Spent two nights here for leisure in February 2013 to attend a sporting event on Notre Dame's campus. This was my fourth overnight trip to South Bend but my first stay at this hotel after staying at other Marriott-family properties nearby.
As most, if not all, other reviewers noted, you cannot beat the location of this hotel for any trip purpose related to Notre Dame, and that is clearly the hotel's main selling point. Located adjacent to the south edge of the Notre Dame campus, you are but minutes' walking time to many of their athletic facilities, including Notre Dame Stadium, the Compton Family Ice Arena, and the Joyce Center. There are several dining options close by in the Eddy Commons complex of which the hotel is a part, and the entirety of the Mishawaka/South Bend area is easily reachable by car.
Public areas of the property are very nicely appointed (the hotel opened in 2010) and are a step up from what I consider the "standard" Fairfield decor. There are also local touches to the decor in both the public areas and the guestrooms. The continental breakfast was standard Fairfield fare but was well-maintained during both mornings. In an unusual twist, the dining area was actually larger than most and is probably the first dining area I've seen in a Fairfield that isn't too small. There is an indoor pool (no whirlpool) (limited hours daily) and exercise room (24 hours) onsite. I don't recall seeing any publicly-available computers, but the in-room Guest Services Guide mentions the front desk will print, copy, and fax things for you (there's no mention of a charge for said services).
My one complaint about the property would have to be the size of the rooms--particularly the King rooms, which, in addition to being small, might also not include bathtubs (mine had only a shower stall--a large one, but only a shower stall nonetheless). As a Gold Elite member, I wouldn't have expected to get placed in a smaller King room were there actually King rooms whose only characteristic difference was that they were larger than what I was in, drawing me to this conclusion. There is barely enough room along the wall for two nightstands, the bed, and a chair, and the chair looks shoehorned into the area, jammed in as an afterthought. I am guessing that most rooms here are double-doubles to accommodate families. In most Fairfields, the size of the King room I'm in here would have been a Queen room.
I did not care for the mattress at all and awoke with a backache on both mornings. Power outlets were plentiful, the complimentary "Hi Speed Lite" wi-fi worked well, and there were a decent number of television stations. The sleeping area of the room was well-maintained, as was the bathroom with the exception of the shower floor, which was dirty. We were in a corner room and heard nothing from anyone immediately above us, with only one brief moment of hearing others in the room next to us early one evening. Staff were wonderful to deal with, from registration to check out.
Given the premium rates one is paying for the location, I may or may not return here for future trips when you consider I can stay in a larger, nicer room at the Courtyard in Mishawaka (3.5 miles away) for perhaps $40-$50 less a night or get a 2-room suite at that Mishawaka Courtyard for just a bit more than what I paid here. I drive to South Bend, so for me, driving to campus is not an issue. Do consider this, but don't let this fact alone dissuade you from staying at this property.
Even-numbered rooms face north, overlooking the Notre Dame campus.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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We would like to thank you for taking the time to review our property. We are pleased to hear that you and your friends enjoyed your stay and were able to take advantage of our many amenities. We do have a small, but ample, business center located in our main lobby near our meeting space, but are always more than happy to assist with any print, fax or copy needs at no cost.
We are sorry to hear that the size of our guest rooms inconvenienced you, all of our standard rooms are the same square footage and then all of the suites are the same square footage to our knowledge. We will do our best to look into what we can do with the layout of the room to make it more accommodating. Yes, it is true that only a few of our guest rooms have bathtubs, which was a design feature that most of the newer Fairfield Inns have switched to. We would be more than happy to ensure that you are in a room with a bathtub during your next stay, if that is what you prefer.
We would also like to apologize for your uncomfortable sleep due to the mattress in your room as well as the shower floor, if you would please contact us directly we would like to make sure that we get this resolved. We know sometimes because of the tile pattern and color the shower floor can look “dingy” but in any case we definitely want to look into both issues to ensure that each and every room is up to par for you and all guests.
Thank you again for your review. We hope to hear from you soon and also to have the opportunity to accommodate you and your guests in the near future!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.