Posts Tagged ‘Hotel’

Holiday Inn Express Roseburg
375 W. Harvard Blvd.
Roseburg, Oregon 97470
(541) 673-7517
Holiday Inn Express Roseburg

View of Umpqua River from every room

View of Umpqua River from every room

February 19th through 24th, 2017

Holiday Inn Express Roseburg is the newest hotel in Roseburg, Oregon. Every room boasts views of the Umpqua River from private balconies or covered patios for ground floor rooms. Amenities and features are the same as any other Holiday Inn Express. Complimentary breakfast with standard run of the mill Holiday Inn Express fare, WiFi, parking, pool, fitness center, business center, guest laundry room, etc… All the basics you need for a mid-level business class hotel.

Check-in was quick and the room requested was immediately available. Some first floor rooms have parking spots in front of the outside facing room doors so if you’re driving and would like to park your car in front of your room be sure and make a special request. There is a large parking lot in front of the main entry for the upper floors access via the elevators. My room appeared to be recently built out and in good repair. It was clean and comfortable for my needs on this extended business trip.

Complaints are few and mostly minor. The biggest complaint though isn’t so minor and isn’t so easy to remedy: the noise level. There was not enough sound proofing built into the walls, floors and ceilings of this hotel. As a result I could her the two women in the room to one side of me arguing about something at 12:30 AM, I could hear the family with small kids playing in the room on the other side of me and could hear what sounded like teenagers wrestling in the room above me until 04:30 AM in the morning. Once they finally gave up for the evening all of the 5 AM risers started waking and I could hear just about every shower and toilet at my end of the building going off in succession. Just to add insult to injury do you remember that beautiful view of the Umpqua River from every room? Well when the ever busy I-5 Pacific Highway is less than 100 yards from the hotel that river makes for a sound tunnel. So that is a long way of saying if you stay here you better bring ear plugs or you’re going to find sleeping difficult. The hardest of sleepers would have trouble here.

Other than that the only too minor complaints I had were the toilet and toilet seat were loose in my bathroom. Maintenance fixed up straight away the toilet seat but the toilet itself rocked and rolled during my entire trip In addition the bottom of the bathroom door was in rough shape most likely from water damage or a small dog scratching at it while locked up. Neither of those issues would keep me from returning.

Since Holiday Inn Express Roseburg is the newest hotel in Roseburg it tends to be booked full on a regular basis. Every weekday morning I dined in the breakfast area the room was pretty much packed and just about every parking spot out front taken. Therefore be sure and make a reservation as far in advance as possible.

Conclusion: Holiday Inn Express Roseburg is the hotel to stay at when visiting or simply passing through Roseburg, Oregon.


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Holiday Inn Express & Suites Childress
3001 Ave F NW
Childress, TX 79201
(940) 937-0900
Holiday Inn Express & Suites Childress

Saturday, July 9th, 2016

OK. Let’s get right to it. This experience flat out sucked.

We arrived around 8:30PM for our pre-paid reservation and were greeted by a note on the door there are no rooms available. I’m sure it’s OK. We have a reservation.

The hotel is swarming with people. Mostly teenage boys and girls running around with plates of stinky, poor quality pizza. After waiting a bit for the backed up line at the front desk to clear I finally moved to the front of the line and identified myself at which point I was finally acknowledged as priority club member. Happens all the time so no great shakes. After signing the registration paperwork I’m handed a set of card keys coded for room 221 while the card key jacket says 202.

Uh, bad sign. I should’ve turned around and left at this moment.

So after assuring us we needed to go to 221 we go up the smelly, overcrowded with teenagers, slow moving elevator to floor 2 and open room 221 and VOILA! It is dirty. Food crumbs on the desk. Linens rolled up in the side chair. Bed unmade. Stinks to high heaven like a bunch of hormone driven teenaged baseball players have been in there farting and eating stinky, poorly made pizza. So needless to say we lug all of our luggage back down the slow moving, stinky, overcrowded elevator.

By the way, they call it luggage for a reason. You lug it.

