In a time where every corporate travel dollar is managed, I try to find lower cost accomodations. This particular week, I found an outstanding rate at this property. As my title suggests, I travel 140+ nights per year at Hilton branded properties yet have never stayed at a Homewood Suites to my recollection.
Check in was easy and I found my room very appealing. Being on the road so much, the kitchen made me want to hit a grocery store to avoid a few meals out! The 2 room layout was nice and made staying in the room seem less like living in a bedroom. The bathroom was nice with the sink in a separate area from the tub/toilet. In room extras such as the popcorn were great. Their complimentary toiletries are probably in the bottom of my list for quality/smell sans the mouthwash which is nice to have in the freebie category.
For me, I rank property brands on their beds. I put the Homewood Suites beds at about the middle. On par with a Hampton but way better than the HGI beds. Certainly not as good as the Embassy/Doubletree/Hilton stack. I assume their duvets are washed every stay but being red, they reminded me of old hotel bedspreads. I slept well though! There is an approach for MIA right over this hotel which you can hear in the rooms but it did not disturb me. Others as light sleepers would probably not appreciate it too much.
FOOD: Breakfasts were nice with usual options of cereal, oatmeal, waffles, yogurt and toast. I prefer more consistency and quality from the fruit than was offered. The hot food was variable and ranged from scarmbled eggs and biscuits to 'Little Sizzler' type sausages. Some days, the cooks were creative with the hot foods having empanadas and some kind of corn patty filled with cheese. Hit or miss on that stuff and certainly not healthy. The free dinner was pretty neat. Always an option to make a salad and a hot item. For my stay, I went down and ate the ravioli and the pulled pork. Greasy but tasty - again....not healthy at all. Wine was available at night along with 2 kinds of tap beer. The amazing thing is that having an option of Amber Bock is better than I can get for free at a Delta Skyclub now!
Fitness: Small fitness room but functional. I go to planet fitness down there so avoided any machine conflict here that is probable in the early morning hours. The basketball/sport court is neat outside and I did go out and shoot some hoops. Pool was nice and clean, no hottub at this location which I really do enjoy having.
Parking is ample and it is quick access to and from the Palmetto / 836. If your work has you going north from here, you avoid most of the bad Palmetto traffic in both directions.
The only drawback was the kitchen and housekeeping crew hanging on the parking lot side of the kitchen and smoking up a storm. I watched the dinner host/chef toss his cigarette butt out in the street while standing next to an ashtray. If I was the manager, I'd stop this display immediately. Aside from that, I found this to be a very enjoyable stay and will always look to the Homewood brand for future stays....after checking with TripAdvisor of course.