With all the negative reviews of varying states of cleanliness I'd been reading prior to our stay, needless to say I was a little hesitant. And trust me...pulling up to the hotel was not overly reassuring. HOWEVER, once inside I was a very happy customer.
When you first pull off of Rt. 91 the Clarion is located directly next to the exit. When you pull into Atwood drive you see what you think is a small, not very attractive looking hotel that's tucked behind a shut-down gas station. But the disappointment ended there for us. The lobby is very inviting and the front-desk was professional, efficient and very helpful.
Our room was located in the upper A wing, which was located just off the lobby. I took special note of the carpets since some reviewers mentioned stained carpeting, but I didn’t notice this at all. Before heading there, we visited my sister and her family in the indoor pool which was also located off the lobby. The pool looked clean and very inviting however I will say that there are rooms with balconies located right in that area so it could get very noisy for those rooms. The pool is open until 11 PM. We were only there for a 1 night stay so we didn't get to see the outdoor pool facilities, but heard they were just as nice.
Back to our room - 2 double beds. Average size, not huge but big enough and very clean, the only hint of 'mildew' that we got (as noted in some reviews) was the slight scent in 2 of the 8 pillows they provided (both feather down and imitation down). It really wasn't mildew, as far as I could tell. Just had the slight scent that I sometimes get when I've left my wash in the washing machine overnight (at which point I usually wash it again). At any rate, it wasn't a big deal as we didn't need all 8 pillows anyway. The bathrooms were very clean and the toiletries they provide you with were very nice. The furniture in the room (a desk, nightstand and a dresser) were actually very nice pieces...not your typical hotel furniture. The beds were comfy and the A/C cooled the room very nicely. We were in the front of the building so we weren’t near Rt. 91, but it was VERY quiet. My sister was closer to the highway and didn’t hear anything either.
Breakfast in the morning was just okay. Though the price was right...$5.95 for the cold breakfast buffet (cereal, pastries, toast, fruit) and $7.95 for the hot buffet (all of the above plus a make your own waffle station as well as oatmeal, hard boiled eggs, eggs made to order, home fries and 'breakfast meat of the day' which is actually served by a chef). It was quick and I think we could have presented our room card for an extra 20% off the bill. Upon checking in, the front-desk tells you that you get 20% off your bill at Montana’s when you present your keycard. We weren’t sure whether this applied to breakfast as well and we forgot to ask.
The bar looked nice and my husband and brother in law spent some time there watching a baseball game. The bartender even left the TV on for them when he closed up so they could just hang out.
Internet access - while we didn't use the wireless, there is a computer in the lobby that you can use along with a printer, which I thought was very nice. There is a 20 minute courtesy time limit. But if there's no one waiting they don't bother you at all.
Overall a very nice visit, though I will say I think we paid more than if we had waited until the last minute to just show up. We paid $119 + tax for one night through hotels.com. But we saw advertisements for $79 for the whole weekend while we were there. I'm fairly certain that was for last minute arrivals, and we wanted to make sure we had a hotel room so we booked ahead of time. When we got there they said they had plenty of room. So if you can stand to just wait you will probably get a better rate. There are other hotels in the area - the Howard Johnson down the road looked newer, but there's no reason we wouldn't go back to the Clarion. It is a college town so I’m sure that during typical college events (graduation, etc.) you would have to book ahead of time.
Lastly, the town is REALLY cute. Lots of little shops and restaurants. We ate at Fitzwilly's mainly because it looked like it had something for everyone and the appetizers looked a little different. But there are plenty of places, so take some time and walk around to look at the different menus. If you have a car, and have time take a ride to Mt. Tom's Homemade Ice Cream on Cottage St. in Easthampton. It’s a really easy drive and the owner, Jim makes AMAZING ice cream in a HUGE variety of classic and unique flavors.
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- Also Known As:
- Clarion Hotel And Conference Center
- Clarion Northampton
- Northampton Clarion
- Clarion Hotel Northampton