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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Delano, California -- Holiday Inn Express

Status perks
I received a goody bag with a bottle of water and a couple snacks at check-in. I did not receive a room upgrade, and I did not ask if one was available. My main concern the day I checked in was to get some rest, and there were only two cars in the parking lot, so I did not think noise would be an issue. Since the agent had acknowledged my status, I thought maybe she had already given me an upgrade and just did not mention it.

Room
I received a regular king bed room, which is what I had reserved. The room was a good size with a small fridge and microwave. There was a couch, suitcase bench, and desk with chair in the sitting area, and a chair and footstool in the sleeping area. There was one older style TV on the dresser, which was also visible from the couch. When I looked at the hotel diagram on the door, I was surprised to see that there were several rooms even larger than the one I had been given. The couch and bed were comfortable. The one thing I did not like about the bed was the pillows. I have never liked the cheap Holiday Inn Express pillows, and this hotel was no exception. The desk chair had not been cleaned, and it was very hard. It was uncomfortable to work on my laptop. The Internet connection speed was lousy. I did not hear any noise from the hallway, which was surprising because room 207 is right next to the elevator. This room is also above the front desk area, which turned out to be a downfall. There was no view because the lobby entrance roofing blocked the window. I was also awaken twice during the night by a loud TV and/or music. At first, I thought it was coming from another guestroom, and was confused about where it could be coming from. I later realized the noise was coming from the breakfast room TV, and the music I heard was playing through the speakers at the front desk/entrance. When the front desk agent asked about my stay at check-out (I had to go to the front desk because I did not receive a bill under the door, like I usually do), I mentioned the lobby music noise, and he offered a sincere apology. He said that he would make sure the music got turned down in the evening.

Food & Beverage
Hot breakfast items included scrambled eggs and sausage patties. Cinnamon rolls, cold cereal, white breads, milk, and juices were also available. I did not think the breakfast choices were as good as I have received at other HIX's. 

Fitness center
The fitness center room was very large. It contained a working TV and only a couple cardio machines. There were not any weights. The door was open when I visited in the morning, and I left the door open. It appeared that the door was propped open so that it would not get stuffy in the room.

Overall
Other than the loud music from the lobby, I did not experience any other disruptions. The bed was comfortable, and I did not hear any noise from the hall.  Fortunately, I did not have a lot of work to do during this stay so the Internet speed and working desk comfort did not hinder my plans too much. This hotel is located next to Highway 99, and if you need to stay in this area--as I did--I did not see a better hotel option. There were many hotel choices in Bakersfield about 1/2 hour south of Delano; however, since I was only staying one night, I opted to stay in Delano. I would stay at this hotel again, if my travel plans brought me to the area again.