hot2trot

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  1. I "won" a stay at the Birmingham Holiday Inn hotel, through the "name your price" option. The winning bid was $50.00, with the fees it came to $66.01. This was for June 19, 2011. Unfortunately, they would not let me check in! I was traveling with a service dog and when I arrived I informed the front desk of this. They said without proof they were service dogs (my registration card was buried in my car) they would not allow me to stay!! If you are traveling with pets, I would not recommend using this option as you cannot control what hotel you get and can't screen for pet friendly. This hotel was adamant about NO pets! I have never had this happen, and this was not the kind of place I could "Sneak" him in. (Cocker spaniel). It is a older hotel. Very tall, multi level property with the entrance being through a lobby (right past the front desk). There is a large parking lot surrounding the building. It is very close to the freeway, so easy to find. In the lobby area of the hotel there is a bar and restaurant, a VERY small business center (two computers w/printers), rest rooms, and meeting rooms. The "business" center I thought was a joke. They do not keep paper in the printer so you have to ask the front desk for paper - they will then give you MAYBE 5 sheets of paper. Couldn't figure that one out. There is an elevator that goes to the rooms. Since I was not allowed to check in, I have no clue what they look like, but based on the appearance of the lobby, and restroom, it is probably as dated. While they do have onsite "security", I was approached in the parking lot by a young couple driving through the parking lot for money. Plain ole' begging. Wow, I thought that only happened in CA!! (lots of homeless) Never had this happen in a hotel parking lot! This property consists of one, very tall building that was probably built in the 70's. If you are going to the airport, this may be a good choice. I had to look for another hotel, the property across the street was pretty awful, so got back on the freeway and went up the road where I found a very nice property that would allow the dogs. Much better spot and the price was $48.00. "Garden Suites" or something like that. Right near Logan's Roadhouse. There are a LOT of hotels along the highway in Birmingham that are newer and probably priced about the same. The occupancy levels are pretty low right now so you might be able to "negotiate" a lower price at any one of them. Don't worry, you'll find something!!
  2. Stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Odessa TX, June 17th. The exterior of the hotel is being repainted, but that will be finished in a week or two. The inside of the hotel is your typical Fairfield Inn. Breakfast is so-so, but does have hot oatmeal, waffles made to your liking, cold cereal, bagels, apples or bananas, yogurt, and Sausage and Egg biscuits to heat up in the microwave. The rooms are quite large and beds are very comfortable. The floors aren't very soundproof though and I could hear the person above me until 1:30 in the morning, sounded like he was stomping around. At midnight I called him and asked him if he could be quiet, but he was mad because the a/c wasn't working in his room and he was having a hard time getting them to move him. (couldn't understand that one!) . As a result, I would recommend staying on a high floor if noise bothers you. I slept fine and until 7:30 AM - he must have finally been moved because I would have been woken up by his noise! They have a computer available to use, small lobby and dining area, but this is not a big property. There is a swimming pool in the corner of the property. Right next to the Homestead suites. Fairly easy to get to, not far off the I-20.
  3. Stayed at the Holiday Inn North in Tucson on the 16th of June. I would say this place is about a 2*, but it does have amenities so maybe that is why it gets a 3* rating. Very nice pool area. There is actually lots of grass around the pool. Tables w/umbrellas to sit at and eat if you want. This pool area is in the middle of 2 buildings so feels rather private. The hotel itself is very dated. About 30 years old, it looks it. I asked when the renovated the rooms last and was told it was about 2-3 years ago. The hallway and elevator areas looked a little worn and dated, but hey, I am not there for the interior decorating. The room itself looked updated. Clean and very comfortable bed, nice bathroom amenities. Had a good nights sleep. The parking lot in front is huge and it looks like a large asphalt jungle, very little landscaping. Inside the main building, they have a very large lobby area with a restaurant inside a bar area as well as a separate restaurant. I had a dinner salad in the evening and in the morning had breakfast in the restaurant. They offer a breakfast special for $4.00 - 1 large pancake, 2 eggs, 3 pieces of bacon. The pancake was delicious! They also offer meeting rooms. Nice waterfall in the lobby that was on in the daytime, but not when I checked in at 10:00 pm. All in all, the stay was comfortable. Good food on the grounds, reasonably priced. This isn't a place you would love to hang out at, but serves the purpose. Oh, the best part - they accept dogs! (I was traveling with two cocker spaniels)
  4. I just bid $39 for a 2 1/2** hotel and got the Holiday Inn North. Taxes and fees $13.47 Total $52.47 But then again, it's getting hot in Tucson!! Driving all the way across country so I'll be using PRICELINE a lot!