So we let the front desk know about our room and she starts staring at the clean room list that shows our room is indeed clean dispite our visit to the contrary. After waiting an inappropriate amount of time for the other desk clerk to help her (she’s only been here two weeks she shares; heck of a way to learn on the job if you ask me) she finally gives up and decides to code our keys for room 202 that we were originally assigned and walk us up there herself. So we all climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator up to floor 2 and we get to room 202 and low and behold…

It’s occupied.

Yeah, the front desk gave us keys to an occupied room. If you know anything about the hotel industry you know this is breaking a cardinal rule. You can’t even tell anybody who is staying in your hotel, more so let a complete stranger into an occupied room. It’s called security. People get robbed or worse when entering other people’s rooms.

So we all climb back onto the smelly, overcrowded, slow moving elevator back down to the lobby at which point new hire is totally flustered and desparately in need of help from experienced clerk. Unfortunately, experienced clerk is busy compounding my problem by issuing 6 newly cleaned rooms to just arrived guests of the band tour. So I get to sit there and wait until she finishes miss-coding their keys. Yes, I watched her do so. I was also there when two of them later came back down to get their keys fixed.

So finally after a lengthy wait experienced clerk decides to upgrade me to a King Suite and credit my rewards account with 5,000 points. There, that should shut up this trouble making traveler. So off we go to the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator to room 218 (I think) which is a handicapped accessible room (I hate those, they are for handicapped travelers and only be issued to them for said reason) and upon flinging the door open to our luxurious suite we find…you guessed it. Yet another dirty room that has been ransacked by stinky, marauding teenagers.

So we climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator and go back to the lobby and I slap all of my possessions right on top of the front desk and ask “Care to try again?”. Yeah, I’m finally losing it. It took this long before I finally lost my cool but even Mr. Steady loses it at some point.

So there is much embarrassment, lot’s of staring at the clean room list, exclamations of “why are they marking these rooms clean when they’re not?” and the like. Ultimately they get their final chance and give me a two queen suite (I reserved King for a reason) up on the third floor this time. Maybe we’ll luck out by changing floors. Apparently floor two is the seventh circuit of hell. So we climb back onto the stinky, slow moving, overcrowded elevator and head up to floor three. We discuss on the eternal ride upward that if this room is dirty we’re demanding a refund and driving home tonight even if it means I’ll fall into bed cranky as hell at 2 AM. So we locate our penthouse and fling the door open and VOILA! A room that appears to be clean! It stinks like cheap spray scent from aisle 11 at Walmart but by god it is clean. So out of desperation we decided to keep the room and drink TWO bottles of wine to dull the pain. Trust me, one wasn’t enough at this point.

The internet was slow. Might’ve had something to do with a hotel full of teenagers streaming everything from Pokemon GO to Sears women’s underwear ads. That’s my guess. Oh well, it was 9:45 by the time we got to a room so we were ready for bed anyway. Yeah, 9:45. Arrived at 8:30. It took an hour and fifteen minutes to get a room acceptable enough to sleep in.

The complimentary breakfast was typical Holiday Inn Express schlock. Comes with the territory I guess. So deal with it and quit your bitching.

Conclusion: I won’t be returning. Ever. There is a Hampton Inn practically across the parking lot. They get my business next time.

UPDATE: the hotel manager finally contacted me and apologized for all of the problems and is working on better training the staff and will issue a full credit for my stay.

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Sheraton Crescent Hotel
2620 West Dunlap Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85021
Phone: 602.943.8200
Sheraton Crescent Hotel

Sheraton Crescent Hotel Phoenix AZ

Sheraton Crescent Hotel Phoenix AZ

February 8-10, 2015

The Sheraton Crescent is a business class hotel located on the western edge of Phoenix, Arizona. Built in 1986 the hotel was last updated in 2014 giving it an up to date, fresh appeal to business and pleasure guests.

