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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Minot, North Dakota / Hampton Inn & Suites

April 2013, Weekday, 2-nights, King suite #428

Status perks and check-in

I reserved a basic king guestroom, and I received an upgrade to a  suite. I had requested a suite upgrade in my written comments when I made my reservation online. During check-in, the front desk agent recognized my status, and she told me that she had given me an upgrade to a suite.

I was comfortable at this Minot Hampton Inn, and I loved the guestroom. The bed and pillows were super comfy, and it was comfortable for working.

The kitchen area at the entrance included a small fridge, microwave, sink, single-serve coffee maker with supplies, ice bucket, and a roll of paper towel.

The living area contained a couch with two pillows, footstool/coffee table, end table, and lamps. A long desk with two chairs and a flatscreen TV were located between the sitting and sleeping areas. A lamp, telephone, plenty of outlets, and an ethernet cable were on the desk. The Internet connection worked great.

Nightstands with lamps were located on each side of the king-size bed. An alarm clock and a telephone were also on one of the nightstands.

The bathing area contained a tub/shower combo and the toilet. A decorative shelf on the wall above the toilet held the towels and washcloths. 

A closet with mirrored doors by the vanity contained an iron and board. A Conair hairdryer was in a bag under the sink. 

Basic Hampton Inn bathroom amenities provided on the vanity did not include face wipes or mouthwash. I observed two baskets of good quality bathroom amenities in the hallway outside two guestrooms a few hours after I had checked in. I did not learn the purpose of the baskets, although I wish they had been for me!

Food & Beverage
Breakfast items the first morning: imitation eggs and sausage, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, waffle maker, cold cereals, juices, coffee, tea, and milk--2% and fat-free.

Breakfast the second morning: cheesy omelets, sausage, canadian bacon/ham pieces, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, waffle maker, cold cereals, oatmeal, fresh whole apples, pears, and bananas, juices, coffee, tea, and milk--2% and fat-free. I assume that whole fruits and oatmeal were also out the first morning, and I missed them. 

Cookies were available at the front desk in the afternoon.

Fitness center
The fitness center contained about five cardio machines with cardio theater, a water cooler, hand weights, towels, and sani-wipes. The temperature was cool, which was just right for working out.

Overall and misc.
The drive into this hotel is located exactly where my GPS thought the hotel was located, although the hotel building is located a bit farther up the drive. It is barely visible when arriving from the South, and there is not a hotel sign at the entrance drive. I was glad I saw the hotel and turned in when I arrived, because there is only one entrance into the parking lot.

I stayed in three newer Hampton Inns in North Dakota this trip, and they were all similar to this one. I thought the room at this hotel was the cleanest and nicest of the three. The other reviews will be posted soon.

Area dining
I saw a billboard for the Sakura Japanese Steakhouse in front of the Hampton Inn, so I had sushi there one afternoon. The restaurant is located near the Dakota Square Mall, a few miles south of the Hampton Inn. The food was excellent; however, the service was terrible. The server never smiled, and she did not checkback with me during the meal. The host seemed annoyed when I asked if I could have a larger table to do some work while dining. There were many tables available when I arrived around 1:30 p.m., so when she started to seat me at a small table barely big enough for two, I asked if I could have a larger table. It was not like I had made this request when the restaurant was filled with noontime lunch-goers.

I dined at the Olive Garden in Minot, which is also located in the mall area near Sakura. The food and service were both good, and I had a new experience at this restaurant. The server offered me two free generous wine samples. He said that they are allowed to give three samples per guest. I did not request a third sample, although I am sure he would given it to me, if I had asked. It has been awhile since I ate at Olive Garden, so I do not know if all their restaurants offer this, or if it depends on the area. I was done working for the day when I stopped there, so I enjoyed the samples!

Jimmy Johns, and a Pizza restaurant called Spicy Pie, which also serves beer, are within walking distance of the Hampton Inn.