The Best Western Premier Ivy rates all the accolades it’s gotten since it opened. A lovely hotel, with sitting areas on each floor overlooking an atrium and a nice lobby seating area with a stone fireplace. We were upgraded to a “larger” handicapped king (desk clerk said all kings were handicapped), our first BW upgrade ever (perhaps because we recently found they would match status with other hotel programs and were upgraded from Gold to Diamond level based on my husband’s Platinum Marriott status). More amazing is that we got an upgrade even though we weren’t paying for the room but booked it with a free night we earned on an April promotion. (We’re used to upgrades, even on unpaid rooms, with Marriott Platinum and Hilton Gold but as I said, it has never happened with BW.)
The room was large and well appointed and, obviously, very new and clean. They use proximity sensor key cards and the “do not disturb sign” is a switch that turns on a red light outside the door. There is a nice [non-smoking] balcony with chairs that might have been more useful if it hadn’t been 40 degrees and very windy. There is a large desk, granite tops on dresser and night stands, microwave and fridge, plenty of lighting (6 lamps, 6 overhead recessed floods), plenty of outlets (including on desk) and both Wi-Fi and wired Internet. The bedding, including mattress, was far superior to any we’ve had in a Best Western. I discovered a window behind the sofa as we were leaving – and I kind of hated to leave, wished this had been a multi-night stay. Checkout is at noon. The only odd touch was the wood mix of the furniture – some was “contemporary hotel style” in medium fruitwood (oak?) color but there was a rustic knotty pine bench and a wardrobe with funky rippled doors; large wood panels behind the bed and desk were pine also. Since we never saw a “regular-sized” room, we can’t comment on those.
The bathroom was extremely large, probably about 7 x 12, and the handicapped features mostly consist of lower light switches and many grab bars in the long roll-in shower. The only drawback is that the walls are painted dark brown and deep burgundy, making it very dark, and since the light switch is lower than you expect, you wind up groping around a bit the first few times you turn it on. While the lighting in the shower is bright, the lights over the sink/vanity are not so bright and applying makeup required the lighted makeup mirror on the black granite counter. The floor tiles resemble short wood planks and extend into the long entrance foyer that runs alongside the bathroom. The towels are very thick and big and the bathmat is the cotton shag rug type. Most roll-in showers soak the bathroom floor but very little water escaped this one; the shower ran along the 7 ft. wall with an outside wall about 3 ½ ft. long, leaving an opening of 3 ½ ft. The showerhead was behind the wall and there was no curtain. The only flaw was that the soap ledges were at the far end from the showerhead, requiring that you walk out of the spray to reach the soap and shampoo. It would have been much better to put them at the other end.
We usually avoid hotel restaurants but decided to try this one since it was so windy, and also we had decided to watch the Emmys on TV since we had recently been to NY and seen some of the nominated shows. When we checked in, the woman at the desk said the restaurant was open until 10, so at 9:30 we went downstairs. We were seated promptly along with two other parties, but when the hostess handed us the menus, they were the “late night” bar menus that said “10-11PM”. When we asked about this, she said that the late menu started at 9 on Sunday. My husband commented that he wished we had been told this when we checked in. A couple of minutes later the hostess returned with the full menus and said the kitchen had agreed to take orders from the dinner menu. Then she went to the next table and told them they could order from the dinner menu. So while they seem to be still a bit in shakedown mode, they couldn’t be more accommodating. My husband and I had the same thing, a pasta dish that was okay but not remarkable; however, I think we made bad choices because we almost never order pasta and definitely never order the same thing – we usually pick two things that both of us like and trade.
Everyone was very friendly, cordial, and helpful. We never checked out facilities like a pool, workout room, business office. The hotel does not include breakfast and we did not eat there, so we can’t provide any information about the food or prices.
The only other discordant feature was an alarmingly unattractive, huge, seated grizzly sculpture outside – predominantly purple and gold. It took me a minute to realize it was one of those town sculpture-painting fund-raiser things like the cows in Chicago and the salmon in Anchorage. Seeing a few others as we left town confirmed this.
Since Best Western began categorizing the hotels, we have stayed in all three categories and often been mystified about them. But this "Premier" hotel was definitely top of the line. The most impressive BW we have ever seen, by far.
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