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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mackinaw City, Michigan / Holiday Inn Express

August 2012, Weekday - Weekend (Thursday & Friday), 2-nights, King guestroom #412

Status perks
I received two bottles of water at check-in. I did not receive a room upgrade; in fact I had been assigned one of the worst guestrooms before I asked if an upgrade was available. The guestrooms on the top three floors of this hotel have balconies, and the bottom floor rooms do not even have a patio or outside door. Even though my IHG Platinum profile has my preferences for an executive room and a high floor listed--and, I had requested this in the comment box when making my reservation, I had been pre-assigned guestroom 112 on the bottom floor. After I asked if there was an upgrade available, the employee assisting me said probably not, and that I would need to wait for Peter to check because she was new. I waited over 5 minutes for Peter to finish on the telephone. While we waited, the agent who had started the check-in process, said that "she" usually assigns the top floor rooms to Gold and Platinum guests, so she was surprised that we had been assigned a room on the bottom floor. After Peter finished on the telephone, he told her to give us guestroom 412.


Guestroom 412 is a basic king room on the north side of the building near the center of the hallway. There is a partial bridge view from the balcony. The guestroom contained a wet bar area--mini-fridge, sink, microwave, and a few cupboards. There was a desk and chair, a soft chair and foot stool, older style TV in a stand with drawers, and night stands. The guestroom was not very big, and having all these items in the room made it quite crowded. Two plastic chairs and a small table were on the carpeted balcony.

The view from the balcony was decent. Even though it was not a clear view of the bridge or lake, it did offer an enjoyable sunset view.

Fortunately, the bedding in the guestroom was clean because the rest of the room and balcony was not very clean. In fact, I thought this entire hotel was grimy and run down. The chairs on the balcony needed to be power washed, as did the entire balcony. I thought it was odd to have carpet on the balcony since it seems like it would have been easier to wash down concrete and the plastic furnishings. We got pool towels from the front desk to put down on the chairs so we could use them. I was impressed when I opened the refrigerator and saw a small crisper drawer in the bottom--until I opened the drawer and saw how dirty it was. I was not about to put any of our food in that drawer! Other cleanliness issues with the guestroom were grimy windowsills, dust on the outdated soft chair, and small bits of debris on the carpet.

The guestroom was not very soundproof, and the fact that it has a connecting door to room 410 made the noise even more noticeable at times.

Food & Beverage
I thought the breakfast food offerings were low quality and I did not try much. Here are facts of the food items that were available (exactly the same both mornings): cinnamon rolls, cold cereals, white breads and bagels, sausage gravy and biscuits, scrambled eggs, bacon, whole bananas (fresh--yay!), yogurt, juices, and milk. The milk was in individual containers, which I like because it usually stays fresher that way. The fat-free milk expiration date had gone by when I checked the first morning. Fresh milk had been added the second morning, although there were still several containers with expired dates set out too.

I chose this hotel because I like to earn points for my stays, and it's a fairly new hotel. I thought the AAA rate of $114 the first night was fair, and the rate of $161 the second night was high. Since PCR points are valuable to me, I chose this hotel anyway. After our stay, I wished I had looked at some of the other points earning hotels in more detail, such as the Ramada Inn and the Comfort Inn. I don't collect points with those hotel chains; however, I do have a membership, and am able to convert any points earned to air miles.