  5. While this is formally called San Diego Scripps Poway, it is on Rancho Penasquitos Blvd and the I-15. The La Quinta Inn is located in a tucked away spot right next to the 15 freeway. I believe this is corporate owned which may be why it was so nice. Recently underwent a renovation, the property was very clean and comfortable. I choose to stay here because they will allow dogs and I was traveling with my two cocker spaniels. The property does have elevators. Room was clean and comfortable. It is obvious this property is older, but well taken care of. The staff here is amazing, I ran into two front desk agents that had been here over 10 years! They offer a free breakfast in the morning - while it is nothing to write home about, it is free food. Packaged muffins and plain bagels, apples and bananas, yogurt, coffee, tea, juice, instant hot oatmeal, cold cereal, I think they had some sausage biscuit things in the refrigerator you can microwave. If you want a real breakfast, there is an iHop right next to this. East access to the freeway, some mini mart items close by, a few other restaurants as well. They have a small pool as well. Not all La Quinta's are as nice - which I found out the hard way, but this one is extremely good for the money. I think I paid around $59.00 a night last Septermber (2010) using a AAA discount. Although the location was farther away than I wanted, I found out it only took about 10 minutes to get to the UTC area.
  6. I have stayed here a few times as I am a big Marriott fan. Fairly new property, it is small, but very nice. They do offer a free breakfast in the morning which isn't bad. Your typical cold cereal, hot instant, fresh fruit, yogurt, bagels, muffins, they have some egg muffin type things in the refrigerator which you can microwave, coffee, tea, juice, etc. Not as big a spread as the Residence Inn does, but that is by design. Staff is great, your typical Marriott property - great beds, free wifi, have use of a computer in the lobby if you need one. While I stayed on a Friends & Family rate, I ran into a family that had gotten this place on Priceline for $45.00 - it is a 2 1/2 star property. I hoped to get it recently when I bid on it, but got the Hilton Garden Inn instead. The normal price for this property is $79.00. Excellent location, right next to I-80, but one offramp from the I-5 interchange. There is a restaurant right across from the hotel, a gas station on another corner. While you are sort of in nowhere, there is Carl's, Jack In the Box, Starbucks, Baskins & Robbins, right up the road. Within 7 minutes there is major shopping centers with all sorts of shopping and eating and a large movie complex. The pool area is small, and you are next to the freeway. The rooms are well built so don't hear the road noise. Half way between the Sacramento Airport and the Capital - about 15 minutes each direction. Great location for travelers, super comfortable rooms, very clean - hey it's a Marriott!!
  7. Won on Priceline at $45.00 a night for 5/20 & 5/21, The Hilton Garden Inn in South Natomas (an area of Sacramento). This is a really nice hotel that is convenient to I-5. It is ranked a 3* on Priceline. The rooms all have a small refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot w/coffee. Free WIFI, nice pool, very quiet setting. This is located in the middle of an office park so not much traffic at night. Although it is next to I-5, you really can't hear it, there is a very large green belt between the freeway and the hotel property. There is a Starbucks close as well as a gas station, Carl's, Jack in the Box, minimart, Baskin & Robbins and a few other places. More grocery shopping and restaurants are within 5-7 minute drive. While free breakfast is not included, there is a small restaurant in the lobby which offers breakfast, dinner and sometimes lunch for a fee. Price is reasonable and food is good. Staff at the hotel were very nice. This is a 3 story property with elevators. It is about half way between the airport and the capital - 15 minutes each direction. I would definitely recommend this!