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Reviewed August 27, 2012

The first point of frustration is the complete lack of signage. There was no sign for this HIE visible from the Interstate, nor was there any sign indicating "Holiday Inn Express This Way --->" on the main street off of which the hotel can be found, nor (surprisingly) even **at the entrance to the hotel** from the side street where their website's directions indicate the hotel can be found. Google Maps was of no assistance in that regard which added a layer of frustration, though the hotel cannot be held accountable for Google Maps' navigational shortcomings.

We arrived at the HIE - Scottsburg around 9:00 PM after a long day of driving, but not so late that it would have been unreasonable to expect they'd still have some of their customary cookies available. I was told that they stopped putting cookies out at 7:00 PM. Disappointment #1 but a small one.

To their credit, our room was ready and we were able to check in without any trouble. Parking was convenient to the location of the room.

Disappointment #2 -- Our room was extremely musty -- damp with a faint odor of mildew in the air -- and in dire need of airing out. I recommend that housekeeping either use an electric dehumidifier regularly in the downstairs rooms or install buckets of DampRid (or similar product) in rooms while they are not in use to help minimize the musty odor.

Disappointment #3 -- While I appreciate the three layers of curtains (light-blocking closest to the window, sheer in the middle, and decorative fabric facing the room), NONE of them could be closed without completely blocking the flow of air from the air conditioning unit which was directly below the window. I ended up leaving the decorative and sheer curtains open and bunching the light-blocking curtains up on top of the windowsill so that we could have some privacy and still allow the AC to cool the room down and dry out the air a bit.

Is it really so complicated to have curtains made that are the proper length for the window?

Disappointment #4 - Fitness Center: I work out regularly at my local gym and try to maintain my fitness routine when I'm on the road. It was disappointing to me that the HIE fitness center did not have even a basic set of free weights or a basic universal weight machine (if they are worried about the weights wandering off with light-fingered guests). These machines are very affordable these days (under $300) and available from a wide variety of general merchandise stores.

Even more disappointing to me than this, though, was the fact that there were only two treadmills and one of them (ironically, the newer of the two) did not work. It would turn on and off and grudgingly, laconically run at the lowest speed, but neither the speed nor the elevation features could be adjusted. I tried every possible combination of buttons to no avail.

The older of the two machines actually did work -- speed and elevation could be adjusted -- but this second treadmill was so old it was quite literally rusty and creaky, and had been used so many times the lettering had worn off the buttons. Another minus was that it had no cup holder, so I ended up using a damp towel on the flat part of the control panel to hold my water bottle in place. IMO, there is no excuse to have a fitness center with broken equipment in it. Either get it fixed or replace it with something that does work. I know these machines are expensive, but it's a HUGE value-add for a customer like me, and to have to spend 15 minutes of the time I have budgeted for my workout futzing around with the equipment trying to get it to work is frustrating. The hotel should have budget set aside for replacing fitness center equipment every 5 years or so so as to prevent this from ever becoming an issue.

To add insult to injury, there was NO AIR CIRCULATING in the tiny room that serves as the fitness center. By the time I was 45 minutes into my workout it was like a sauna. I had to ask the front desk clerk if I could prop the door open so as to let in cooler air from the lobby area. The one pitiful little oscillating fan they had in the room did not, to the best of my ability to discern, actually move much air, despite what appeared to be energetic spinning. I held my damp hand up against where the air should have been blowing and... little or no air blowing.

The breakfast was mediocre at best. I did not try the eggs because my son ate earlier and said that both the eggs and the 1% milk in cartons "tasted funny." Eggs and milk are two of his favorite breakfast foods, so that warned me away from even trying them. My yogurt was fine, though it was a bit tepid, temperature-wise. The cinnamon rolls looked and smelled delicious, so I grabbed one expecting a real treat. Unfortunately, like everything else at this HIE, it was just...a little bit off. Hard to define how except that perhaps it did not have any of the crispness at the edges that a real cinnamon roll would have, and the flavor was somehow not...fresh (too many preservatives or other artificial ingredients? or perhaps it sat too long under the heat lamp covered by that plastic cap? something that is bound to be leaking carcinogens into whatever it touches when it's warmed like that, btw...)

The worst disappointment of all, though, came when I returned to our room. As I turned back the sheet to sit down and take my shoes off, there, plain as day, was a bedbug. Fortunately this one was dead, but even so -- ick. After my son got up to take his shower, I decided to check his sheets and mattress to see if there were any more. Sure enough, there was a fat little bedbug -- this one very much ALIVE -- snuggled into the trim at the top edge of his mattress, and yet *another* bedbug that had been crushed (EW!) against the fitted sheet.

To their credit, the head housekeeper was very apologetic, and the hotel refunded the cost of my one-night stay in full.

