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“Clean, creepy, creaky, claustrophobic and "WHOOSH!"”

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Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn
Ranked #5 of 51 Hotels in Billings
Certificate of Excellence
Illinois
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Clean, creepy, creaky, claustrophobic and "WHOOSH!"”
Reviewed June 6, 2011

Clean room ( bath, furniture, beds, frig), clean parking lot, clean office. The establishment is taken care of.
Clean, but dingy and worn. Room rug was clean, but stained and worn; large wine stain located on the way to the bath.

Creepy environment. This hotel is a motel and should be presented as such. The establishment is made up of several 2 story buildings with direct to the outside room entrances. If we had known this, we never would have booked this place. We find outside facing entrances creepy, along with the list of traveler "don'ts" that is provided to guests. Also creepy is how dark the room was. Obviously, since the room faces outside, the drapes can't be opened unless you want to be on display to any passer-bys. Given this restriction, one would hope for a brightly painted room with bright lighting, wrong! Although the room was fairly recently painted, one wall was painted a dark brown, and the lighting didn't offset the dark paint. Just depressing.

Creaky floor. The establishment is old, and our room came complete with a creaky floor, the entire floor. No way one could sneak to use that incredible toilet (mentioned later) with that floor. Also, the floor had a noticeable tilt toward the room entrance.

Claustrophobic. The room was just plain small. Very cramped for two people. Two double beds, a night stand, a small chair, a small desk , a refrigerator and a dresser that supported a HUGE TV, is just too much for the room. Biggest TV I have ever seen in a motel room. It was either a 40" or 42". The size of it just made a small room look smaller. Just too much for a room that is, at best, 12' wide.

More on the TV. Had what was called a "clean" remote. Remote was wrapped in plastic. It is more than clean, it is stripped. Allows control of channels, sound and "on/off", that's it, all other functions disabled. Want to review some of the videos or pictures you have taken over the last few days, wait until you get home. Want to use the "menu" button on the TV in order to circumvent the limited remote, forget it, that is also disabled.

"WHOOSH!". The room had the most impressive toilet I have ever experienced. The first time I flushed it, I was absolutely startled by the sound and the apparent power of the flush. I told my wife to make sure she stood clear of the toilet when she flushed, otherwise I might have to report her as "missing". Not a complaint, just a statement. I may forget the cleanliness of the establishment, the creepy, creaky and claustrophobic room, but I will never forget the "WHOOSH!".

Bottom line. Would I stay at the BW PLUS ClockTower Inn again? Not if I could help it, it just isn't my type of place.
Would I recommend to others? Yes, with qualifications. If you don't mind the the outside entrance to the rooms, if you don't have to share the limited space with someone else and if you don't mind the darkness of the rooms, then I think it is a fine place. Clean, well taken care of, comfortable beds and pillows and it was quiet.

My biggest complaint is that it is a motel, and should be presented as such.

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank mlrwerks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
In-House_Coordinator, Owner at Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn, responded to this review, June 8, 2011
Thank you for taking the time and effort to write a review. I am sorry your overall experience was not what you had intended. Our property is of the motel style and while a majority of our rooms are direct to outside rooms we do also offer areas of the hotel which are open to air doors but are located in a secure area which you need a key to get into and are located on the 2nd and 3rd floor above our covered garage. Also for guests who wish to have indoor hallways we do offer secured hallway on the 2nd floor of our building which once again requires a key to enter. We offer these different room types so guests can choose which type they prefer unless booked through a third party.
While some of our rooms are smaller than others they all fall within the average hotel room size around 350 square feet. Our Tv’s are all 42” flat screen TV’s which is operated by a clean remote. Remotes are considered to be one of the dirtiest places in a hotel room because of all the cracks and crevasses. In order to combat that our clean remotes have absolutely no cracks or crevasses allowing us to clean the remote thoroughly.
In order to keep up with our ultra clean standards we are in the process of repainting all our rooms and replacing our carpet to modern carpet tiles.

Steve Wahrlich
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (131)
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English first
Cheyenne, Wyoming
1 review
Reviewed May 16, 2011

WOW!!
The team here really understands and executes great guest service. I am looking forward to my next return. There is always a smiling face to make you feel appreciated.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruben1974_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
lancashire, uk
Level Contributor
17 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 18, 2011

Date of stay October 2009

We used this hotel as a stop off on our way into Yellowstone National Park. This was the only “chain” hotel we stayed in during our 6 week holiday and it was fine. Location was on the edge of town but room did include local takeaway menus that delivered to the motel.

