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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Normal, Illinois / Hampton Inn

February 2012, Weekday, 2-nights, King guest room #505

Status perks
I did not receive any perks for being a Gold member, which is typical at Hampton Inn. I have only received an upgraded room a couple of times at a Hampton, and that happened after I asked. This hotel has MANY suites. In fact, guestroom 505 was one of the few smaller rooms, according to the hotel diagram. One reason I often choose Holiday Inn Express over Hampton is because I frequently receive a fabulous upgrade to a suite with better working areas. I am surprised that Hampton Inn does not also do this, as it is good for building guest loyalty.

The guestroom was a standard size with a desk and chair, an additional soft chair, and a small fridge and microwave. Other than the bedding and the flatscreen TV, the furnishings look outdated. I liked the nice suitcase bench at the foot of the bed that is in most Hampton Inn guestrooms now.

Recently at Hampton Inns, I have observed only one telephone in the guestroom, located next to the bed. This is a good location, if you have a wakeup call set; however, it is not a good location, if you want to use the telephone while taking notes or something at the desk. I thought this room lacked sufficient outlets for charging my cell phone and other electronics. There was one available outlet by the desk, and one by the refrigerator.

The bed and bedding was comfortable; however, the guestroom was not very soundproof. I could hear guests in the room next door, and I heard their alarm go off in the morning. I was glad that my guestroom was on the top floor. The Internet connection speed was good, although I thought it was annoying that I had to enter my passcode every time, even when it had only been a few hours since the last time I had signed in. You would think my sign on would have been good for at least 24 hours. The desk work area was acceptable, although not very comfortable after an hour or so.

I liked the large tile bathroom and walk in shower. A small coffee pot was setup on a shelf in the bathroom.

Food & Beverage
Sausage gravy and biscuits, and egg omelets were served both mornings--vegetable one morning, and cheesy omelets the second morning. Other items available were: grapes, whole fruits, yogurt, cold cereals, oatmeal, breads, juices, milk, water, and coffee. The sitting area was spacious, and the seating was comfortable.

Fitness center
The posted hours for the fitness center were 6 AM - 12 AM. When I arrived the first morning just before 6:00 AM, another guest was already there working out. The next morning, I decided to go earlier, around 5:30 AM, and again someone was already there. I have sometimes stayed in hotels when the pool or fitness center doors were locked outside of the open hours; that was not the case at this hotel. I was surprised that the open hours were not enforced, since there are guestroms directly across from the fitness center on floor one.

The room contained three or four cardio machines, hand weights, and a working TV.