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Monday, October 24, 2011

Dedham, Massachusettes / Holiday Inn

October 2011, Weekday, 2-nights, Penthouse Suite #842

Status perks
I was upgraded to a Penthouse Suite on the top floor.

I reserved an executive room when making my reservation, because this hotel looked like an older property, and executive rooms are usually nicer than regular rooms. I was excited when I learned that I had been upgraded to a penthouse suite, until I got to my room. The room was not awful; however, I expected better quality for a "Penthouse Suite."

Positives: comfortable sitting area, large corner outside patio with furniture, quiet--there were less than 10 rooms on this top floor of the tower building, two bathrobes,  good quality bathroom amenities (although I did not have any lotion), Keurig coffee maker (although I had an overabundance of decaf and tea, and only one regular coffee), popcorn and fridge beverages included (although there was no popcorn in my room, and my fridge was not restocked on stayover). There was a note in the guestroom stating that the popcorn and beverages were included, so I left a note for housekeeping--with tip money--saying that I had not received any popcorn. I also wrote that I would like some regular coffee. I received a bag of popcorn and regular coffee; however, the water I drank from the fridge had not been replaced. When I checked in, the fridge had been stocked with 2 diet Cokes, 2 regular Cokes, 2 spring waters, and there was a large bottled water on the counter.
Negatives: the bed was hard and uncomfortable, the carpet was stained, the Internet connection speed was lousy, the HVAC unit was an older unit on the outside wall, the shower water pressure was so low, I did not think I would ever get the shampoo rinsed out of my hair, there was quite a bit of grime around the edges of the sliding glass door, and the patio did not look very clean, so I never opened my patio door. Even though there was a sitting area in the guestroom, the room was not very big. The bathroom was tiny. The door opened toward the toilet, and almost hit it. I had to step back after entering the bathroom, and then shut the door to use the toilet. The guestroom door from the hallway did not close properly. There was a gap around the door, and I could not close the deadbolt, since it did not close correctly. I would not have stayed in this room, if the chain lock had not felt secure.

This hotel had made an attempt to provide a nice room with the nice amenities and furniture; however, the negative factors did not make up for it, in my opinion. I did not like that I had to request items from housekeeping that should have been provided. The bed was so uncomfortable, that I got back up, and spent over an hour the first night on the telephone and online searching for an acceptable nearby hotel that I could move to for my second night. I did not understand why a hotel would spend so much on other furnishings--chairs, desk, lamps, etc., and not replace the bed and/or mattress. I appreciate when the sitting area is comfortable; however, the bed is more important to me.

Food & Beverage
I did not eat in the hotel restaurant, The Nook. I dined at the Bamboo restaurant, which is located in the same building, although it is not actually part of the hotel. The food at Bamboo was very good. The restaurant was easily accessible, although there was not an interior entrance from the hotel.

Business center
The business center was a small room across from the front desk next to the Avis car rental counter. It contained two computers and one printer. I did not observe any business supplies. I was not able to print a PDF document or my boarding pass the first evening; however, I was able to print both items from the second computer the next morning. 

Fitness center
The hotel directory in my guestroom said that the fitness center did not open until 7 AM. Since the fitness center and pool were located on the first floor where there were no guestrooms, it would have been nicer, if it had been open 24-hours. I did not try the fitness center the first morning, since I did not think I had time. When I went there before 7 AM the next day, it was already open--the posted open time on the door said 6 AM. It contained two treadmills, two additional cardio machines, a weight machine, three flat screen TVs, towels, cold water, and a scale.

Misc. & overall
The hotel provided shuttle service to nearby locations. Fresh water and apples were available at the front desk most of the day, and cookies were offered in the afternoon.

A new Homewood Suites is opening in this area, where I would have stayed, except that it was not open yet at the time of my stay. There was a Hilton nearby; however, it was overbooked. They had two cancellations at the last minute--one handicap room, and one Jr. suite. Reserving a hotel room at the last minute, is not usually the best time to get a good rate, and this was no exception. I did not move to the Hilton because the rate was $40 more that what I was paying at the Holiday Inn for the handicap room, and that hotel also looked like an older building. If the bed at the Holiday Inn would have been comfortable, I would have gladly overlooked the other disappointments.