I recently spent two nights at the Hotel Ruby on a weekend trip to Spokane. The hotel is centrally located in downtown Spokane and within walking distance to shopping, sightseeing, and nightlife. While the design of the structure is indeed technically that of a motorlodge as some have criticized, the ownership is clearly focused upon making the property into a stylish, comfortable, and cozy boutique style hotel. I would say it is meeting those goals already and is only going to improve with the feedback of guests and as the hotel's own stated renovation plans continue.
The hotel is an L shaped structure with exterior room doors, corridors and stairwells. There is in fact an elevator though for those who have luggage to wrestle with. The parking lot is fenced and gated and I felt safe both in my room and parking my BMW in the lot for the weekend. I stayed in a single queen on the second floor above the lounge and lobby. When I tried to book a room online the system said there was not a vacancy for both nights I needed, but when I called the hotel directly the woman I spoke with could not have been nicer and found me a room. The AAA rate I got was very reasonable and less than half of that of the hotel Davenport across the street, parking included. The hotel does charge $5.00 per night for parking which is sort of unnecessary, but if I had to speculate as to the reasoning I would say they do so because of the limited number of parking spaces versus the number of rooms in the complex.
My room was like those depicted in the pictures. It had been repainted, refurnished and recarpeted. The light fixture was new. The bedding was new and comfortable. There were blackout drapes and a powerful wall heater. There was a nice flat screen television mounted on the wall. I used the in room fridge to store leftover takeout. There was also an iron and ironing board in the room. The hotel had information about local restaurants in the room and I had delivery from a restaurant brought right to my door. I liked the room a lot. I did see hard to reach dirt and dust in places, cracks, and under the bed that could have been nabbed with the right vacuum attachment and a few extra minutes of wiping down work by housekeeping, but overall the room was clean and cozy. The only thing that appeared not to have been renovated that I was going to mention is the shower and bathroom counter. The grout was worn and discolored in places and my bathroom counter was an orange formica probably installed when the building was new. Still the shower and tub functioned just fine however as did the entire bathroom. I would call this a mute point however because I was reading a response from management to another review that stated they are presently renovating all of the bathrooms in the building and have finished half of the rooms already. I merely must have just stayed in a room still on the list yet to be tackled. So, other than perhaps being a little more meticulous and detailed in their dusting and vacuuming I really had no complaints about my room whatsoever. The bed was comfortable and I slept deeply. Some reviewers have complained of noise from the lounge. In my case I actually stayed directly above the lounge. I was woken up once by loud shouting in the parking lot, but it quickly ended. Also, to be fair I had gone to sleep very early(The noise was at ten o'clock) due to business I had the following morning on Saturday. I would say if you are concerned about noise simply request a room on the opposite side of the complex away from the lounge. If I could offer one area of improvement to the management for the rooms it would be to provide dvd players, movie channels, and/or the option to purchase pay per view movies in the rooms. My room had cable, but it had no movie channels and only a small selection of basic channels at all.
Some reviewers have complained of sketchy characters in the lounge and the parking lot. I neither encountered nor saw any of this and believe me I am highly vigilent of such when I travel. I am a young, lean framed, gay hipster with piercings, tattoos and an outspoken manner of dress driving an expensive foreign car, I can easily be a target if I am not prudent. I never felt unsafe at the hotel. I even returned to the hotel at two a.m. on foot one evening and saw nothing. Yes, I saw transients on the streets of downtown Spokane at that hour, but nobody near the hotel or on the property. I drank in the lounge and enjoyed their mixed drinks on the menu. The bartender was nice and I found most of the characters I encountered to be merely hotel guests. There is a complimentary breakfast in the lounge every morning that does not have hot items such as scrambled eggs and bacon, but has everything else you might want. I enjoyed making waffles and sipping coffee.
In the end, other than constructive criticism about the bathrooms, which the hotel is already addressing and vigilent vacuuming I have no complaints about the Hotel Ruby. The staff were friendly and kind. The room was cute and cozy with character. I would recommend expanded television options. I would also suggest the hotel find a space to put in a small but well equipped fitness center. It would benefit from both of these suggestions substantially. For the amenities offered and the central location, at less than one hundred dollar per night, the Hotel Ruby really should be on your short list of considered hotels when visiting Spokane. I will definitely be back!