Common Areas

The common areas were well cared for, clean and reasonably up to date. Lots of tile and soft brown toned woods. Full service amenities including restaurant, bar, pool, meeting rooms, business center, parking garage, etc…


The room was also well carded for, clean and reasonably up to date. The only strikes I saw were minor, normal wear and tear type of items such as scuffs on painted doors, tiny nicks in the bathtub, etc… The room has everything needed for business or pleasure including desk, chair, TV, comfortable bed, extra overstuffed pillows, etc…

Food & Beverage

The bar area is a nice area to relax at the end of the day or the end of the evening after spending time with clients or friends. That’s the only plus here in my opinion. The food is substandard throughout. I ate lunch in the Indigo Bistro and half of my dish was good and the other have inedible. I ate breakfast in my room via room service and the poached eggs tasted like they were boiled in dirty, caustic water. I ate lunch in the meeting rooms via the catering department and the food was mostly bland and mundane. So if you’re planning on skipping the rental car don’t: you’ll need it to go out for every meal.

The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back

Internet at this hotel sucks. Period. Notice I didn’t say WiFi. I could connect to any WiFi in the hotel. In my room, lobby, meeting room, everywhere. Full signal every place I went. However, the moment I tried to cross the path from WiFi to Modem/ISP I died a horrible lingering death. Pages wouldn’t load. Pages would half load and stop mid stream and say they couldn’t be found. It was completely unbearable and impossible to conduct business online in the 21st century. This was not limited to me. I confirmed with numerious people in my group (I was attending a convention) that they too had the same issue. I complained to two separate people with the Sheraton staff and the issue was not resolved before departure. This issue alone is enough to keep me from returning to this hotel in the future. This issue is way too important for me as a business traveler to risk staying here again.

Conclusion: Good hotel with good pricing but lousy food and outright crappy Internet. I won’t return.

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Plaza Sao Rafael Hotel
Av. Alberto Bins, 514 – Centro Historico
Porto Alegre – RS CEP 90030-140 Brazil
Phone: (51) 3220.7000

June 27, 2014 through July 1, 2014

Plaza Sao Rafael Hotel is a business class hotel located in Centro Porto Alegre. It is an old, well regarded hotel that has been updated along the way with some modern amenities. Some of the amenities include an on premise restaurant and bar, inclusive breakfast, spa services, 25 meter lap pool, work out room, dry and wet saunas and the like. If you can’t exit your flight and taxi and feel a bit refreshed for business or pleasure within an hour then you might be a little bit demanding. The extras are here.

Our room was neat and clean with a few updates splashed here and there from the flat screen TV to the wireless internet (it was spotty for us…IT had to help and then it still wasn’t good) to the marble countertops in the bathroom. It is a bit dated in a few areas such as a closet that looks like the in house maintenance crew decided to piece together a closet with leftover 1/4″ plywood. There was nothing in the room that would keep me from staying again. I thoroughly enjoyed the hard bed for my bad back. My wife had the opposite reaction so your mileage may vary. I also don’t appreciate the central air and heat. When I set my thermostat to 19 celsius I want 19 celsius. I don’t want 25 celsius because every South American within a thousand kilometers thinks it is freezing outside. I could compensate for that with a cracked window but shouldn’t have to do that.

The staff and service were excellent from the front desk staff to the restaurant to housekeeping. There are absolutely no complaints on that front.

If I have one complaint about the hotel it is the location itself. It might be convenient to conducting business downtown in centro or visiting some historical sights for pleasure like the Mercado but when it comes to having an nice, dare I say upscale dinner it is lacking only because of the location. I strongly recommend that if you stay here do not hesitate to take a taxi to other areas of the city such as the near north side and eat at neighborhood eateries like Seasons which I posted on in this blog. You’ll be rewarded for what amounts to a $10 USD after conversion taxi ride.

Conclusion: I’d stay here again.

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Dan Inn Mar
Avenida Bernardo Vieira de Melo, 694 – Centro
Jaboatão dos Guararapes – PE, 54080-310, Brazil
Phone: +55 81 2123-4344

Dan Inn Mar View

Dan Inn Mar View

June 23 through 27th, 2014

Dan Inn Mar is located right on the ocean a short taxi ride from the airport.  They have a pretty good inclusive breakfast.  The staff is nice and tries their best to help you as best they can. The restaurant is serviceable in a pinch. That’s about all of the good I have to say.

