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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Schenectady, New York / Holiday Inn

Status perks and check-in
I received a BOGO beverage coupon for the lounge, a free appetizer with entree purchase, free breakfast, and two bottles of water from the gift shop. I am not sure if these were all Platinum perks, or if some items were executive room perks--the lounge on the executive floor was not open during my stay even though this was a weekday. 

I had reserved a king executive room because the rate was good, and I did not want to have any problems with noise like I had experienced at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta. I arrived about 1/2 hour early, and my room was not ready yet. This hotel has a comfortable sitting area between the lobby and pool area, so I was happy to sit down and wait. Before I sat down, I decided to make sure my room did not have a connecting room door, and that it was in a quiet area. I was assured that it was.

After waiting an hour and observing several other guests checking in, I checked back with the front desk and my room was still not ready yet. Check-in time for this hotel is 3:00 p.m., and I did not receive my room until almost 4:30 p.m. Even though I was seated just around the corner from the front desk, and I checked on the status of my room a couple times after check-in time, no one came to let me know when my room became available.

When I finally entered my room, I saw that it had a connecting room door, and that there was nothing upgraded or special about the room other than the fact that it was on a keyed access floor. It contained a king size bed, flatscreen TV, extremely stained chair with a footstool, a couple of end tables/nightstands, a desk with chair, and a suitcase bench. 
guestroom chair

The bed was comfortable, and fortunately, I did not hear any noise through the connecting room door. The Internet connection speed was pretty good--much faster than the hotel I had just checked out of.

Food & Beverage
This hotel website says that there is an executive lounge with free drinks and continental breakfast; however, this room was not open at any time during my stay. In fact, the front desk employees did not even mention it to me. It is across from one of the elevators, so I looked in the room a few times, to see if it was in use.

I had dinner in the lounge, and was happy with the dinner salad and the salmon. Both items were prepared with fresh ingredients and had good flavor. I used my appetizer coupon for quesadillas, which were "okay." There were not many appetizer choices, so I did not think this perk was very valuable. I would rather have received 500 points.

Breakfast was fresh the next morning; however, the service was lousy. I stood near the host stand several minutes and no one acknowledged me. There was no sign stating whether I should seat myself or wait to be seated. I was hoping an employee would at least make eye contact with me before I sat down; however, after another guest arrived, and walked right past me to sit down, I seated myself as well. The service did not improve any after this.

Fitness center
The fitness center was located off the pool area, and was extremely hot. I was not able to walk more than 15 minutes because of the temperature. There was a TV in the room; however, there was no remote in the room, so I was not able to watch anything.

Pool & public areas
I was impressed with the public areas at this hotel. Everything was clean and well maintained. The landscaped entrance contained healthy and colorful plants. The lobby area where I sat while waiting for my room was clean and comfortable. I observed guests enter the bar to purchase beverages to take out to the seating outside the bar along the perimeter of the pool area.

I thought this hotel provided some nice tangible perks; however, I would have preferred some improvements in the way of service. I think the front desk staff could have called housekeeping about my room when I arrived, and they also could have let me know when it was available. I think something should have been said about the executive lounge, since this is listed on their website, and I paid for an executive floor room. I fault myself for not stopping back at the front desk to ask about the lounge. Since I received so many coupons in my welcome pack, I am inclined to think these were in lieu of the executive lounge, rather than Platinum PCR perks.

I moved to this hotel because I was not happy with the sleep or Internet quality at the Holiday Inn in Oneonta. Even though this was a farther drive for me, and still not a great hotel, it was a much better choice. And, the room cost was $60 less per night! I did not see any other options in this area except a Hampton Inn, which is probably where I would choose to stay next time I visit this area. There were many hotel choices at the Albany airport, Clifton Park, and Sarasota Springs; however, I did not want to drive the extra distance.