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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marshalltown, Iowa / Hampton Inn

November 2011, Weekday, 2-nights, King guestroom #327

Status perks
I did not receive anything for being a Gold member, nor did I expect anything. It's too bad Hampton properties don't upgrade Gold members like Hilton hotels do.

Guestroom
The guestroom was spacious, although there were several things I did not like about the room. This is a newer Hampton Inn, and the room seating was the same as another newer Hampton I had stayed in recently--there was no couch or soft chair! The last time I encountered this, I was only staying at the hotel one night, so it did not bother me as much as it did this stay. There was a chair in the room in addition to the desk chair--the exact same type of chair that was in the other newer Hampton Inn I had stayed in--it was straight back wood chair. The seat was padded; however, the chair was still not comfortable. I asked the front desk agent if this was the only type of chair in all the guestrooms, and he said yes, except for in the suites. There was only one telephone in the guestroom, and it was on the nightstand next to the bed instead of on the desk. 
straight back chair

The HVAC unit was lousy. Even though the thermostat was set at 70+, it was cold in the room when I arrived, and it would never turn on unless I manually increased the temperature, and then it would run so long, I'd have to turn it back down. The impression I got about the HVAC unit, is that the thermostat is suppose to be motion sensored, and it did not work right. Even though my guestroom was at the end of the hall, the hallway noise was extremely loud. I didn't hear guests talking or making a lot of noise in the hall, and I did not see anyone when I looked out the peephole in the door. It was just noisy from people entering and exiting rooms. The noise from doors opening and closing must have been echoing since it was so loud. The bedding was the usual Hampton Inn bedding, which was good quality, although I thought the mattress was quite hard. The flatscreen TV was nice, and the entire guestroom was tastefully decorated. 

I liked the large tile bathroom and large walk-in shower. I was happy with the bathroom set up, other than the coffee maker. The coffee maker was on a shelf in the bathroom, and the shelves were not tall enough to open the coffee maker and put the water in. At least it was placed on a shelf behind the door, and away from the sink area. When housekeeping cleaned my room on stayover, my coffee was not replenished, and I had to get some from the front desk.

Food & Beverage
The design and seating in the breakfast room was comfortable and chic, although I did not care for any of the hot food items. I took a to-go bag with me each morning when I left, which was a nice option. Every time I have received a to-go bag at a Hampton, it has always contained the same items: bottled water, blueberry muffin, Special K vanilla breakfast bar, apple, and Hampton Inn mints.

The gift shop had a good selection of food items. The prices were high, but if someone did not want to go out or have a full meal, there was plenty to choose from.

Fitness center
I was happy with the fitness center, which the front desk agent had told me was open 24 hours. The hours sign posted outside the room said it was open from 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM. I did not ask about the hours after I saw the sign, and I did not have any trouble accessing the room at any time of day. There were guestrooms right outside the fitness center, so if the noise in those rooms was similar to what I experienced in my room, I would not have liked that location, if the center was open 24 hours. The room was spacious, it contained several cardio machines with cardio theater, a flat screen TV, hand weights, exercise mat and ball, and more.

Business center
The business center was a small room next to the front desk. The printer was out of toner when I tried to print something the first day. I did not visit the room the next day so I don't know if this had been corrected. I did not see an employee to make someone aware of the situation after my experience.