The staff were all very nice, and I do believe they are trying hard to do their jobs well, but I suspect they could all use a little more training and polish in terms of how they respond to the various disappointments listed there above. I was disappointed that, while the General Manager did offer his apologies through the staff member who presented me with my revised bill, he has not called me as the staff member indicated he would. It has been over 24 hours since we checked out. Surely there has been opportunity in that time for a phone call to a dissatisfied customer?

In any case, I really hope this HIE gets its act together because I think it has potential, and I think the staff deserve to get the training they need to deliver *polished* customer service, even in the face of so many things going wrong. (Hint: *Start* with the apology, then *ask* "What can we do to make this up to you?")

Room Tip: Check for bedbugs - in between all layers of sheets and bedding AND between mattress and box springs! Also recommend an upstairs room as I'm guessing they are less likely to be musty than the ground-floor rooms.
  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank fyrewede2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express and Suites Scottsburg, responded to this reviewResponded September 13, 2012

Dear fyrewede2,

Thank you for leaving a comprehensive review of your recent stay at our Holiday Inn Express. It is our goal to consistently provide superior service and accommodations and your comments are very important to us. Please accept my sincere apologies for any inconvenience you experienced during your stay. I have taken note of your comments regarding housekeeping, the facilities and breakfast. Rest assured this will be addressed with the proper departments.

Again, thank you for your feedback. We hope that you give us another chance to change your perception of our hotel.

Sincerely,

Connie D
Case Manager
IHGCare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2012

When I travel for work I am looking for the basics in a room; many of which were not met at this location. The room was dusty, the remote and TV guide (that is laminated) was dirty. Also, the small blanket they put on the end of the bed was soiled with hair on the bed. Good news, the room was not musty. If traveling through the area again, I would try another hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank fgr8out
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
IHGCare, Guest Relations Manager at Holiday Inn Express and Suites Scottsburg, responded to this reviewResponded July 23, 2012

Dear fgr8out,

Thank you for taking time to post your review. I am glad you found our staff service satisfactory. I want to assure you we work very hard to ensure our facilities are superior and we strive to be the best Holiday Inn Express around. Please accept my sincerest apology for falling short of your expectations on this day, especially with the room's cleanliness.

I appreciate your feedback as this is our best resource of improving guest services.

Sincerely,

Pam G.
Case Manager
IHGCare

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2012

Stayed here for one night. Room was clean and nice. Pool was warm and clean. Nice hot breakfast. Reasonable rates.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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3  Thank Cindy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 15, 2012

Staff was very friendly and welcoming. They had me checked in very quickly. I'm not a smoker, but was put in a smoking room. As soon as I opened the door I was hit with a whiff of stale stench. I couldn't figure out what it was until I walked further into the room and noticed the ashtrays with matches set out on the bedside table, office table and bathroom. I have no problem with smokers by the way, but I just don't want to have to stay in a room that smells like that. Further, I'm not even sure that they washed the pillow cases. I picked up all 8 pillows and they all smelled like different people's odor. Gross. No pillow for me tonight! Again, I would highly recommend it for the staff, they were great, but the room I was in was not good.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Chad C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 12, 2012

We stayed here for Superbowl weekend in Feb. 2012. This was one of the few hotels in Indiana that didn’t gouge guests (although it was about 90 mins away from Indianapolis). All in all, it was a great deal.

The room was a little on the small side. The TV was a small tube (non-HD); it’s amazing to me how many hotels don’t have flatscreen TVs these days. Not a lot of amenities (e.g., no lotions, no mouthwash, no fridge, no on-site restaurant). A/C-heater was one of those box devices; not a thermostat. But it worked fine. Lots of lighting in the room, which was very clean.

Location is fantastic: 30 seconds off of I-65 (even though you’re so close to the highway, the noise was non-existent), 24-hour Walmart and many restaurants within a mile.
Breakfast buffet was outstanding—nice automatic pancake maker, eggs, muffins, yogurts, cereal, biscuits, juice, etc. All free. My one complaint was that it ends so early (9:30 weekdays/ 10 weekends). However, we came about 10 minutes late one day, and a very friendly hotel worker brought back out all of the food for us. In fact, all of the staff were very friendly.

Indoor pool was nice, though a little cool (no hot tub). Gym is a little small but open 24 hours.
For some reason, we did not get housekeeping service one of the three days—and the front desk wasn’t particularly upset when we informed them.

Parking is plentiful and free.

Bottom line is this hotel was ~$80 superbowl weekend, where Econolodges were charging $700/night. It’s not the 4 Seasons, but an outstanding deal for the price they charge. Absolutely would recommend this hotel for a traveler in the area.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank WOScott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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