When we're in the area, we book The Courtyard by Marriott which is right down the street from the Country Inn and Suites. However, much to our surprise, it was booked solid for the dates we wanted. So, the Country Inn and Suites became our second choice. We have Marriott Rewards and have gotten used to the fact that all Marriotts are smoke free. When I booked the Country Inn and Suites I almost forgot to make sure that we got a non-smoking room. Of course, all the cheapest non-smoking rooms were booked so we booked a suite.
What we liked that was better than the Courtyard:
1) Full free breakfast. At the Courtyard, unless you pay extra for a breakfast included package, you have to pay for breakfast. Of course, it's not cheap nor is it something to write home about. At the Country Inn, breakfast was okay and edible. Each day, there were scrambled eggs. Some days there were sausages, other days either diced ham or bacon. Some days there are home fries, other days, not. There are hot and cold cereals plus a make your own waffles station. Also, every day breakfast is served until 10 a.m while the Courtyard stops breakfast at 9:30 a.m. on weekdays.
2) Every room has a tub in the bathroom. Some of the rooms in the Courtyard have shower stalls. The water pressure at the Country Inn and Suites was excellent! Plus the knobs for the shower were very straight forward and uncomplicated.
3) The Courtyard is very close to freight train tracks while the Country Inn and Suites is far enough away to not hear any train noise.
4) The Country Inn and Suites is closer to the Wyomissing Boulevard interchange for Route 422 which made coming and going much easier.
What we didn't like:
1) The area by all the side entrances was not well lighted. Plus, if you return to the hotel after 11 p.m. you either have to use the side entrances or pick up the house phone by the front door, dial "0" and tell the person on the other end what your room number was. We tried that and were told that someone would be downstairs in a minute to let us in. After waiting several minutes, we had to use the side door.
2) The room card key can easily get deactivated. We were told that this can happen if it is kept too close to your cell phone. That never happened to us before at any hotel!
3) We found the bed to be too soft---softer than the ones at the Courtyard. That said, we prefer a firmer bed but realize that that is our preference.
4) The immediate area around the hotel is rather desolate. We had a view of the defunct TGI Fridays across the street. Next to the hotel, is an all but abandoned parking lot for the outlet stores that is weedy and overgrown.
Overall, the staff is friendly and helpful for the most part. One day, the maid forgot to give us a new box of tissues. I went to the front desk and was given 2 boxes plus an apology. The rooms are kept properly cleaned.
Some people think that this hotel is looking tired. I wonder if that is more of a reflection of the decor theme. As it is called Country Inn and Suites, an effort is made to have a country feel to the rooms. I suspect it can be difficult to balance new and modern with a country motif. That said, the furnishings in our suite were in very good condition. The 2 TVs were new flat screen ones. We were pleased to find a small fridge plus a microwave oven in the suite.
While we will always prefer the Courtyard and accumulating more Marriott Rewards points, we would book the Country Inn and Suites again if the Courtyard is booked solid.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.