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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mobile, Alabama / Homewood Suites by Hilton

March 2013, Weekday, 1-night, King 1-bedroom suite #346

Status perks and check-in
I received two bottles of water and a medium-sized package of Milano cookies. I was surprised to receive this because I have bonus points chosen as my on-property benefit, and I received those as well.

I arrived before check-in time, and the room that had been set aside for me was not ready yet. I sat down in the lobby to work, and the front desk agent walked out to get me about 1/2 hour later. She did not remember my name or what room I had been waiting for; she just said that she could find me a room now. I followed her back to the counter, and it sounded like she assigned me the suite next door to the one that had originally been set aside.

Guestroom #346
There are two guestroom sections at this hotel, and this suite is on the top floor of the west wing, about halfway down the hallway from the elevator. The two hotel sections are not connected, except through the lodge and front desk area on the ground floor.

The windows in this guestroom face west, so I had a great sunset view. I prefer rooms that face the outside of the property, rather than the courtyard, because they are usually in quieter areas. The room was clean and comfortable, and I did not hear any noise from outside the guest room.

The kitchen and living area contained: full-size fridge with ice maker, stovetop, dishwasher, microwave, coffee pot, small table with two straight-backed chairs, couch, soft chair, footstool, flatscreen TV on a short armoire, coffee table, end table, and lamps. The dishes in the cupboards did not include wine glasses. Microwave popcorn and coffee with condiments were provided. This suite does not have a desk and chair, which I did not miss during my one-night stay. I am sure I would have missed this, if I had been staying for more than one night. The Internet connection speed in the guestroom was good.

Doors between the living room and the bedroom could be closed. I did not see any "studio" room types listed at this hotel. I would rather have a one-bedroom suite than a studio suite, although I was surprised that the rooms are all one and two bedroom suites. The bedroom contained a king size bed, flatscreen TV on an armoire, nightstands, lamps, telephone, and alarm clock. The bed and pillows were comfortable, and the sheets were good quality.

The bathroom vanity and a closet were located between the bed, and the shower and toilet area. The closet doors were mirrored. The closet contained a luggage rack, and an iron and board. Bathroom amenities were on the vanity, and a low quality hairdryer was mounted on the wall by the vanity.

There was plenty of room in the bathing area. The tub/shower combination had a curved shower rod with shower curtain. The bath towels were good quality thick towels.

sunset view from living room window

Food & Beverage
The food and beverages served at the evening social were good quality, and the service was excellent. The tossed salad was prepared with romaine lettuce, and assorted fresh toppings were available. The stuffed green peppers and apple turnovers had excellent flavor. I do not recall the other food items that were served, since I did not try anything else. I think there was some type of bread.  

I do not know what brand of beer or wine was served. White Zinfandel and red wine were in decanters on the counter. The red wine was decent quality.

I had cold cereal and an apple for breakfast because I did not see anything else that looked appealing. My husband had the scrambled eggs and sausage, which he said were not very good. The only oatmeal available was instant oatmeal. White breads were available, along with the apple turnovers that had been out the night before. Beverages included juices, coffee, tea, and milk.

Fitness center
The fitness center contained cardio machines with cardio theater, hand weights, a flatscreen TV, a scale, sani-wipes, a water cooler, and towels. Everything was well maintained and clean.

Business center
The business center contained two computers and a printer. I received an error message on the printer when I tried to print a document the day of my arrival. The front desk agent opened and closed some doors on the printer, which fixed the problem. I did not have any trouble printing a second item the next morning.

Shuttle and misc.
One reason I had booked this hotel is because it has airport shuttle service, and my husband was arriving at 10:15 p.m. After I had checked in, I learned that the hotel shuttle stops at 10 p.m. It does not say this on the hotel website. I usually call the hotel beforehand to confirm the shuttle times when I know I will need early morning or late shuttle service. I did not call this time, because it was before 11 p.m. This hotel is only a few miles from the airport, so it wasn't that difficult for me to pick him up, although it was dark, and it was my first time driving to the Mobile airport.

Bonefish Grill and TGI Fridays are located right next to this hotel, and they are both easy to walk to. Even though the address for this hotel is on Providence Park Drive, it is directly behind TGI Fridays, and it is accessible from Airport Boulevard traveling from either direction. My GPS did not think I could turn in from Airport Boulevard, and tried to direct me to Cody Road, and then in the back way.