My wife, son and I stayed here for two nights in June when we were riding part of the Great Allegheny Passage bike route. It couldn't be more convenient to both the GAP and the C&O paths, as the C&O path runs right behind the hotel's rear doors and the start of both trails is a five-minute walk away at the old train station. This is a very new hotel (opened 2009, I believe), and is nicely appointed in common areas and in the rooms. I'll first talk about the hotel and its amenities, and then comment on how bike-friendly they are.
We reserved a king-bed room and requested a roll-away bed for our son, which was waiting outside the room door for us when we checked in. Upon opening looking at the room, though, it was obvious that there was not enough room for the cot in the room (well, it would have fit, but we would have had to crawl over the beds due to no walking space). I went down to the desk and mentioned this to the clerk, who found a suite room for us, but we had to pay a bit more per night (not much, though). First lesson: don't book a king room at this hotel and expect to put a roll-away in it. Not going to happen. Pick a room with two beds or one of the very nice suites.
The suite we ended up in was very nice, with a sitting area with a pull-out sofabed, and a separate area with a king-size bed (the sleeping areas were not separated by a door or wall, though, so be aware of this. There was also a refrigerator and microwave in the room. We were very happy with the setup and felt it was well worth the extra cost, especially since we were staying two nights.
Regarding the hotel's staff, every single person I spoke with was extremely helpful and friendly. Shockingly so, in fact. Rarely have I encountered this in hotels. I interacted with several front-desk clerks, the maintenance man, and several breakfast staff people. All were pleasant and went out of their way to help us.
Breakfast: the Fairfield advertises a hot breakfast, and they did have a very nice spread **when it was fully stocked.** The first morning we had to wait for a short time to have the eggs and sausage restocked, but the second day it was empty for the entire time we ate breakfast, well over 30 minutes. The attendant kept saying the eggs and sausage were cooking, but they never showed up. Otherwise, they have the now standard compliment of American hotel/motel breakfast offerings, from make-your-own waffles to cereals and some breads. For the size hotel they have, they need to figure out how to keep the hot food that they advertise actually stocked. We weren't the only people grumbling that it wasn't restocked. Also, they have a very nice, good-sized breakfast eating area, but not nearly enough tables to fit everyone who wanted to eat. Add some more tables, please!
Speaking of eating, be aware that if you are without a car the eating options in the area are limited. In the nearby Canal Place shops there is a very good, small pizza place that we can highly recommend. Surprisingly good pizza and a very friendly and accommodating owner. It also serves ice cream. Also in Canal Place is the "Crabby Pig," which we ate at the second night. We weren't too impressed by it, especially given the prices. My $20 steak was overcooked, for example. There are a few other restaurants in the old downtown district nearby, but all were closed on the Sunday we were there. Also nearby are a Wendy's and a Taco Bell. Queen City Creamery ice cream and deli is also not too far away.
Finally, about whether this hotel is bike-friendly: I give it a qualified "yes." For us, they were really helpful, allowing us to keep our 10-foot long triplet bike in one of their conference rooms for two nights, and not blinking an eye as we rolled it through the lobby. However, if the rooms were being used, we would have had to lock our bike outside all night to a small bike rack that they have on the side of the building. They have a good-sized concrete slab there, with the bike rack and a convenient hose setup as a "bike wash station" (nice touch!), but they really should have more secure facilities for bikers. Hopefully as they start to realize how much of their business comes from bikers, they will take this more seriously. Probably 1/3 of the cars in the lot had bikes on the back, and several more were locked outside. Just look at the reviews on TripAdvisor to see how many bikers stay there. I encourage the hotel to create some sort of covered, lockable storage area on the concrete slab outside. A simple roof with a lockable chain-link fence around it would show that they are serious about taking care of their bicycling guests.
Value-wise, I thought the prices were kind of high for the area, but they are competitive with the nearby (and much older) Holiday Inn. I guess it's location, location, location, as the Fairfield looked nearly full both nights we were there.
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- Also Known As:
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- Fairfield Inn & Suites Cumberland Hotel Cumberland