I am a single male, mid 30s, traveling alone from FL to spend a 10 day July 4th vacation (June 26-July 7) near where I grew up to see old friends and family. I love my family, but I need to retreat to my own sanctuary to sleep and relax. I prepaid a non-cancellation reservation to obtain a special $80's-ish rate/night, which was tough to beat given the location, dining & room service on site, access to 202/PA Turnpike and holiday timeframe. If I got the same rate in the future, I may stay again, given the problems I'll cover below. But if you pay the full rate or have a corporate account with your employer, I think you'll be very disappointed.
In the late 80's and early 90's, I visited this hotel a half dozen times (originally developed/owned by a company called Guest Quarters, then sold to Wyndham) and had tremendous experiences...very classy. In fact my Senior Prom date and I had dinner before the prom with 3 other couples. So how much can change in 12 years? I could tell from other reviews for this hotel it looked like a mixed bag at best and my hunch was true.
First, the GOOD: The food at the bar (the same is served in the Town & Country restaurant) was tasty and hot - I had 3 meals and/or appetizers that were equally good. The 3 different bartenders I met were all friendly and quick to refresh drinks. The bar and room hallways circle around 5 story atrium areas. Who can complain about lots of natural light and green foliage about? I also love the exterior brick facade that fits in well with the surrounding rolling hills tree-lined business office campuses. The hotel is an 8 minute walk from beautiful Wilson Park that was built in 2004 and has a 1.3 loop for walking or other exercise activities to the public. There's no crime or late night bars/clubs in this area.
Now the SO-SO STUFF: I learned from locals/employees at the bar that Wyndham sold the hotel about 18 months ago to an independent chain, which was permitted to keep the name. The staff says the independent owner plans a multi-million dollar renovation in the near future. How soon? No one knows. It really needs it.
Upholstery on the bar furniture was heavily worn/ripped on the arms, hallways were heavily scuffed and some corners were damaged to the point where drywall was crumbling unto the floor. Is it so hard for maintenance to pull their paintbrushes and spackling knives out of the toolbox. Upon checking into my room on the first night, I noticed the glass walls of the elevator appeared to have a spot where someone bumped a scoop of ice cream on the glass and it dripped all the way to the floor. I mentioned something to the front desk after it was there a week. Three days later, it was still there upon checkout. Based on my experiences and you'll probably agree, a hotel manager's crappy attention and attitude to the appearance of their hotel directly correlates to a negative stay.
The front desk staff was a mixed bag of friendly customer service and good-morning smiling faces to a few uncaring bozos that shot glares across the desk if they were interrupted. I think you have a situation where the fine Wyndham holdovers are fighting a losing battle against newer staff that is paid a cheaper salary and poorly trained by the independent group. The great bar staff mentioned earlier had all worked there before the independent came into the picture.
The UGLY: I was abundantly clear when booking the reservation and confirming the day before check-in that I needed a room away from elevators, vending machines and the Route 202 interstate. I was told no problem. Of all the rooms on 5 floors with 58 rooms per floor, the front desk interpreted my instructions by booking me in a room with a perfect view of 202, and where vending/ice machines and the housekeeping storage area was on the other side of my thin, bedroom wall. I didn't need an alarm clock because the housekeeping staff started banging their carts and supplies on queue at 9:00AM every morning.
I made 2 attempts over 2 days to obtain a new room with no success. "Keep the cheap rate in the crappy room" is the mantra I suppose. The excuse was there are no suites available for 4 days. Looking back, a more concerted effort should have been undertaken to get what I wanted, but I threw up my hands pretty quickly.
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