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Monday, August 9, 2010

Alexandria, Minnesota -- Holiday Inn

Status perks and check-in
At check-in, I received a bag with a granola bar, mints, and bottled water. I also received a coupon for a couple of dollars off an entree or salad, and a $4 off beverage coupon for the bar. I liked that the beverage coupon had a value so I could use it to upgrade to a better beverage and pay the difference. Often, this type of coupon only covers bar wine or draft beer, which is not my preference. The front desk agent thanked me for being a loyal customer and used my name!

This is an older property with only two floors and no elevator. I like to use the stairs; however, not to carry my luggage up when I arrive. I was glad there were interior hallways and entrance doors. I received a king-bed room on the second floor in the middle of the hall. I had requested a high floor corner room online when I made reservation, and I noticed these comments were printed on the sheet I initialed at check-in. Although my room was not a corner room, it did appear to be in a quieter wing of the hotel. This property has an inside pool/play area with rooms around the perimeter overlooking the pool area. Since my stay was for work, I was glad that I did not have a pool room. 

Even though this is an older building, they did a pretty good job updating it. There was a flat screen TV in the guestroom, and the carpet, furniture, curtains, bathroom floor, and shower curtain looked new. The bathroom was so small, I was not able to get a picture showing the tile floor and new curved shower rod and curtain. The vanity extended the length of the wall, so there was plenty of counter space. There was barely room to enter the bathroom and shut the door. The door just about hits the toilet seat when opening and closing. 

The bedroom also contained a fridge, microwave, and suitcase bench. The wireless Internet speed was fantastic (in the evening and the next morning), although the desk chair was not very comfortable. The exterior windows did not open. The bed was  great - it was one of the most comfortable Holiday Inn beds I have slept in! 

Food & Beverage
I arrived after 8 p.m. on a Sunday, and the front desk agent told me that food would be served until 9 p.m. Since it was so late, I decided to just order a House Salad to take back to my room. I was impressed with the quality of the salad and dressing. The ingredients were fresh, and the menu said the dressings are homemade. The Blue Cheese dressing was excellent! Breakfast the next morning was also good. Jenna provided excellent service. I liked that she introduced herself and left my check when she served the food. The eggs were fresh and non-greasy.

Fitness center
I was happy with the fitness center for the most part. It is located in the pool area and was open from 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. There was a sign on the door stating that guests must be 16 or over, and I needed a special fitness center key to access the room. There were 4 cardio machines, a weight machine, and weights in the room. I did not have any trouble finding an available treadmill, and the flat screen TV worked great. The TV channel line up was printed on a paper that was taped to each machine, which I thought was a nice touch since I like to watch the local news when traveling. The temperature was a little too warm after 15 minutes, and there were no cups at the water cooler.

Business center
There is a small room with one computer and printer near the front desk. I printed a document in the morning, and all the equipment worked well.

When I first arrived at this property, I was afraid I would be disappointed when I saw that this is an older building with only two floors. As it turned out, I was quite happy with the sleep quality, the food quality, and the staff was great. The tiled floor areas of the hotel (front desk, bar, stairways, ice machine areas) looked great, although I was surprised they had not replaced the lobby and hallway carpet. The carpeting was old and dingy looking. I was worried about the carpet in my room when I first arrived, so I was glad when I got to my room and saw that the carpet was new. I would stay at this hotel again, when traveling in this area.