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Thursday, October 3, 2013

South Bend - Mishawaka, Indiana / Residence Inn

September 2013, Weekday, 2-nights, King studio #407

Status perks and check-in
The front desk agent provided friendly assistance, and she recognized my status. I arrived at this Residence Inn before check-in time, and she said that was okay, because she had just set my room aside. Other than the standard Platinum perk of a gift shop amenity or extra points, I did not receive a room upgrade or any additional perks.

I was glad I had left my luggage in the car, because when I arrived at the guestroom, neither of the keys worked, and I had to return to the font desk. Guestroom 407 is by the elevator, and the elevator was quite noisy, so when I told the agent my keys did not work, I said that if a room was available farther away from the elevator, I would rather have that. She said that the only other room available on the top floor was a feather-free room. She assured me that the guestrooms are well soundproofed, so she recoded my key, and I returned to the guestroom.

The guestroom looked fabulous; however, it had a strong musty damp odor. I was surprised by the odor, because the guestroom looked like it had been recently remodeled.

The bedding looked clean, and I did not see any visible mold, so I opened the windows, turned on the fans, and went to retrieve my luggage. Every time I reentered the guestroom, the damp smell was overpowering. Because of this, I refigured my schedule, checked my next hotel options, and then departed from this hotel a day early. I had originally planned to stay for three nights.

The kitchen area included a full size fridge, dishwasher, sink, stovetop, microwave, full size coffee pot with supplies, microwave popcorn, and cupboards with dishes. A table with two chairs, and a desk and chair, were located between the kitchen and living area. An ethernet connection and cord were on the desk, along with a telephone and lamp.

The living area contained a sofa, coffee table, footstool, soft chair, and lamp. A flatscreen TV on a swivel stand was located on an armoire between the living and sleeping area.

view from window by bed
The bedroom area contained a king size bed, and nightstands with a telephone and lighted alarm clock. Lamps and electrical outlets were positioned at the head of the bed. The window in the bedroom could be opened, and there was a soothing fountain  at the neighboring property outside the window.

bathtub wall
The bathing area contained a tub/shower combination with a shower curtain on a curved rod. Although I did not see any obvious mold in the guestroom, the walls in the tub area looked like they were always wet. I wondered if a lot of damp or moldy areas had just been covered over during the remodel, instead of being replaced.

The vanity was located outside the bathing area, across from a closet. Bath amenities were on the vanity, and a hairdryer was mounted on the wall.

guestroom disgram
The front desk agent was correct about the noise. I did not hear any noise from inside the guestroom, and the elevator was definitely a noisy one! I probably would have slept well in this hotel, and I would have stayed longer, had it not been for the damp smell.

Food & Beverage
Brats were served at the evening reception one night. Other items included romaine lettuce (no salad toppings except sunflower seeds), chips, cookies, and a frozen dessert pie. Beverages included wine (the red wine was quite sweet), draft beer, cans of soda, and milk.

Baked potatoes with toppings were served the second night--sweet potatoes, and white Idaho potatoes. Romaine lettuce was out again, with no salad toppings except the sunflower seeds and dressings.

Breakfast in the mornings included scrambled eggs, turkey Canadian bacon, potato cakes, parfaits, yogurt, milk, juices, waffle maker, cold cereal, oatmeal, apples and bananas.

Business center
I printed a couple of documents at the printer near the front desk and eating area. I thought it was odd that I was not able to print a reservation confirmation from my email for a competitor hotel. When I tried to do this from my email, I received a message that said, "unauthorized cell." I then saved the document to a PDF for printing, and received the same message (the hotel name automatically saved for the file name). After this, I saved it as a PDF, and renamed it "res," and then I was able to print it.

Fitness center
There were three or more working cardio machines with cardio theater in the fitness center. I did not have a problem getting an available machine anytime that I visited. The room also contained a flatscreen TV with remote, hand weights, a water cooler, towels, and sani-wipes.

When I left this hotel my last morning, I observed an employee dumping a large wheeled bucket of water in the parking lot, which I thought was kind of odd. The employee was someone I had seen the day before, who appeared to be the manager (or similar) and not housekeeping. When I walked by, I could smell a strong musty damp odor, like the smell in the guestroom.

There are several dining choices near this hotel. I would not recommend Houlihan's across the street. In my home state, we have a Houlihan's in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is fabulous. I have dined there several times, and the food and service at that restaurant have always been excellent, even when it is busy.

The Ahi Tuna salad that I had at the Mishawaka Houlihan's was bland, and the service was terrible. It was over 90 degrees the day that I dined there at the end of the lunch hour (after 1 p.m.). The restaurant appeared to have been busy before my arrival; however, it started to empty out about the time I arrived. After being seated, I was not greeted for 5 minutes, and I did not receive any water for several minutes after this, even though I requested it right away. I waited a long time for my food (unfortunately, I forgot to time this part), and then I had to get up to request silverware and a napkin. My water glass was never refilled, even though it was empty before the end of my meal, and my server did not checkback with me during the meal.