence bulbs in their over head lights? What are you people trying to hide?
The wall heater/air condition was in the traditional hotel placement. Right next to the bed, under a window. This means whomever sleeps on that side of the bed has air blowing on them all night, not to mention listening to the thing cycle on and off all night long. Even with all the vents pointed as far away from me as far as possible, I still had air blowing on me all night. Why do you builders do this ??!!??? There are plenty of place to put those wall units that are NOT next to the bed! Above the balcony door, above the entry door, the wall on the other side of the room to name a few. There is a remote for the TV, so get a wall unit with a remote and put the darn things up over the doors where they won’t bother the people trying to sleep. One of my crappy apartments had a wall unit with a remote. If they can do it, hotels certainly can. Especially higher end hotels.
As we unpacked our few things, we noticed it was a very noisy room. A Motel 6 is quieter than this room! We joked about it, and then we noticed it – our room was sharing walls with the dining room and the kitchen. We were hearing the kitchen crew washing dishes, yelling out orders and banging plates about. We could the live music in the dining room. So now we have an expensive room that is not going to be quiet until after 11 pm when the dining room closes and the kitchen crew is done with clean up.
The room had dings in the paint. Little chips missing in places that could easily be dabbed over while housekeeping is cleaning and the paint would be dry well before check-in time. So why isn’t this being done at some point? Yeah, I know. I know! All hotel rooms are going to get dings in the paint. This room was so fresh looking over all, it was disappointing to see that was not being kept up as well as it could be.
We did have a laugh when we saw the hot tub. Luke is 6’6″, and I am 5’10”. The tub was not built for two larger sized people. There was no way we were both going to fit in that thing at the same time. At least not very comfortably.
Dinner was pretty good. The service was a little slow, but not horrible. Our server was very nice and friendly. We went back to our noisy room and sat in front the fire and read. Later we squished into the tub and relaxed a bit. Well, our ankles and bums relaxed a bit. After the kitchen closed and the room got quiet, we crawled into bed. The bed was comfy and warm. (yay!)
Breakfast was another matter. So very different from dinner. We each got a cup of fruit to start with. Not in season fruit, so it was not very flavorful. Some bits were hard and chewy. Not what you look for in fruit. The ‘pastry’ was made with canned pie filling. All rather flavorless and lumpy. Luke’s breakfast entrée was good. Mine not so much. I ordered buttermilk pancakes. How can you screw up buttermilk pancakes? They are easy. Some are better than others, that is true. But it takes a true genius to really screw up a pancake. Apparently, this place hired that genius.
I received three crepe-like pancakes on a plate with butter and what I will call syrup (for lack of a better term) on the side. To begin with, the ‘pancakes’ were burnt. Okay, not burnt. Over browned (a term my mother used to get us kids to eat slightly burnt food). They tasted awful, almost bitter. The ‘syrup’ had no flavor. None. It was like thick, sweetened water. I even had Luke try a bite. Luke made a face. I think he wanted to spit it out. I wasn’t about to eat it.
I sent it back and ordered a different meal. The basic ‘bacon and eggs’ breakfast. It was pretty good. Nothing fantastic, but tasty and edible. After the ‘pancakes’, edible was a dream come true. Nothing was offered to make up for the horrible first breakfast. Most places would have offered something like a free dessert or hot chocolate. Here? Not a thing.
Would I stay there again? For free, or at a huge discount, yes. At full price? No. There were too many little things that could have made our stay quite unpleasant. Had we been staying there for more than a night or two, I would have asked to be moved to a quieter room. At the regular price of that room, it should have been much quieter and pleasanter to stay in.
It was nice to sit in front of a real fire and read and talk. It was nice to not have to get up and take care of a dog or holler at a kid to go get his chores done. It snowed a little overnight, so we had a pretty sight out our window in the morning.
All in all, we had a very nice time.