This place is a hole. I seriously doubt anything inside or outside this hotel has been updated since originally built.  Everything is dated, in many instances worn, someplaces downright disgusting.

The night we arrived it rained.  Pretty hard at that.  Our room leaked.  There was water on the floor all along the outside wall of our room.  I could see a gap between the in wall mounted air conditioner and the outside so I’m guessing the water enters there.  I’m also guessing that is where the mosquitoes that were in our room entered as well.  I’m not sure on that one.  They may have opened the front door and let themselves in.

Our ancient refrigerator had a door that is covered in rust.

Our room is tiny.  It is so small that if one person sits in the one chair available in the room the other person cannot get around them without crawling over the bed.

Our room looks like a cross between an old, unremodeled Motel 6 room and a dormitory room.  More like the dormitory room in my opinion.  One long formica counter the length of the room except next to the door where the one rod is located for hanging your clothes.  No dresser, no drawers, no cabinets, nothing.  Just pile everything out on the counter and access it there.

Several patched but not painted surfaces in our room.

No security lock on the door.  Only the main card entry lock which anybody in the hotel could have access to while you’re sleeping or want privacy otherwise.

Mold in the bathroom.  Heck, mold next to the leaking outside wall for that matter.

Our toilet wobbles when we sit on it. Lord knows it is likely leaking onto the bathmat but then again the bathmat is next to the outside wall soaking up the rain water.

All of this for the bargain basement price of three times their normal rates.  Three times because the World Cup is in town.  Now I don’t begrudge a proprietor making money while he can.  After all, I’m a sole proprietor myself.  However, I must say it takes real gumption to charge three times normal rates and deliver substandard junk in return.  It is basically insulting.

Conclusion: I will not stay here again.  Period.  Under any circumstances.

NOTE: The next morning I did ask the hotel to move us since our room was leaking and they did comply. The replacement room was nicer but still very much dated and when it rained hard the next night it did manage to blow through the in wall mounted air conditioner unit. That was the last time it did leak into our during our stay.

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Lider Hotel Manaus
Avenida 7 de Setembro, 827
Centro, Manaus – AM, 69005-140, Brazil
Phone: +55 92 3621-9700

Worship the Ancient Blue Toilet

Worship the Ancient Blue Toilet

June 17th through June 23rd

Lider Hotel Manaus is a perplexing situation for me. As I sit here trying to formulate my thoughts on this hotel and this stay in particular I guess it all needs to boil down to perspective.

If I were looking at this hotel compared to other hotels in the area that I’ve been in during this trip or spoken to others about during this trip I’d have to say Lider Hotel Manaus is a nice hotel, clean, safe, in a central part of the city within walking distance of historic sights and public transportation and the like. The staff is friendly and helpful as best as they can but speaking Portuguese is definitely a plus while staying here. Given the appearance, location and performance of this hotel during our stay I’d have to say I’d recommend it.

If I were to pick up this hotel and stick it into the middle of any modern city in the U.S. or the EU I would say this place is a hole with a shitty view of a trashed out roof, surrounding walls and trashed out buildings. Specifically:

  • The view from our room is of the waste dump better known as the roof of our hotel.
  • Our bedroom is equipped with four, short single beds that creak all night and feel itchy when you sleep in them.
  • One of our beds had stains on it when we arrive.
  • The fridge in our room looks 30 years old and buzzes when you open it.
  • The TV is an old style tube TV and buzzes when it is on.
  • The closet is three side by side cabinets that smell and look more like confessionals than closets.
  • The toilet and sink are the originals to the room it appears in their deep blue splendor.
  • The glass door to the shower is dark tinted in the style of an 80s Dallas episode.
  • You or anybody within three floors flushes their toilet the person in the shower is either frozen or boiled alive.
  • There are what I’ll call minor mold spots throughout the bathroom, particularly the shower.
  • There are bugs in the room. We’ve seen them fly by but haven’t caught one yet.
  • The hotel is located in centro surrounded by trashed out buildings, beggars and street vendors.

