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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Albany, New York / ALB airport -- Holiday Inn

Status perks
I received a coupon good for a beverage in the gift shop. I wanted to redeem the coupon for Starbucks coffee in the morning; however, there was not any available at the time I stayed at this property, so I got bottled water instead. I observed a Starbucks sign and brewer in the gift shop; however, the front desk agent told me this was not available.

Room
I stayed in an upgraded tower room. I honestly don't remember if that is the room type I booked, or if I received an upgrade. The AAA rate I paid was $147, which I think is pretty steep. I would not usually pay that much for an upgraded room unless the difference was only a few dollars more than the standard rate. I was glad I was not staying in a standard room because I thought the room I received left a lot to be desired. The room had a connecting door, the fridge did not work, and it did not smell fresh. Since it was 11:00 PM, and I was departing early in the morning (and the bed sheets looked fresh), I did not go back to the front desk or complain about these discomforts. The room was large, and the bed was comfortable. I heard a little bit of noise from the connecting room door, although it was not too disruptive.

I think the reason the room did not smell fresh is because someone had previously smoked in the non-smoking room. It would appear that housekeeping knew about this because when I arrived, the window was cracked open, and the AC was blowing on high as if someone had been trying to air out the room. Unfortunately, I was not able to sleep with the window open to enjoy the fresh air because my room was above the outside pool/courtyard area, and there was noise from guests visiting outside for several hours after I arrived. I had a room on the top floor, so the guests were not directly outside my window. I had cheese and snacks left over from an in-flight purchase that I put in the fridge. I adjusted the temperature control with the hopes that my warm fridge would cool off before morning, and the temperature remained the same.

I liked that the room contained a large suitcase bench and two soft chairs. Other than the non-working fridge, stale smoke smell, and noise, this would have been a great room. I thought it was laid out well.


Food & Beverage
Since I did not receive any perks for dining onsite, I can not comment on the dining room because I chose to have breakfast elsewhere. There is not an executive floor or lounge at this hotel.

Fitness center
The cardio machines in the fitness center had cardio theater; however, this was not working on two of the machines. I was the only one using the room in the morning, so fortunately I was able to change machines.

Public areas & misc.
I did not use the pool or public areas at this hotel; however, they looked great. There was a large open courtyard and pool area in the center of the hotel where the fitness center was located, and the outside area outside my room looked comfortable.  This hotel was easy  to get to from the airport.