Search This Blog

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sheboygan, Wisconsin / Holiday Inn Express

July 2013, Weekday, 1-night, King guestroom #315

Check-in and status perks
All of the employees at this Holiday Inn Express were friendly and cheerful. The front desk agent acknowledged my status, and she apologized for not being able to give me an upgrade. I received a bag of chips, and two bottles of water. One bottle of water and the chips were already in the guestroom; the agent gave me a second bottle of water when I checked in, because my husband was with me. I appreciated that the goody bag had been placed in the guestroom, so that I did not need to carry something else up with my luggage. We also each received two OtisSpunkmeyer cookies.

Guestroom 315
This guestroom is located on the top floor near the end of the hall. I always request top floor rooms away from the elevator, and the front desk agent had acknowledged these requests during the check-in.

The spacious bathroom near the entrance contained a long vanity, bath amenities, a decent quality wall mounted hairdryer, coffee pot with supplies, and a tub/shower combination. The bath towels and amenities were good quality, although  the coffee was the same Holiday Inn Express packets, that, in my opinion, are not so good. This is the first Holiday Inn Express I have stayed in that provided Bath & Body Works amenities. This hotel had a few other improvements too, and I hope that these improvements are coming to all Holiday Inn Express hotels, and not just this one!

A full length mirror, suitcase bench, and open closet were located in the area outside of the bathroom. The closet contained a folding luggage rack, iron, and ironing board.

The guestroom included a small fridge, microwave, flatscreen TV on an armoire, two-tier desk with a lamp and chair, soft chair and footstool, floor lamp, king size bed with 5 pillows, and nightstands with lamps and a lighted alarm clock.

The bed, pillows, and bedding in this guestroom were good quality and very comfortable. This was by far the most comfortable Holiday Inn Express bed I have slept in--and, I have slept in many! When housekeeping had the guestroom doors propped open during cleaning, I could see that it looked like all of the beds in this hotel have a nice quality mattress pad.

The desk chair was also comfortable. I did not sit in the soft chair, although my husband said it was comfortable.

The guestroom was well-lit and well-soundproofed. The Internet connection speed was acceptable.

Food & Beverage
This hotel offers a complimentary Manager's Reception with snacks and beverages on Monday - Thursday. This was briefly mentioned in reviews I read from others before our stay; however, the reviews did not provide any detail--not even the day of the week, and I could not find any information about this on the IHG Holiday Inn Express website. I did find this amenity listed on the Stay in Sheboygan web page. Just click on the Holiday Inn Express icon to see the listing.

When we checked in, the agent gave us each two beverage coupons. She said something about my status when she gave us the coupons, so I am not sure if the quantity we received is specific to Platinum status guests, or if everyone received the same amount. The alcoholic beverage choices included a couple of Wisconsin area beers, which my husband was happy to try. I tried the red wine, which I did not care for. When the employee serving the beverages gave me my glass, she said that she would be happy to give me something else, if I did not like the wine (I had inquired what kind it is beforehand, and I did not recognize the brand). Basic mixed drinks were also available. I observed Bacardi rum, Gordon's vodka, and Hornito's Reposado tequila. I believe that whiskey and gin were also available, although I do not recall the brand names.

Soda pop was available, and the snacks were better quality than what I usually see served at this type of reception. There were a few different kinds of cheeses, meat pieces, cheese spread, crackers, fresh vegetables with dip, and chips with dip.

Breakfast in the morning included the basic Holiday Inn Express items: cold cereal, instant oatmeal,  hard boiled eggs, yogurt, pancake maker, scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls, white breads, juices, milk, coffee, and tea.

Pool area
The pool is located next to the lobby and breakfast area with windows in between. I did not notice that this hotel does not have a whirlpool until after our arrival. A whirlpool does not matter to me when I am traveling for business; however, my husband always likes to have one when we are traveling for leisure.

Fitness center
I did not use the fitness center during this stay, although I noticed on the hotel website, that it says it is open 24 hours! That is always a plus for me, since I live in the Eastern time zone.

Misc. and overall
This hotel is located across from a Harley Davidson store, and a couple of fast food restaurants. Wal-Mart is located next door. It is next to the expressway with easy on and off access. We did not hear any traffic noise from the guestroom.

I was very comfortable at this hotel, and I will definitely choose it again the next time that I am in the area. All of the employees at this hotel were professional, and they made us feel welcome. I think that this hotel is a step ahead of most Holiday Inn Express hotels in regard to comfort, amenities, and hotel professionalism. It is always nice to receive a room upgrade; however, it is the way the employee handles this perk that really makes the difference. This was a leisure stay with points, and I do not know if that had a bearing on the order that upgrades were given out. This hotel was full the night of our stay, and I was happy that staff at least acknowledged my preferences, and met those requests.

I am in the process of writing a review for a Hampton Inn stay where staff members did not acknowledge my status or preferences in a professional manner when the hotel was full, and now I am trying to decide if I want to change an upcoming stay that I have at a different Hampton Inn to a Holiday Inn Express because this one was so comfortable. On the Holiday Inn Express website, it says that this hotel was recently renovated. It is possible that some of the new experiences listed here will be changed at other properties as they are updated...