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Saturday, May 26, 2012

AVP airport--Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania / Holiday Inn Express

May 2012, Weekday, 1-night, King suite #405

Status perks
I received an upgrade to a suite, a bottle of water, and a small package of snack crackers.

This guestroom is on the 4th floor near the vending area and elevators. Despite it's location, and the fact that it is not on the top floor (this hotel has 5 floors), it was quiet in the bedroom. I was glad I had been upgraded to a suite because I did hear several doors opening and closing when I was in the living room, so it's possible a regular guestroom is not as well sound proofed.

This room was spacious, comfortable, and clean. I was happy with the room comfort and my entire stay. The only problem I experienced was the sluggish drain in the sink and shower. Fortunately, it was not so slow that I had to shower in standing water.

When entering the guestroom, a large walk through bath was on my left, and the living room was straight ahead. The living room contained a desk and chair, couch, coffee and end tables, and flatscreen TV on a cabinet with drawers. 

Double doors led to the bedroom, which contained a king bed, night stands, soft chair, and second flatscreen TV on a cabinet with drawers. The bedroom cabinet also contained a microwave and small fridge. There was room on the cabinet in the bedroom for the coffee maker, which was set up in the bathroom. I was surprised that the two TV cabinets were not reversed, and that the coffee setup was not located with the fridge and microwave. I would prefer to have my kitchen items in the living room over the bedroom--unless, of course, there was a kitchen! 

There was a large closet in the bedroom near the doorway to the bathroom. The closet doors were mirrored. The bathroom contained a deep whirlpool tub/shower combination. The hairdryer on the wall was a low quality dryer. It did not have a diffuser attachment or a cool setting.

The Internet speed in the guestroom was satisfactory. There were two HVAC wall units--one in the bedroom, and one in the living room. I found a guestroom key card and check-in packet for a Platinum member in the desk drawer, so it appeared that a Platinum guest before me had also been upgraded to this room.

Food & Beverage
I had an early flight, and do not have any input about the hotel breakfast, because I left before then. Popcorn--from a popcorn machine in the lobby, and cookies, were available in the afternoon. There was also a water cooler in the lobby, similar to what you would find in a fitness center. The front desk agent told me about the snacks when I checked in. She said that these items are out everyday. 

There is a sports bar/restaurant located next door to the hotel called Midtown Sports Bar & Grill. The service and food was acceptable, if you don't have transportation or want to drive. If you don't mind driving to eat, I would not recommend the restaurant. I had a glass of wine for a good price--$3, and the tuna steak dinner. Even though the tuna was cooked rare, I did not think it was very good quality. It was tough and lacked flavor.

There is not a gift shop in the hotel, so there was not another food and beverage option. I did not check the ice/vending room to see if there was a snack and beverage machine inside.

Business center
I had no trouble printing my boarding pass from a computer in the lobby.

This hotel is located across from the airport, and it has shuttle service during airport operating hours. It is the only hotel in this area, and the only hotel I could find with complete airport shuttle service. Some of the hotels a few miles away also have shuttle service with limited operating hours. I was initially planning to stay at either the Marriott Courtyard or Hampton Inn, which are located a couple miles north of the airport near the Montage ski area. That area looked new, and there is a nice shopping center with a few restaurants nearby. Both of the hotels had an airport shuttle; however, neither of them were operating in the early morning at the time of my flight. At the HIX, I was able to return my car and walk back to the hotel. The distance is less than one mile, although there was not a sidewalk along the road the hotel is on. The road does not have much traffic (less than five cars passed me the entire way including the airport road), and there was plenty of room on the side of the road. It was a beautiful day, and I felt safe.