First of all, I will say one nice thing about this hotel. The staff was very friendly and responsive to all our needs, even if they weren't always competent. For those readers who don't want to read the rest of the review, I can summarize my opinion as: This hotel is a terrible value and probably only stays in business due to being close to the airport. We only stayed here because we had a flight that left from Milwaukee at 5:50 am, so we wanted to be as close to the airport as possible.
I understand that when staying near an airport you're paying for convenience. Thus, I expect to pay more for generally less quality than a hotel located elsewhere. That being said, this Clarion is really pushing it by betting that they can pretty much let everything else go and still rely on proximity to the airport being enough to keep them afloat. For what they charge I would expect at least decently clean rooms and something bette than an overall feeling of disgust.
The first thing you'll notice when entering this hotel is that although it is now a smoke-free facility, it definitely allowed smoking at one time. Everywhere you go in this hotel smells like smoke and when we first entered our room, the smell was overwhelming. We actually ended up switching rooms as our first room was located near some kind of a generator or air handling unit, and there was a constant humming noise that was giving my wife a headache. It was so bad that we couldn't even stand to be in the room while we were changing clothes. As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the one good thing was that the staff immediately gave us another room without question. When we arrived at the second room we were first greeted by an even more overwhelming smoke smell. This room smelled very strongly like cheap cigars and pipe tobacco when we first entered. We found that the smell was most strongly concentrated by the entrance/bathroom, and didn't smell as bad near the bed. Speaking of the bed, that brings me to my next point.
We inspected the bed and it seemed obvious that the sheets had not been changed. The fitted sheet on the mattress looked inside out, and our first thought was that the sheet had simply been flipped over but not changed. When I removed the covers, I discovered hairs on the bed sheets. I did not sit on the bed or lie on it until the linens were changed. I called the front desk and asked for all new bedding materials. Although they were happy to oblige, it took three calls to get everything. The first time, they only brought sheets. The second time, they brought blankets and pillow cases. The third time we asked for a fitted sheet, but got another non-fitted sheet instead. We decided that this was good enough and stripped the bed of the old sheets and blankets and put on the new ones.
Other than the specifics I mentioned, the overall impression was that this hotel was neglected. I literally felt like I was at a cheap roadside motel that we used to stay at as a kid during family road trips in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Walking through the halls to our room I noticed that the decor was very outdated. All the appliances and vending/ice machines were covered with old-school drab wood paneling, the carpets looked worn out and were likely the cause of the pungent smoke smell, and I don't know how else to describe it other than there was a generally depressing feel to this hotel. The television and mini-fridge in the room seemed more up to date and there was free Wi-fi, which is always a bonus.
We booked this hotel on Expedia using their "Unpublished rates" option, which could be another review in and of itself. Suffice it to say that we felt like the price we paid given the quality of the hotel (even with being located close to the airport) was a really bad value. We will never stay at this hotel again.
Avoid room 234 if at all possible. This is the room we were first assigned that had the terrible hum...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.