I had to spend 6 nights in Hickory, NC for work, and my hotel requirements were relatively simple. I needed a place that had a microwave, a fridge, a fitness center, and that cost less than the government limit of $77 per night. The Baymont Inn and Suites, after the multi-night discount, was well within my budget. Their website advertised all of these amenities as well as a complimentary breakfast.
Siri had difficulty finding it by name, as she still thought the place was called Jameson Inn. Using the address, I pulled in a bit after dark and was checked in very quickly. The fellow behind the desk answered all of my questions, gave me directions to Wal-Mart, and recommended a grocery store nearby.
My room was super clean, well-maintained, and had very convenient parking. The bed was comfortable, the ventilation system, when needed, was able to keep the room comfortable. My stay was during the odd change of season where you needed the heater in the morning and the AC in the afternoon. Much of the time I just left it off. The fridge, microwave, bathroom, and vanity were all in great condition, although the tub drained a bit slow.
The breakfast had fresh fruit, milk, cereals, yogurt, breads, bagels, waffles, and oatmeal. Hot water and tea bags were generally available in the lobby at all hours, too. I was quite pleased with what was available considering the very reasonable price of the room.
The fitness center is where I felt let down. The hotel website advertised all the amenities I needed, and I couldn’t wait to get there after a day full of sitting — on airplanes, in airport terminals, and in the rental car — I was ready for some exercise. My room was nearest the pool and the fitness center. Between me and a good workout lay only a change of clothes and the ice machine.
I typically start my workout on the elliptical machine at home, so I investigated the climber. It’s essentially 2 steps on pivots with their movement restricted by hydraulic cylinders — like the ones that keep your office chair aloft. The digital display was very faint, but functional. It would count steps and time in both directions, but there was no way of adjusting the resistance level. I’m accustomed to running the elliptical machine at a pretty high setting.
I climbed the stairs to nowhere until I ran the little bit of battery power the unit had in it out, and I went to the exercise bike. I got on and started pedaling, but there was absolutely no resistance. I pressed several buttons on the control pad, but nothing happened. Walking around to the other side, I easily saw why. There was a Medusa-style wad of wires protruding from the back of the control pad. It was as if someone had grabbed all of the cables and yanked as hard as they could. It wasn’t something I could repair.
The treadmill was plugged in and ready to go. I got it up to 4 mph pretty quickly, and was “mall walking” at a brisk pace. I tried jogging, but I thought the bang-bang-banging might break the unit or arouse suspicion from others within earshot. Back to brisk walking speed, I tried to increase the incline. While there was a button for that, and the numbers on the panel changed when it was depressed, no actual change in incline was achieved. If I wanted to walk up hill, I’d have to actually go find a hill.
My last hope was the weight machine. While I had used a variety of weight machines at my gym, I had never seen an all-in-one unit like this. Hanging on the wall nearby was a set of suggested exercises. I did some wide grip pulldowns, some shoulder presses, and some leg curls. I spent the better part of 5 minutes trying to figure out how to do a leg extension with the thing until I finally went back to my room and called it a day.
So much for a hotel with a fitness center. It was like the island of misfit exercise equipment.
Overall, this place was a STEAL. I'd highly recommend it for anyone looking for a clean place to stay with friendly service, a reasonable breakfast, free wi-fi, in-room microwave, and fridge. If the exercise equipment is important to you, this isn't the place to book.
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- Also Known As:
- Jameson Inn Hickory
- Hickory Jameson Inn