Apparently because Ashland is such a tourist-centric town thanks to the Shakespeare Festival and the many arts-related events and services that have grown up around that nationally-famous festival, even mediocre and appalling rooms are absurdly priced throughout Ashland year-round. One would think the hotels are adjacent to a tropical beach, a renowned theme park, or the like.
By that single measure, the rate for the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Ashland is reasonable, even if it is 3-4 miles from the center of town, and from most of those other hotels. But when compared to larger LQ rooms, with better staff and nicer properties in the several major cities where I've stayed at LQs, the rate in Ashland is too high. And when one considers the level of service, room quality and other irritations I came across at this hotel, it was ridiculously over-priced.
My experience began with my initial reservation, where I made my usual request for a very quiet room far from ice machines, house-keeping preparation rooms and so forth. I'm always reminded these are "requests," not promises the hotel can guarantee to fulfill when I check-in.
At check-in I reiterated my request and was assured it was no problem - the hotel had plenty of vacancies.
That's why I was surprised when I went to the first floor room assigned to me and found it was immediately across the hall from the tiny "breakfast room" provided for guests. Without entering the assigned room, I immediately returned to the desk and pointed out that, in my experience, beginning at 6am the assigned room would be the second loudest area in the hotel, second only to the breakfast room itself. Families and other groups meet outside these rooms and talk, friends call out to one another, and kids run up and down, and up again. I asked for another room.
The clerk - who I BELIEVE is the manager - smiled and told me he completely understood the concern. But he assured me it would not be a problem at all. Aside from there being so few guests that night, he said there was "something" about the room that rendered it impervious to noise. He confessed he didn't know exactly what it was - the construction, design, or what. But he said other guests had expressed the same worry, and literally every single one had admitted the next morning that they never heard a sound and slept soundly.
He never specifically said "No, I won't change your room." He simply made it clear he would not change it, and assured me I would not be disturbed the next morning. When I asked for his home phone number so I could call and wake him up if I was awakened, he said he can't have guests call him at home.
Of course, shortly before 6am the racket started, including everything I had predicted. What I had NOT expected were the people who also leaned and banged on my door as they apparently wrestled or shoved one another in the hall. One disturbance I had not anticipated turned out to be among the worst. The hallway of my room proved to be a perfect echo and megaphone chamber for the beeping waffle-maker immediately inside the door of the breakfast room. Every few minutes it would begin beeping again, like a construction vehicle backing up in the hallway. Then I'd hear a voice call down the hallway, "Becky! Your waffle is ready!" Another time, an irritated male voice bellowed, "Cindy, you gotta come show me how to do this!" Between the hollering, the beeping, the talking outside my door, and the occasional collisions with it, there was a steady stream of noise from the guests talking in the breakfast room, and from the television some of them were watching.
This noise continued for the next 3 to 3.5 hours.
When I told the clerk/manager about this experience as I was checking out, he said, "Huh." When I returned home and wrote the manager about my experience, with a copy to the home office for LQ, I received no acknowledgement, nor a response.
Beyond this facet of my stay, the room was smaller than the conventional LQ room, and size has always been one of the advantages of staying at most LQs.
The hotel employs a system for the HVAC system that is commonly found in the UK, but this was the first time I'd seen it in a western US hotel. In short, guests must insert their room card key for the heating or air to work. Regardless of whether the motive is financial or environmental, this seems, to me, to be an entirely reasonable way to assure guests don't leave their room with the air conditioning or heater running to serve an empty room. The problem was that there also appeared to be some sort of governor on the system. I prefer to sleep in a cool room, but where I set the thermostat had no apparent effect on the room temperature. Whether I set the thermostat at 70 f, 65f,\ or 80f, the temperature never varied from 74 degrees.
As mentioned earlier, the LQ is well outside town. A gas station is next door, and a dash across the highway will take you to another station, and a fast food outlet. Otherwise, there's nothing else within walking distance. The next nearest business is an EconoLodge Motel, and it seemed to stand as a reminder that I could have paid less there for basically the same service and room I had at the LQ, though I don't believe the EconoLodge offers a breakfast, not even one in tiny, over-crowded and noisy room.
The biggest problem with the LQ falling so far short is that, on this visit and previous stays, I've found no more reasonably-priced, decent hotel in Ashland to suggest as an alternative. Given that reality, and if you'd be willing to stay at a decent hotel at a fair rate even if it's 3-4 miles from the Festival, I can only suggest you go a bit further north and instead stay in nearby Meford, Oregon - 10 miles north on the freeway. Medford has a great many more hotels/motels to offer, including a highly-ranked Rodeway Inn with a rate more than $30 lower than I paid at Ashland's LQ.
Drive 10 miles north and stay in Medford, Or.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.