Room was very comfortable and the bathroom was magic

There was a problem with our booking owing to problems with expedia but the staff took it upon themselves to sort this for us and cleared up the confusion.

Restaurant attached to the motel offered superb breakfast.

Owing to the weather conditions, the staff offered advice on getting to Yellowstone. They gave details of where to find hotels should we need to stop and even said that they would find us a room if we had turn back.

  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank eds31
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
In-House_Coordinator, Director of Sales at Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn, responded to this review, April 26, 2011
I am glad you gave our property a chance. I am also pleased to hear you were pleased with your stay. Though we have the Best Western "flag" we are a family owned property with one of the owners managing the property which helps us provide the service of an independent hotel. Expedia is a great tool and sometimes errors happen as they are a "middle man" and am glad our staff took it upon themselves to turn a possible negative into a positive experience. Our staff is very well aware of the wonderful weather which can occur during your travels through MT and are more than glad to help get you were you need to go as quickly and safely as possible. Lastly we are always updating rooms and we are glad you noticed our upgraded showers and bathrooms.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fishing Creek, Maryland
Level Contributor
69 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2011

I went to Rocky Mountain College and I stayed at the Clock Tower Inn most recently in the midst of a long cross-country road trip when I was in Billings to see old school friends. I had stayed here many years ago when I was a wide-eyed prospective student coming in to Rocky and they took care of me then, just like they took care of me on this trip.

For those who were expecting the Crowne Plaza next door, it's not that. It doesn't try to be that. It's comfortable, cozy, and a place to sleep without breaking the bank while still being convenient to most of the businesses and entertainment venues in Billings. If you're coming to Billings looking to live it up, quite frankly, you need a reality check. This is the kind of place where a shined belt buckle constitutes Sunday best. The pool in the center of the hotel is a nice touch and good on those HOT (and yes, summers in Montana can be scorching dry heat) summer days. It's ideal if you have a family.

The rooms are always clean. Every time I've stayed here, they've always been clean. The beds are always comfortable, and despite being downtown, you won't get too much noise at all. The TV works, you can get pizza delivered in your room quickly if you don't feel like going out, and everyone--including the housekeeping staff--are ultra friendly and go out of their way to make you feel welcome.

When I graduated from Rocky, a couple of my friends who came out stayed here and they were also taken great care of--I remember that morning, I was too busy to go and drive people around, and the hotel took them up to the college FOR FREE. Just helping out. Above and beyond. That's the service level I saw was still present this past summer.

As for the location, sure. Downtown Billings is sketchy as all heck, and no one can deny that. DO NOT, for the love of God, take night walks south of the train tracks, or several blocks to the east. However, during the day and the early evening, you'll never have a problem anywhere you are in Billings. The SPECIFIC area of downtown that the hotel is in is JUST FINE--never heard of one problem in that area. The only good restaurants in Billings (unless you're the sort who prefers chains to original menus) are within walking distance. You absolutely don't need a car if you stay here, and this isn't the sort of city where that's usually at all practical.

A note about Stella's--the BEST cinnamon rolls you'll find in Billings. DO IT! You won't be sorry!

The only reason I gave the Clock Tower Inn four out of five instead of a perfect five is that I'm not a HUGE fan of the location, but four years in Billings and you'd have more prejudice towards Downtown, too. The first time I ever came, I loved it. You might too. As for the hotel itself, if you don't need high tea at 4, a butler, and a turn-down service in order to properly sleep, you shouldn't have a problem.

Addressing some of the other reviews I found, I couldn't help but laugh--although I hope no one thinks I'm picking on them, because I'm not. As for drunks in Billings, yeah, that's what the city is famous for! Third drunkest city in America according to Men's Health magazine. Sometimes when you travel, you actually have to absorb some of the local color. If you hate that and can't stand the thought of drunks carousing late at night, I hear Provo, Utah's got you covered.

Billings is a good little town that has its struggles like anywhere else, but it's pretty safe compared with cities on the coasts and in the Rust Belt, and I highly doubt anyone has ever felt too threatened at the Clock Tower. Not sure what my reviews are worth, but after four years of getting to know that town inside and out, it's still a happy sight and brings back good memories after a long day out on the highway. I guess that's the best recommendation I could ever give a place.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank ESVASpiderTerp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2011

Overall fantastic and would recommend it to anyone.service was very friendly and helpful. Various restaurants, gas stations,etc within walking distance, and you will feel safe getting to any of them. Great breakfast in the restaurant within the same parking lot which we highly recommend ( get a cinnamon bun!) rooms were comfortable, spotless, new, with wifi, large flat screen and incredibly comfortable pillows and sheets. Wish I could stay there every night of our trip! If you are in Billings, you've got to stay here!

