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Monday, April 30, 2012

Lubbock, Texas / Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lubbock West

April 2012, Weekday, 2-nights, King suite #422

Status perks
I received a bottle of water, a pack of honey grahams, and a coupon for $1 off a gift shop purchase. I had reserved a king suite because the cost was not much more, and I wanted to ensure that I would have a larger room, which is usually quieter and more comfortable. The room diagram at this hotel shows guestrooms much larger than the one I received, so I did not receive an upgraded room. I am not sure how those rooms are classified. When I made my reservation, there were three room types for the same rate (other than a standard guestroom): suite, executive, and feature. The descriptions for suite and executive rooms were the same, and the feature guestroom said it is a whirlpool tub room. 

Guestroom 422 is located on the top floor near the end of the hall. It contained a microwave, small fridge, sink, table with two chairs, couch, and coffee table. A soft chair, and desk and chair were in the bedroom area with the king size bed and flatscreen TV. The TV could be turned to view it from the couch.

The seating and working areas were comfortable and spacious, and the guestroom was clean. The guestroom was not very soundproof though, and I did not sleep well. I heard guests in the hall well past midnight both nights of my stay. The noise was off and on, so I could not determine who the offenders were to register a complaint or ask them to quiet down. I could also hear noise from guests in adjacent rooms, although that noise was minimal. Since the guestroom did not have any soundproofing, it would be nice if this hotel had a designated quiet floor.

A feature in this guestroom was the sensor light switch in the bathroom--VERY annoying! If I got up at night to use the bathroom, the light would automatically turn on when I entered the bathroom. I don't think anyone appreciates a blast of light when half asleep in the middle of the night! I did not see a way to turn the sensor or light completely off, although, I found that if I touched the switch as soon as the light came on, it would turn off. It did not stay off for the next time though--apparently, the sensor reset so that the next time I entered the bathroom, it came on again.

Food & Beverage
I thought the breakfast quality at this hotel was pitiful. The eggs tasted stale and old, and the bananas were black! I was shocked that a hotel would even put bananas that looked like that out. I don't usually eat the cinnamon rolls at Holiday Inn Express; however, since nothing else looked edible, I thought they would probably be fresh, so I had one. Even the cinnamon roll was crusty and not fresh.

Business center
There is an area near the front desk with bar type seating, and business amenities. This hotel offers remote printing, and I printed a couple documents. The provided stapler even stapled all 20 pages of my document!

Fitness center and pool
The pool and fitness center are located in a connected separate building at the north end of the hotel. You need to walk through the pool area to get to the fitness center. The pool area was not only damp; it actually smelled of mold. 

The fitness center had several problems, and was not satisfactory, in my opinion. One cardio machine did not work. The only treadmill that worked was located directly under the TV, so I was not able to watch TV while using the machine. I tried to listen to the news, but the TV channels did not have good reception anyway, and the treadmill was also noisy. The temperature in the fitness center was extremely hot. It felt like it was over 80 degrees.

Misc. & overall
I had read that this hotel is located in a great area with many restaurants, and I disagree with that. A new mall in just down the road from the hotel; however, there were only a couple fast food type dining options nearby. Restaurants located near the hotel were Starbucks, Five Guys Burgers, Cracker Barrel, and Rosa's Cafe (Mexican fast food). 

This is not a hotel that I would choose again. I was happy with the guestroom cleanliness and the business center; however, sleep quality and a working fitness center are also important to me.