So there is the perspective. From a first world, everything should be near perfect point of view this place isn’t it. From a surroundings in Manaus point of view, it would be recommended. I’ll let you be the judge of which view best fits yours.

Conclusion: I’d only stay here again if I couldn’t find a better option. I’ll grant you there may not be any better options in the area.

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Apart Hotel Serantes
Rua Doutor Silvino Meira e Sá Bezerra, 130
Ponta Negra, Natal – RN, 59090-170, Brazil
PHONE: +55 84 3219-2959

Apart Hotel Serantes

Apart Hotel Serantes

June 11th through 16th, 2014

Apart Hotel Serantes is a small to medium sized hotel located a block and a half off the beach in Ponta Negra, Natal, Brazil. It is somewhat reminiscent of the motor lodges I would stay in while traveling by car with my family growing up in the U.S.A. Independently owned, clean, comfortable, affordable lodging that won’t make you feel pampered like a luxury resort but won’t break the bank as well.

The hotel is located down a side street roughly halfway between the main street through Ponta Negra and the beach below. When you first arrive you almost feel like you’re approaching via an alley and are wondering what you might have gotten yourself into. Feel comfortable that this is typical in this area and after we got settled we never felt uncomfortable or out of place in our immediate area.

The hotel looks a little dated (I don’t know when it was last renovated) but I will say it appears to be very well maintained. Our room was spotless from top to bottom which is criteria number one anywhere I stay while traveling. The furnishing could be a bit more comfortable for my large American frame but in all fairness I haven’t found a comfortable couch or chair in the country as of this posting. The bed is clean and fairly comfortable but it is a little noisy and after about 7 hours in it you’re definitely ready to get up. Rooms include a kitchenette with a four burner cook top and a full sized refridgerator. These came in handy a few occassions when we simply reheated leftovers from the day before instead of venturing out in the rain for lunch. There is also a flat screen TV which includes cable service.

The complimentary breakfast each morning is one of the best for a small inn I’ve seen in quite a while. The spread and breadth of food is pretty amazing. There are hot dishes such as scrambled eggs, breakfast meats and the like. They’ll cook you “tapioca” fresh to order which comes in sweet and savory versions with your choice of fillings such as coconut or ham & cheese. There is a full bar of cold meats, cheeses, pastries, pies, cakes and fresh fruit. The fruit we experienced was excellent. So needless to say you are definitely getting a good value here. You can fill up and prepare yourself for the day ahead.

The service here is extremely friendly and helpful. Everybody from the operator down makes you feel welcome and will go out of their way to help you in any way they can. They scheduled a taxi with driver to meet us at the airport the day of our arrival. The operator took us in his personal car to get cash from an ATM and pick up our tickets to the World Cup including translation services just because he wanted to make sure we were OK and got everything handled properly. Of course he wouldn’t take a dime in compensation. The cleaning staff took excellent care of our room while there. The front desk staff went out of their way to help us by calling taxis, ordering take out delivery, giving directions, planning tours, anything we needed.

Security and safety at the hotel was very good in my opinion. There is only one entrance to the hotel and that is the open breezeway in front occupied by the 24 hour hotel staff. Nobody is allowed into the hotel unless they stay or work here. No exceptions that I noted. I watched the front desk staff turn more than one person away during our stay.

Laundry service is available via an off premise laundry company but be sure and allow at least one extra day for turn around. If they can’t get to your clothes within 24 hours they have no problem calling the front desk and telling them your stuff will be delayed a day. Plan accordingly.

If I have one negative about Serantes it is the free WiFi internet access. It’s free but it is woefully underpowered. We were here for a working vacation and it could barely keep up with basic internet browsing. It simply could not handle VPN connections to business servers and Skype was limited to instant messaging instead of voice or video calls.

Conclusion: I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again. The hotel is clean and comfortable and the staff go out of their way to make you feel welcome. I’d recommend it.

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