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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Independence, Ohio / Hampton Inn & Suites Cleveland/Independence

September 2017, Weekdays, 2-nights, King suite 220

Arrival and diamond perks

There are three diamond guest parking spots at this hotel, and I got the last one. My guestroom was ready when I arrived a bit before check-in time. I had not checked in online to choose my room, because the app was only showing me a room on the second floor, and I prefer to be on the top floor. During check-in, I learned that is because the only suite left was the one on the second floor. I have bonus points checked for my on-site amenity, and the front desk agent also offered me a bottle of water.

Sushi from nearby restaurant; info below

Guestroom 220

This guestroom is located near the elevator and center of the building. I did not hear a lot of noise from the elevator or guests in the hall, although I did hear the guests overhead (precisely why I always try to get a top floor room).

The suite was quite spacious. The open kitchenette and living area contained a small fridge, a table with two chairs, microwave, sink, sofa, footstools, table that slides under seat, flatscreen TV on an armoire, desk and chair, ice bucket with disposable cups, and a single-serve coffee maker with supplies. The coffeemaker was on the slide out shelf in the armoire; I had already moved it to the kitchen counter before I took the photos below.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Ann Arbor, Michigan / Courtyard by Marriott

September 2017, Weekend, 1-night, King extended guestroom (suite) 431

Arrival and gold elite perks

The check-in process went smoothly, and I was impressed to learn I had received an upgrade to a king suite. I had reserved just a basic double-bed guestroom, and I have rarely received an upgrade at a Marriott Courtyard (I do not recall ever receiving one without asking). I have never understood why elite members usually only receive upgrades at full-service Marriott and Hilton hotels, and not all brands. My experience over the years has not been any different when I had Platinum or Diamond status, than it has been as a Gold member. This Marriott Courtyard is one of the best Courtyard hotels I have ever stayed in, and I was disappointed I did not have more time to enjoy it (I arrived just before dark, and departed at 6:30 AM the next day).

Suite 431 from entrance

Guestroom 431

This suite was super comfortable, and I loved it! My profile says high floor, and additionally, I had requested a guestroom on the top floor in a corner or quiet area. All of my requests had been fulfilled.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Grand Rapids, Michigan / Judson's Steakhouse in The Bob

September 2017, weekday evening, birthday dinner

Advance reservations

We have been to most of the venues in The Bob several times, although this was our first visit to Judson's Steakhouse. It was my husband's birthday, and the free lobster dinner that Gilly's used to give customers had been taken over by Judson's.

I found this out when I called The Bob to make a reservation and confirm that Gilly's was still offering the free lobster dinner. I was able to make the reservation for the day after my husband's birthday, as his birthday fell on Labor Day, and The Bob was not open.

View out the window from our table

Dining atmosphere at Judson's Steakhouse

The atmosphere inside the restaurant was pleasant. We had a good view from our table, the acoustics were good, and the seating was comfortable.

Menu in the restaurant