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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Lafayette, Louisiana--LFT airport / Homewood Suites

March 2012, Weekday, 3-nights, 2-Queen bedroom suite #326

Status perks
I did not receive any perks as a Gold member. In fact, I did not even receive the room type listed in my profile.

I was first assigned guestroom 316. I asked about a room on the top floor since this hotel has four floors, and I was told that there were not any rooms available on that floor. I explained that I prefer a room on the top floor because I like to be in a quiet area (I had also written this in my reservation details when making my reservation online). Since I was staying three nights, I then inquired whether the guestroom I was being assigned had a connecting door because I can usually hear my neighbor through connecting doors. The agent said that it did, so she moved me to room 320.

When I entered guestroom 320, I saw that it had two Queen beds, and a connecting door. My profile says one King bed, and the only reason I would have reserved a Queen or two beds when traveling by myself, is if there were no King rooms available, or if the price was considerably more for a King room. I did not recall reserving a Queen room, although I assume I must have. I was frustrated that I had forgotten to confirm my room type during check-in (sometimes  different room types are available at the time of arrival than what was available during the reservation process). As I stood in the doorway and contemplated whether to return to the front desk, a housekeeper who had been at the front desk, came to my room with my welcome letter. She saw the connecting room door, and said she would call the front desk for me. The front desk agent told her to take me to guestroom 326. The housekeeper let me in the next room with her master key, and I returned to the front desk to get a new key a short time later. I appreciated that the housekeeper took the initiative to assist me; however, I did not have a chance to inquire about the guestroom bed type because of this. This was not a huge deal for me, and suite 326 was father down the hall--away from the elevator and hall traffic, and it did not have a connecting room door, so I settled in. 

The guestroom amenities were the same as I have always had at a Homewood Suites: kitchenette with full size refrigerator, sink, dishwasher, full size coffee pot with coffee, popcorn, cupboards with dishes, small table with two chairs; living room with couch, chair, end and coffee tables, flatscreen TV, and desk and chair; separate bedroom with two queen beds, second flatscreen TV, and nightstand with alarm clock. This guestroom had a folding luggage rack in the closet, which is often not provided in extended stay hotels like this.  

The bed was comfortable, and the bedding was clean. I checked the bed right away, because I did not think the guestroom looked clean. There was debris on the carpet and in the corners. I have uploaded a couple photos of the floor dirt at the bottom of this heading. I must have neglected to take a photo of the living room. I had hoped the floors would be cleaned on stayover; however, housekeeping got worse before I checked out. I always pick up after myself, and start the dishwasher before I leave the guestroom for the day. Usually, housekeeping puts the dishes away when I do this and leaves new supplies. I do not expect this; however, I appreciate this when it happens, and I always leave a tip. The first day, housekeeping made my bed, changed the towels, emptied the wastebaskets, and left replacement coffee and popcorn, although the floors had not been cleaned. The second day, the only thing someone did was remove used towels from my room, and empty the wastebaskets. I did not receive replacement towels (fortunately, I had enough towels for my use, including enough bath towels to use one for a floor mat). I did not receive any coffee, and the bed had not been made (I had pulled the covers up, and the first day, housekeeping had completed and straightened the bedding. The second day, the bed was as I had left it). 

This suite is in a fairly quiet location. I was glad it was located farther down the hall, because it is on the side of the building overlooking the courtyard. The first night, I could hear guests playing basketball after I went to bed, so I was glad I had decided not to stay in one of the first two suites, which are located closer to the basketball court.

An Internet connection cable was provided on the desk, so I had a good connection when using that. When I tried to use my webcam with the wireless connection, it would not stay connected for very long. The TV in the bedroom worked fine; however, most of the local channels did not come in on the one in the living room. There was bad weather with tornado warnings during my stay, so I wanted to keep the local news on. The TV in the living room said "no signal" for the same channels that came in on the bedroom TV. At least I had the second TV! There were plenty of outlets in the guestroom, and a decent hairdryer was provided. 

 Food & Beverage
The included breakfast was acceptable, although nothing to rave about. Food items included every morning were: scrambled eggs, waffle maker, oatmeal, cold cereals, and breads/pastries. Alternating items included hash browns, sausage, and I do not recall the other items. There were not many healthy options.
chicken and salad

Beer, wine, soda, and fresh salad were served every evening of my stay (Monday - Wednesday). The red wine was not too bad--Canyon River Cabernet, I think it might have been. The salad items were fresh with good quality spring greens. Alternating items were: meatloaf with instant mashed potatoes, two types of chicken, croissants, and vegetables. Again, I thought the food items (other then the salad) were acceptable at best.

Business center
The business center was equipped with two computers, two printers, and all necessary office supplies--tape, stapler, paper clips, etc. I printed a document from one of the computers; however, I was not able to get the one located on the side facing the front desk to print. The printer was stocked and ready, and the document said it had been sent to the correct printer; however, it never printed. I thought maybe it did not print because the printer was in sleep mode, yet it still did not print after I manually woke the printer up.

Fitness center
There were several cardio machines with cardio theater and also hand weights in the fitness room. Everything worked great, and I never had a problem getting a vacant machine. The room also contained towels, sani-wipes, a fresh water cooler, and scale. It was open 24 hours. 

Shuttle & misc.
The shuttle service was prompt when I returned my rental car, and when I departed the next day. I observed people waiting for the Hilton shuttle before me when I called, and they were still waiting when my shuttle arrived. They spoke to the Homewood Suites driver with the hopes that he was also driving to the Hilton. The hotels are located on different streets, and do not share a shuttle bus.

There are many airport hotels in the same general area as the Homewood Suites. Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and the Marriott Courtyard were all pretty close to the Homewood, and the Crowne Plaza and Hilton were just around the corner on Pinhook Rd. When I made my reservation, I had thought I'd prefer a larger room since I was staying three nights; however, after my stay, I wished I had chosen the Crowne Plaza or Hilton instead. There was not anything so wrong at the Homewood Suites, that I would classify my stay as unacceptable, although I did think it was subpar compared to other Homewood Suites I have stayed in.