After reading general reviews on the Red Roof chain, we were wary of the chain. However, we are Gainesville residents moving out of the area who needed a place to stay our last 3 nights in town...and most of the hotels were booked due to Gatornationals. I'd passed the Red Roof Inn hundreds of times and was always impressed with it. With good reviews online and a good price, I figured it was worth a try. So glad that we stayed here!
We had a FL resident rate but then upgraded (+$10/night) to a room with a king. Floors were laminate wood and spotless. The bathroom was clean and new. Nothing super fancy, but beyond our expectations. The bed was large, clean and comfortable. Free Wi-Fi in the room was definitely a perk.
Our room was 119, the closest one to the lobby and with a shared wall for the coffee/break room. We had guessed our room would be noisy, but we heard outside noise exactly once...when the person upstairs seemingly dropped his entire suitcase on the floor. Other than that, our room was completely quiet; we didn't hear any other noises from neighboring units, the room upstairs or the hallway. Considering that we were traveling with a baby, we were relieved!
The front desk staff was great and helpful as well. :)
My only minor complaints are the amenities provided by the Red Roof Inn chain. The little packets of shampoo are really small - ask for additional packets upon check-in. I needed 2 to shampoo my shoulder-length hair. I also wish they had regular tissue boxes instead of the small tissue packets on hand...our infant son and I were getting over a cold and could have gladly used the regular boxes! Despite these grievances, we would definitely stay here again. Great hotel, good price and awesome location.
Some tips for the area:
-AVOID Archer Road at all costs between 4:45 and 6:00 PM weeknights. This is known as one of the worst corridors in Gainesville, and you will get stuck in stationary traffic. There is an access road behind the shopping centers that locals use for shopping and to avoid the commute traffic. To use it, make a left out of the parking lot, go straight at the stop sign, and then make a right immediately after the Homewood Suites. If you go almost to Archer on this road, you will hit Best Buy, Trader Joe's and PetSmart on your left. If you make a left before Best Buy, you can take the access road to Wal-Mart, the Outback and stores further down the road.
-The shopping center immediately across from the Red Roof Inn has a Target (8 AM - 9 PM, I think), a large Publix (7 AM - ??). The shopping center behind that one has a brand-new Trader Joe's (8AM - 9 or 10 PM).
-Fast food choices and chain restaurants abound in this area, although the ones most easily walkable are Steak and Shake and McDonald's. We love Willy's Mexicana Grill (on the other side of Archer Rd) for a quick meal.
-If you're looking for a good local restaurant and are okay with a drive, Mexico Lindo is 5 miles away, on the corner of SW 75th Street and Archer Road in the Publix shopping center there. Dinners are around $8-10 for massive dishes, and the quality is great. They get crowded during dinner hours, but it's well worth the wait.