It would be easy to downgrade this hotel due to the inconvenience caused by the current major reconstruction project, but that would be unfair. Yes, there is noise, even at 6am. Yes, there is no lobby because that's part of the area being rebuilt. Yes, the breakfast space has been shoehorned into 3 small, cramped rooms. But this is a temporary situation and when I look at our 2 stays there in the past month, overall I have to give the management credit for their efforts and rate the hotel on its underlying strengths. For that it gets my thumbs up.
When we checked in, we found the staff helpful, prompt, efficient, friendly and informative. They gave us a good size king room which had a very comfortable bed - better than we have found at many HI Expresses. They also answered our questions about getting around the town and finding a place for dinner. And when we came back a second time, they made it a point to give us a room as far from the noise of construction as possible.
I also can't say enough about the service in the breakfast buffet. Service, you might ask? Who gets service at a HI Express buffet? Well, at Spokane you do. There were 2 or 3 people bustling around in what is clearly inadequate but temporary space, making sure the buffet was always full, helping guests find what they were looking for, even stopping by individual tables asking if they could bring anything over, such as extra butter. In particular, on both stays, we were hugely impressed by the woman who seemed to be in charge, Dzenana Prozorac, who went out of her way to greet guests and especially welcome the children in the room.
Finally, I really like the location of this hotel. It's on a hill that's a little bit isolated from the rest of downtown, but once across the street, you are in the middle of a bustling small city, starting with the town's Riverfront Park. After a day on the road, a chance to walk in the green of the park, follow the river and the falls, watch people, etc. is a welcome bit of relaxation. And across the park is the center of town, with restaurants and shopping. All of this is within 10 minutes easy walk from the hotel.
If I have a chance to go back to Spokane, I hope to stay here again and see the hotel after the remodeling is done. I'll bet my rating goes up then.