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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Brown Deer (North Milwaukee), Wisconsin / Holiday Inn Express

July 2012, Weekday, 2-nights, King guestroom #313

Status perks
I was acknowledged as a Platinum member at check-in, and the agent (who I think was the manager) checked to see if he had an upgraded room to give me. He said he did not have anything for both nights, so I did not receive any extra perks this stay.

Guestroom 313 is on the top floor, located just past the center building entrance. It was a basic hotel room with a decent sized bathroom and guestroom area. It contained a suitcase bench, couch, desk and chair, coffee table, night stands, and flatscreen TV in an armoire. The window contained a screen, and it opened about six inches.

Other than the flatscreen TV, the furnishings were a bit outdated, but the guestroom was clean, and the bed was satisfactory. The wireless Internet connection was lousy my entire stay. I never lost my Internet connection, although the speed was extremely slow, and  FaceTime would not stay connected. I often experience FaceTime disconnecting when the Internet speed is slow at hotels. There was a data outlet at the desk; however, I had not packed an ethernet cord, and I did not see one in the guestroom. The guestroom was not very soundproof. I could hear guests in the hall and in the rooms next door. Fortunately, most guests quieted down about the time I went to bed for the evening.

The guestrooms at the other end of the hall on this floor are smoking rooms, and the smoke smell in the hallway the second evening was quite strong. At check-in, the employee had told me that some of the rooms on this floor used to be smoking rooms, so he assigned me a room at the other end of the hall, since I wanted a non-smoking room. The room signage indicates that the rooms at the other end of this floor are still smoking rooms. Fortunately, I could not smell smoke in the guestroom.

Food & Beverage
There was an evening social hour both evenings with appetizers, beer, wine, and basic/bar brand mixed beverages. My key packet said that guests were allowed two beverages. The "appetizers" consisted of a few cut vegetables, cheddar cheese cubes, and chips with dip. The choices were exactly the same both evenings, and not what I would consider appetizers. I would consider the food that was served "snacks." The wine was low quality--Crane Lake, and the beer I observed on the counter was Coors and Miller. I guess for free I can't complain. The cost of the hotel room was reasonable.

I expected a better than usual HIX breakfast because the information in my key packet said "Expanded Continental Breakfast." The breakfast was the same, or less, than I have seen at other Holiday Inn Express hotels: sausage gravy and biscuits, scrambled eggs (that did not look appetizing to me), sausage, pancake maker, toaster waffles, bagels, bread, yogurt, cinnamon rolls, cold cereal, and whole bananas. I was glad that the bananas were fresh. The food items were the same both mornings.

Business center
The business center consisted of one computer and a printer/fax/copy machine. I don't usually need much more than that, although this trip I could have used a stapler, tape, and a highlighter--none of which were available in the business center. I was able to print a document both days.

Fitness center
The fitness center contained three cardio machines, a working flatscreen TV with remote, drinking fountain, scale, towels, and sani-wipes. The treadmill I used was in good working condition. I did not try the other machine or the bicycle.