First of all, call the 800 # in advance to set up your reservation, prices are MUCH cheaper, especially if you google for specials in advance. Sometimes they offer discounts for educators, military families, etc if you can catch the 'sales'. I signed up for the free Redi-Card and get specials in email.
This is an economy style hotel (I usually manage to get the room for well under $40/night) so dont expect to get the same amenties as you would staying at a $150/night hotel. The rooms are efficiently sized, so if all you need is a place to sleep, its great. If you're planning a comfy week or two with family? maybe shop around for something else. LaQuinta and Holiday Inn are right nearby. I havent stayed at those hotels though. This Red Roof inn is no-frills.
Generally I reserve a standard king smoking room, which is generally on the bottom floor. Yes, these rooms smell of cigarettes, but I expect that so I generally air the room abit upon arrival. Sometimes the edges of the rooms arent as clean as I think they could be but whenever I've stayed the linens have been clean, the bathrooms have been clean, and there have always been 2 sets of towels, handtowels, and washcloths. They generally include one "facial" soap by the sink, along with an ice bucket with 1 xtra plastic trashbag like liner, 4 plastic disposable cups that are individually wrapped, and a small thing of tissues. In the bathroom i've always found a full roll of toilet paper, and 1 bar of bathsoap and 1 squeezy tube of shampoo. I never use the included stuff, I always bring my own.
I generally ask for an extra set of towels upon arrival. They dont have extra pillows from the front desk so you have to find someone in housekeeping or talk the front desk person into going into the laundry to get you an extra pillow or blanket if you need it.
AC always has worked fine for me. Heater, is abit tricky - the controls are worn out and the heater is generally mounted near the ceiling, and when you turn it on to heat the room it does make odd ticking noises.
Rooms on the backside of the 2nd building are very quiet. I've never used the pool but it appears to be clean and well kept when I've stayed there before. I have noticed that the houskeeping staff in the 1st building seem to do a much better job at cleaning than the staff who take care of the 2nd building. But, if the room isnt to your liking if you go and talk to the front desk person they'll usually satisfy your needs.
I have always found housekeeping and front desk staff to be incredibly professional and well mannered, willing to go out of their way to help with anything that is needed.
With the standard room, it doesnt come with inclusive internet so you login to t-mobile (its a hotspot) and get internet for an additional $8/24 hr service. Best service for the wifi there is in the 2nd building past the pool or backside of the first building nearest the pool. This past weekend I stayed on the left side of the hotel and while internet worked, it did keep going in/out and I kept having to login to the t-mobile site to reestablish the connection :( previous times, on the other side of the building, I had great wireless service.
Watch your bill. Make a point to check out at the front desk instead of just leaving your keys in the room and disappearing. Remember to tell them that you didnt need to use the safe and to remove that from your bill (its an additional $1.50 extra + tax if you dont). Ensure that you had a reservation in advance with a guaranteed quote and that they give you the price you were quoted.
I have only once had them try to argue with me on the price, since then I make a point to take a copy of the emailed confirmation of the quoted price with me, or have it on my cellfone, to prove it. Coincidence? I had a problem once with the girl arguing w/me about the quoted price, proved it with my email on my cell, she DID adjust the price but she wasnt happy to have to do that, and seemed much more interested in what was going on on her personal cell fone at the time rather than wanting to deal with my issue - so, I made a point to call both the 800 # and the manager of the hotel about that during weekday hours after I returned home and (nicely) complained about it... I havent seen that employee there on any of my later visits, and I had my internet comp'd for a future visit.
It might be worth mentioning that if you have a multi-night stay and you cancel one of the nights AND that happens over a weekend, they put a "hold" on your card for the full amount until the night auditor has a chance to send in the actual charge to your bank. It will sometimes take up to 3 days to post, but usually its within a day or two. So, depending on your finances, you may need to adjust or plan accordingly.
The hotel is located NOT on the beach (I've seen some people fussing about location not being that close to VaBeach but they obviously didnt googlemap stuff to find out)... however it is within 15 mins of just about everything - downtown norfolk, downtown vabeach, lots of beach access all up and down vabeach, norfolk, the military bases, etc. I think its conveniently located and there are a myriad of restaurant, entertainment, and shopping choices all within 15-20 min drive.
Its a place I go back to, and will continue to do so, and would recommend it to people who need to go there and would rather save $ than spend it on extravagant luxuries. If you want closer to the naval base and you want most comfy beds and lots of really great amenities chk out the Hampton Inn on Hampton Road, its right outside gate 1, but its 3x as much as this Red Roof Inn.
Granted, its not the best of the hotels in the area that I've stayed at, but for an economy hotel... I cant complain :)
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