If you have a child attending one of the schools in the New Paltz/Poughkeepsie area, your experience has probably been much like mine: You go to the websites for the hotels in the area, and see very reasonable rates for the rooms, something like $70-85 per night. Hey! you say. That's not bad!
Then you try to book the room for, say Parents Weekend, or Student Orientation, or Graduation, and discover that the hotels are wise to all of the schools' calendars and those $70 rooms are going to be close to $200/night on the weekend you're planning to be there. Frustrating! I started looking for alternatives, and I managed to find one, and this is the place.
The Super 8 in the Montgomery/Maybrook area is situated almost by itself; it's probably an ideal overnight stop for truckers. However, it's also relatively close to the Thruway (just a couple of miles away), so it's convenient to most of the area colleges. Now, the tradeoff for this convenience is some distance; when you say that Poughkeepsie/New Paltz/Highland is "one exit away", remember that the exits are about 15 miles apart or more in that area. The non-toll alternative is to take Route 208 north; it's a winding trip of about 18 miles/25-30 minutes that takes you to the western end of New Paltz. But it's a relaxing ride and, unless your time is really crunched, is not a big deal. Plus, you pass through a couple of towns and past several farm stands on the way. 208 is about two blocks away from the hotel and it's also where you can get most amenities, including fast food, a bagel shop, a Dunkin' Donuts (NOT open late!) and a supermarket nearby.
Aha, you say: what about the hotel? The hotel is in decent shape; it appears to have been renovated in the recent past. "Renovated," however, means mostly a paint job and some new furniture. What it doesn't mean is upgrades to things like electricity. As a result, in my room (single bed Queen) there were numerous things plugged into one outlet, including the TV, a wall lamp, the coffee maker and the alarm clock. (a six-way outlet had been plugged into the original fixture), and the outlet was controlled by the wall switch just inside the door. This meant that if you switched the lamp off using the wall switch, you were also turning off the TV and the alarm clock, which had to be re-set each time you turned the power to the outlet back on.
The TV, incidentally, was a flat screen TV, but the signal being sent to it was standard definition. They'd compensated for this, however, by setting the TV image to "Zoom" and hoping we wouldn't notice. Guess what? I noticed! It's pretty easy to tell when a high-def TV is being fed a low-def signal, especially when it's been magnified. You're actually better off viewing the low-def image in its original configuration. This sounds like a lot of complaining about a TV, but it's one of the few things I ask for in a hotel room.
The room itself was otherwise comfortable; we only had two pillows on the bed but they were accommodating when we asked for more. Bathroom amenities were pretty typical, with soap, shampoo and conditioner, plus a hair dryer. The bathroom still had the bottle opener mounted to the wall; I don't know why but that cracks me up. It's so old-school. The tub fixtures didn't appear to be especially new but they worked well and there was plenty of hot water despite our being near the far end of the hotel.
Our room's climate control was a pretty typical through-the-wall unit with a thermostatic control (always preferable to the generic "warmer/cooler" dial). Our unit could be set to continuous fan or automatic cycling on and off as needed.
Although the hotel is popular with truckers, and it's quite close to the highway, noise is pretty much kept to a minimum and shouldn't really bother you.
In the morning, a breakfast was made available, with a couple of different kinds of coffee, plus hot water for tea or oatmeal. A couple of juices were available, plus cereal and fruit. Hot options the morning we were there included scrambled eggs and bacon or sausage, although the person ahead of me fished all the bacon out of the chafing dish, and someone attending the space was not immediately apparent, or really at all while I was there. Pre-made waffles were also available, but you had to put them in the toaster or microwave if you wanted them hot. The breakfast area was probably a small guest room at one time, so there was only room for a couple of tables in addition to the breakfast counter. I kind of feel for hotels that offer breakfasts, because it's so often an unused space when it's not the breakfast zone. So during those couple of hours it's quite crowded and full of crabby people (because it's morning and they're waking up somewhere other than home), and the rest of the day it's completely vacant space. It's a tough balancing act to stage. I guess this place has found a decent compromise.
So there you have it: my secret for being a college parent who visits without spending an arm and a leg during the specialty weekends. However, my daughter has graduated and now I pass the bounty on to you. Happy travels!
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- Also Known As:
- Montgomery Super 8
- Montgomery Super Eight
- Super Eight Montgomery