I ended up at this hotel because my travel plans changed last minute and this was the only place I could find with a vacancy because of a huge convention in town. I took a taxi from downtown Chicago out to this hotel and only an hour had passed from the time I booked and prepaid the room online until I arrived for check in at 10pm. I expected this place would be a little rough around the edges… it was very cheap and the only place in a 50 mile radius with a vacancy but nothing screams 'you've come to the wrong neighborhood' louder than approaching a clerk who is secured behind a 3" thick shield of plexiglass with only a small pass-thru for cash or cards. When I approached the counter and gave my name, the clerk shared with me that the Rodeway website always messes up their bookings and in fact, they had no rooms available. It had to have been clear to the clerk that I'd arrived via taxi and that I was arriving expecting to stay, as she watched me unload my bags and pay the driver who helped me with my luggage. I went thru the expected exchange: what do you mean you have no rooms…?
After several minutes of me explaining that there were no other hotel vacancies and that I just needed a room to crash before my early flight and another few minutes of her apologizing for the Rodeway website mistake she said, "Well we do have a room being cleaned now but it won't be ready for a while." OK. How long is a while? "Fifteen minutes", she said. I felt speechless and really confused but managed to simply say that I would be fine waiting.
The lobby seating was nothing more than basic stack chairs that were setup so that your view was of the front parking lot. Just as I was contemplating why on earth they were cleaning a room at 10pm, I noticed the scrolling marquee just under the big Rodeway sign out front that proudly advertised "NAP RATES and WEEKLY RATES". I guess someone had been “napping” in my room that evening. This also explained why the guys sitting in out front in dirty shirts drinking beer appeared to be living here. Under any other circumstance I would have left running but I was exhausted and just wanted to crash for a few hours before my early morning flight.
Finally the clerk summoned me to the plexiglass wall where she handed me the key and pointed me to my room. There was nothing redeeming about this room with the single exception that the sheets were clean and still warm from the wash. The room had clearly been broken into multiple times as the door lock, door frame, and door jamb were all a twisted and bent mess. It felt very unsafe. Since the door probably could have been opened by pushing hard, I propped a chair under the door for added peace of mind. The carpet was dirty, there were stains on the walls, and the comforter on the bed was threadbare and stained. I've never been in a place that felt so dirty to the core. For a recognized brand hotel, I’m shocked at what passes for acceptable here.
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