  • Stayed March 2011
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Newfukie2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, MT
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed March 3, 2011

Billings is the "hub" of eastern Montana so we travel there 4 to 5 times a year just to get away from life on the prairie. We usually stay on the west side of town near all the newer shopping areas. This trip, however, was to attend a concert at the Alberta Bair Theatre (and to visit our son who attends MSU-B), so we were looking for a nice place downtown. We definitely found it! I was conveniently located just a couple of blocks from the theatre so we were able to walk.

An added bonus was Stella's Kitchen right next door....great breakfast! Dont forget to show your room key if you eat there for a 10% discount. The covered parking was nice, too.

I would definitely recommend this place!

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank BurtBurleson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Germany
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 28, 2011

Yes, we got the room by bidding on a well-known website.
The rule is, that the hotel must ensure that two guests can properly sleep in the room.
Normally, you get two twin beds - or a large queen bed.
This was not the case in this Best Western property.

They put us in a very small room, and gave us a tiny bed. I complained and they offered an upgrade for 20 dollars extra.
Yeah ... right.
I could not understand that kind of behavior - even though we got the room via priceline, they could have offered us a room in which two persons could easily fit- without letting us pay extra. This is not very customer-friendly.

I also didn´t like the location in Billings. It´s downtown, but very close to the Greyhound Station - which might not be the best place in town.

The rooms were clean and tidy. No complaints about that. The outside appearance of the hotel reminded me on a run-down motel. Not very nice.
Check-in personal was average friendly.

Nevertheless - due to the fact that the room (and bed) was extremely small for two persons, I would never stay there again.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank wildskier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
In-House_Coordinator, Manager at Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn, responded to this review, March 3, 2011
I am very sorry about the misunderstanding about what constitutes a room which sleeps two people comfortably. According to the online travel agent mentioned (OTA) two people sleeping comfortably is one bed. We contacted the OTA to verify that policy. They stated they only guaranteed 1 bed per two people and it was the guest who booked the room to make any special arrangements such as handicap, second floor, or two beds and could not be guaranteed prior to purchase. We are in the middle of deep cleaning many of our rooms to maintain our superior cleanliness with many of our rooms with double bed size rooms out of service. After talking with the front desk the upgrade was not only for a room with two beds rather it was for two double queens which are regularly higher than a single queen or room with two double beds.
I am sorry you did not enjoy the atmosphere of Downtown Billings. Downtown Billings is considered the safest area of Billings with the police and sheriff’s department only 2 blocks away. We are sorry you disliked there was a bus station half a block away; I can assure you they are just normal people who either can't afford to fly or choose not to.
As for the appearance of the hotel from the exterior; it is very difficult in the winter to have our spring and summer flowers as well as all the plants we bring in bringing in a very nice atmosphere. we are sorry you couldn't see it during the summer as our $1.5 million dollar exterior renovation doesn't really shine.
We try to provide the best experience possible while also following the guidelines of the (OTA); we are happy to work with guests when we can. If you had called prior to arrival we might have been able to make arrangements or at the very least notified you of the correct policy.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn

Property: Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn
Address: 2511 1st Avenue N, Billings, MT 59101-2320 (Formerly BEST WESTERN PLUS ClockTower Inn)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Montana > Billings
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Business Hotel in Billings
#8 Family Hotel in Billings
#10 Romantic Hotel in Billings
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — Best Western Plus ClockTower Inn 2.5*
Number of rooms: 126
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Featuring an outdoor pool, Best Western PLUS Clocktower Inn is conveniently in the center of the city of Billings, Montana. Guests of the hotel can enjoy freshly baked goods at Stella's Kitchen and Bakery, on-site. Comfortably designed, each guest room at the hotel features a refrigerator, cable TV, and free Wi-Fi access. The private bathrooms come with a bathtub or shower and free toiletries. After a long day of exploring the sights of Billings, guests at Best Western PLUS Clocktower Inn can unwind in the hotel's sauna. Added amenities available here include a complimentary airport shuttle, a 24-hour front desk, and a business center. Yellowstone Art Museum is a 7-minute walk away, and a number of federal and state government buildings, as well as financial institutions, can be reached in a 5-minute walk. Zoo Montana is 12.2 miles from the hotel. Free parking is offered at this Best Western. Billings Logan International Airport is 3 miles away. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Best Western Plus Clocktower Hotel Billings
Best Western Billings
Best Western Clock Hotel
Billings Best Western

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