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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Lavonia, Georgia -- Holiday Inn Express

September 2010, Weekday, King suite guestroom 424

Status perks
I had reserved a regular king bed room for a rate less than $100, which I thought was an excellent rate. When I viewed my reservation online before my arrival, I saw that I had been upgraded to a suite. I also received two chocolates and a bottle of water at check-in.
Guestroom
The room was spacious and somewhat comfortable. I thought the bed and desk chair were comfortable, although I did not like the comfort of any of the furniture in the sitting area.

The room was at the end of the hall on the top floor, which I liked. I had originally been assigned the same room on the first floor, and I asked if a higher floor room was available instead. I had requested a high floor when I made my reservation, and it did not appear as though anyone had noticed this before assigning my room.

looking toward sitting area
The living area included a couch, three chairs, coffee table and sitting table, microwave and fridge. The bedroom contained a desk and chair, flat screen TV (which could be viewed from the sitting area or bedroom), and a suitcase bench. The large bathroom had a nice long counter with pretty good lighting and a nice hair dryer. At most hotels, the vending area is usually near the elevator; however, at this hotel, it was directly across from my room. Fortunately, I did not hear any noise from the area while I was trying to sleep. The Internet connection speed in my room was extremely slow at all times during my stay--even late at night or early in the morning when I sometimes have better luck because there are less people using the service. I was given a sign in code at check-in; however, I did not need it to access the Internet.
bathroom in room 424

Food & Beverage
The posted breakfast open time was 6:30 a.m. When I walked by around 6:20, the room was already open. Food items were set up and several guests were dining. Selections included the standard HIX fare: cinnamon rolls, cheesy omelets one morning and scrambled eggs the next,  biscuits & sausage gravy both mornings, cold cereals, milk & yogurt, oatmeal, and French toast. I did not see cold water or bananas either morning.

Fitness center
The fitness center was only open from 6 a.m. -10 p.m. Employees were happy to open the room before 6:00 for me the first day, and for a guest before me the second morning. The A/C in the room was automatic, so it did not start until 5:55 the first morning. The room was not uncomfortable before this, and then it got hot within 30 minutes. After the initial A/C start, it did not feel like the air was running again. In fact, when I went to the business center after I finished, it was much cooler in the business center. The second morning, the A/C did not start until almost 6:15. The fitness center contained three cardio machines, one TV, and cold water. Hand sanitizer or wipes were not provided.

Business center
The business center is a small room across from the front desk with two computers and a printer. The Internet speed was very fast, and I was able to print a document without any trouble.

Overall
This hotel is located next to the Interstate with several fast food restaurants nearby. The only sit down restaurants I observed in the area were Shoney's and a local Mexican restaurant. I chose the Mexican restaurant, although I did not think it was much better than Taco Bell. The location was good for the work I needed to do, and I did not see a better hotel choice in the area. In fact, from the hotel and food choices I observed, I was glad this HIX was here! I thought all of the employees were great.