Back again for another round...and...ok, not as GREAT as last time - but not that bad, either...
Yes, tremendous changes have been made at this location, mostly affecting the front Lobby and dining areas, and I must say, these changes are dramatic! The Lobby is now on the 2nd floor, facing the west, and is very well appointed. It looks very nice, shiny and fresh. Of course, with the fresh, popped, popcorn smell waffing through the air as you check-in, how could you go wrong?!
Check-in was easy, and we were afforded a slight "upgrade" because of our Gold Key status. We booked well in advance, took advantage of the "Web Rate", and were glad we did: we were paying HALF of what most others we understand were. We were in at $76/night for a King room, and were upgraded to a double-suite for the same price.
The room, however, (and as many have commented on before), needs some serious updating. We found it (grossly) ironic that as we enter the room and are overcome with the stench of cigarette smoke, a sign on the little round table in the room indicates, "You will be charged a $250 cleaning fee for smoking in this room. Thank you for keeping this room smoke-free". Riiiiiiiiiiiiight! Oh my gosh it was AWFUL! However, after a few minutes, the effects of the 2nd hand smoke have taken ahold, and you almost get used to it. I mentioned this to the Front Desk Management who offered to "mask" the stench with a spray, but I declined - so the onus, I suppose, is on me. It just would've been nice if I hadn't had to smell it in the first place.
As is Drury's continued promise of the "Extras aren't extra", the food still continues to flow. Morning and Night. We took full advantage of the 5:30 Kickback, with the first night's offerings of: salad, potatoes, meatballs (not advertised!), hot dogs, mac/cheese, chedder cheese soup, pretzels, nacho chips, regular chips, SODA, salsa, celery/carrots, and so on. Seriously...if you're not afraid of the sodium and carbo explosion, heck, save yourself a few bucks and enjoy the food here.
Of course, for those that par-take in alcoholic beverages, don't forget about your 3-a-night punch-card, that gets you 3 alcoholic beverages per-adult! It looked really popular - however, since I don't drink alcohol, I wasn't able to accurately experience the benefit. My daughter, did however, enjoy her Shirley Temples, as usual.
Sure, it gets busy, but they keep bringing the food out, and never run out. And when you're done with all that salty, good stuff, have a bowl-full, or cone-full, of their chocolate, vanilla, or mixed ice-cream composite. It's kind of like the ice-cream you get at SouperSalad, or Sweet Tomatoes, Chinese buffets, etc. But, you're going to appreciate the "cleansing the palate" this has on you, that you actually enjoy it! And, it was enjoyable - don't get me wrong - I'm definitely not knocking the stuff. :)
With all that food down the hatch, who needs dinner now? Myself and my daughter ate enough to definitely get us through until next mornings' buffet hot breakfast, and with the sodas and popcorn flowing until 10, you are SET!
Parking is in a garage shared with the Holiday Inn next door. It seemed pretty safe, well-lit in most areas. Has a need for a passcode to get IN and to get OUT...
The pool and hot-tub were well attended by the guests of the hotel, and it looked to be well cared-for. In fact, I think I recognize the maintenance staff here who've been here for quite some time now. They seem to actually enjoy their job, which makes their productivity that much better.
Breakfast (yep, back to food again...why not, I'm a guy!)...was full of the usual carbo-sodium-n-fattening necessities of any morning routine. :) And it was all so yummy! Bagels, bread, 4 waffle makers, donuts, eggs, sausage patties, breakfast fried potatoes (oh my gosh those were good), biscuits, gravy, condiments for making quick Migas, dry cereals, cooked and dry oats, yogurt, oranges, bananas, orange and apple juices, even soda! Hmmm...what have I missed? :)
(running out of space on this review I see...)
Short of some noisey kids running the halls for some time, I think our overall experience was a decent one, and if you're open-minded like we are, and not "stuffy" about places like this, then this hotel will probably be more than adequate. It's location next to the airport, and off of 410, make it strategically smart for getting to all the various tourist traps and malls (Northcross is literally a 1 minute drive down the service road!).
Can't wait to get back here! Think I'll go book our next weekend getaway right now...
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.