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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois -- Homewood Suites

April 2011, Weekday, 2-nights, King studio

Gold perks and check-in
I did not receive any extra perks as a Gold member. I arrived late--around 10 p.m.--and I was surprised that my key packet had not been prepared when I arrived.

Other than the fact that I received a guestroom with a connecting door, which I do not like because they are less soundproof, I thought this was one of the nicer rooms I have had at a Homewood Suites. I liked the large tile shower and vanity area, although I did not understand why the toilet had been placed right next to the wall when there was plenty of room between the wall and the shower. Even though there was a card on the table welcoming me by name, the heat had not been turned on, so it was cold in the room when I arrived.

The bed was comfortable, although I did hear the neighbors through the connecting door. There was a nice sized safe in the closet, which looked large enough to hold a laptop. The wireless Internet connection was poor, and I was disconnected several times.

Suite kitchen; full size fridge behind table

When I returned to my guestroom in the afternoon the next day, housekeeping had cleaned my room, and the heat had again been turned off. 

Food & Beverage
I was disappointed that my flight had arrived 5 hours late and I missed the evening reception on the day of check-in, because smoked pulled pork was listed on the fridge menu. I visited the second evening and enjoyed fresh tossed salad, fresh fruit, cottage cheese, and a glass of wine. Steak tips, rice, corn, bread sticks, and mini lemon dessert cakes were also served, as well as draft beer.

I enjoyed fresh scrambled eggs both mornings. Other breakfast foods included: bacon, hash browns, cottage cheese, fresh fruit--cut and whole, yogurt, hot and cold cereal, and pastries.

I was impressed with the food freshness and the service. I returned to the lodge room (where food & beverages are served) after the 7 p.m. close time because there was a tornado warning the second evening. An employee walking through the area, stopped to ask if I'd like a beverage. He offered to send someone over, and one of the employees who had been attending to the evening social came to the table and then poured me a glass of wine. 

Fitness center
I was happy with the fitness center temperature and equipment. Everything was in working order, and the temperature was comfortable. Cardio theater was available on all the machines, and there were also hand weights, a weight bench, exercise ball and mat. The hotel was quite full, and I was afraid I'd have a difficult time finding an available treadmill; however, there was one available each time I visited. Hand sanitizer, a scale, towels, headphones, wall mounted TV, and cold water were also available in the room.