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Sunday, October 6, 2013

Mattoon, Illinois / Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and the Corvette Funfest

September 2013, Weekend, 2-nights, King suite #200

Status perks and check-in
We arrived at this Holiday Inn Express shortly after check-in time. The front desk agent did not recognize my status or tell me what kind of room I was receiving. I was going to ask if there was a room available on the top floor when I saw that our room was on the second floor, until I saw the actual guestroom number. I wrote a review about suite #300 when we stayed at this hotel a couple of years ago, so when I saw that we had been assigned guestroom 200, I knew we had received an upgrade to a suite. According to the guestroom diagrams, there are only two large suites in this hotel, so we were elated to see this!

This guestroom was as we expected--it was exactly the same inside as suite 300. This guestroom is on the 2nd floor above the pool area, and suite 300 is on the top floor. The suite was pretty soundproof. We heard occasional footsteps overhead, although it was not anything too disturbing.

bedroom door on left
Since this suite is exactly the same as the one I described in my last review, most of what I am sharing in this category are the guestroom photos.

Here are two photos of the living room and kitchen area. One thing I failed to mention in my last review, is that the windows in the living room and in the bedroom, both had screens in them, and the windows could be opened about half way.

The hotel had updated bath amenities at the time of our second stay. Bath & Body Works brand was provided, which is what I have seen in all Holiday Inn Express hotels since summer 2013. I was not sure if all of the Holiday Inn Express hotels had changed over yet, so I called this hotel a couple of days before our stay to specifically ask this question. The person I spoke with on the telephone, told me that they did not have the Bath & Body Works brand, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw them in the guestroom.

The spacious bedroom was a separate room with a bedroom door. There were separate HVAC controls in the bedroom and in the living room. There was an ethernet connection at the desk in the bedroom. The wireless Internet connection was not very good in the living room, although it came in fine at the bedroom desk (I did not use the ethernet connection).

guestroom diagram

Food & Beverage
Breakfast was similar both mornings: scrambled eggs, sausage, sausage gravy with biscuits, cold cereals, instant oatmeal, cinnamon rolls, white breads, pancake maker, Yoplait yogurt, hard boiled eggs, coffee, juices, and milk.

Pool area
The pool area was clean and comfortable. There were several comfortable chairs and several tables. I had thought that there were also a few loungers in the pool area, although I do not see any in my photos.

We thought the warm water temperature in the whirlpool tub was perfect. There is a door to an outside grassy area behind the whirlpool tub; however, there was no way to get back into the hotel from the back, and there is nothing outside. We thought this would have been a fabulous place for an outside patio/sitting area.

Overall and Corvette Funfest
We stayed at this hotel to attend the Corvette Funfest at Mid America Motorworks in Effingham, Illinois. We did not receive corvette souvenir keys from the hotel this time, and I did not see a Funfest newspaper at the hotel, although the rest of our stay was pretty much the same.

Bachman & Turner played at the Funfest Saturday night, and we met Turner during dinner. The concert was great, although it was quite a bit colder, than it had been previous years that we attended. They had fireworks after the concert this year, which I do not recall from any of the previous years.

This was our 5th or 6th time attending the Corvette Funfest. The first few times we went, the entire show, including parking, was free. A few years later, they started charging $25 for basic admittance, which includes parking and two tickets to the concert.

We had a great time, although some things were not as organized as previous years. We waited longer in the registration line on Saturday, than we ever had to wait before. The car parking was not as meticulous and aligned as usual. When we were given our tickets for the drawings during the registration process, the person told us which tickets were for which drawings in reverse order. Unfortunately for us, we did not realize this until after we had already deposited our incorrect tickets in the first box. Therefore, we ended up with no entries for any of the drawings because we could not put what we had left in the other box. We were not told that we needed our registration cards to enter the concert. We had tickets for the concert; however, Funfest attendees got to enter the concert an hour before regular admission guests. We did not realize this when we carried our chairs to the entrance at the time we had been told we could enter, so we then had to return to our car to get our registration cards.

We have always stayed in a hotel when we go the Corvette Funfest--in Effingham, Mattoon, and even Tuscola. This year, we decided that if we go again, we would haul our corvette, and stay in a camper on the Funfest grounds. It would be much nicer to be able to walk to and from the show at any time without needing to pack everything for the day, or drive back and forth.