Programs: The airline that is cheapest that day - WN, UA, US, FL, AA. Choice hotels primarily.
St. Louis - Comfort Inn Westport
An excellent value. One of the lower priced Comforts in the St Louis area.
An older property that has been nicely kept up. Large lobby and eating area. Flat screen TV, though not as many channels as some places. Internet was fast enough to stream Netflix. Standard hot and cold breakfast. Good shower head with plenty of pressure. Good firm mattress. King room large enough for an extra chair. A little dark in the room and I had to pull the dresser away from the wall to get to an electrical outlet.
Beware that they add $1.50 safe fee. If you complain they take it off - but I find that very tacky.
This hotel is about three miles from Coors Field and the Amtrak Station. It looks like a converted TriArc TraveLodge. I was concerned because of my previous experiences with Quality Inns that can be booked for 8000 points.
Considering it cost 8000 points per night, this was a very good deal. Their shuttles were conveniently available and the drivers were courteous. Of course, that might be because I tipped $10-20 for our group of 14.
The breakfast included waffles, eggs, biscuits, oatmeal, fruit bowl and many other items. Plenty of room to sit. I recommend this for someone wanting to go to a game at one of the downtown sports venues. Or riding on Amtrak.
Programs: AA Gold, DL Silver (FO), UA Premier Silver, BW Platinum, HH Gold, Amtrak Select
Clarion LaGuardia Airport
This is my go to LGA Airport Hotel due to decent prices (for LGA) and the fact that you can easily walk to the airport. Plus, the Q33 picks up/drops off in both directions literally in front of the hotel. The shuttle runs frequently (although the driver almost forgot to drop me at my terminal until I stopped him at the last minute). Check-in was fine, there's a two computer business center in the lobby next to the small restaurant (open until 11). I didn't have breakfast this time.
The hotel has a weird layout due to it being a former parking garage and the ground floor rooms with views of the sidewalk just outside your window are a little odd. Rooms are very small but the beds are comfortable, there are new flat screen TVs, an actual closet, good bathroom with a nice shower and no sign of wear. Hotel is fine all around.
Damn their warnings damn their lies!
They will see the people rise.
I'm in the process of moving to Colorado Springs for a job with the Air Force Academy. Since I'm on a tight budget trying to pinch my pennies. Used those travel coupons you can find at Cities Visitor Center's and welcome centers when you cross state lines.
I stayed at the Comfort Suites Air Force Academy a couple nights ago. Found long hairs on top of the bathroom towels. Luckily it was just the top two. Then found a towel stained (blackish color) so I threw that on the floor. It is so disgusting to find hairs that are not mine in a hotel room. Do the maids intentionally do this to just piss of customers? So gross. Only good thing about this place was I got a deal on the price.
Last night I was presently surprised to stay at the Comfort Inn on Corporate Drive here in Colorado Springs. I was expecting a shithole but was so excited to find a nice clean room with no hairs from housekeeping or previous guests. Great location. I came in at about after 9:00 p.m. and asked if I could use a coupon to get a room for 55 dollars a night. She said all those rooms are gone but I can give you one for 75 a night. I thought that was very generous of her to offer me a deal cause walk in rate was over a 100 dollars a night. Good location but the WiFi was not working properly.
Now I am staying at the Econo Lodge (formerly Sleep Inn C.S.) attached to the Comfort Suites I stayed at a couple nights ago. This property is so much nicer as an Econo Lodge and I got a great deal on it. 45 dollars a nite walk in rate with hotel coupon.
I have stayed at this location before when it was a Sleep Inn. Found hairs in the bathroom and refused to take a shower even though I was sweaty and dirty from being on the road all day. So filthy. I realize it is high season in Colorado so it can be hard to get a decent rate at a Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express.
Love these hotel coupons. Anyone who works in the hotel industry know how many they are allowed to take of these coupons, how these things work? Sometimes I've found them to work and other times I have been yelled at by the front desk staff saying hell no to coupons.
Thanks for letting me share my experiences. Good location here at Colorado Springs.
I want to add one more thing to my post which is starting to ramble. This may sound extremely naive but I have to believe the housekeeper cleaning the room makes the difference.
I stayed at the Comfort Inn Lincoln, NE. It was disgusting old filthhole. There were hair's on the towels in the bathrooms. Just really nasty. Old and run down. High season in Nebraska as well. Don't stay here.
Last night, July 27th, I stayed at the Comfort Inn Kansas City Airport. Really great property. Found reviews to be accurate for the hotel and the price was a great deal. Thanks to AAA. I was right across the highway from the Hotel. Great view of the Control Tower. This is a good property if you are in the Kansas City area. Will book again if in the Kansas City area. Really nice area. Only downside was I slept through the breakfast which was from 5:00 AM to 9:00 AM daily. Thought it might be later with it being a weekend.
Stayed here 7/28-30 on a 10K points/night redemption. Nice if a bit dated property. Does not appear to have started life as a Comfort Inn, but I see from an earlier post in this thread that it's been a Comfort since at least 2008. Would certainly think $100-120 would be a reasonable price for the room (222) I had (the rate for the next couple of days is $140). Pretty much a standard Comfort Inn room with a king bed, flat screen TV, work desk, and table with two side chairs. Standard Comfort breakfast set up as well.
Surrounding neighborhood in San Bruno is kind of bleak. A Holiday Inn & Suites, apparently co-owned with the Comfort, is next door, a pretty seedy place called the Avalon (at $44 per night!) is next, and there's a Super 8 a little further down the street. US 101 is just outside the property, and I suspect you'd want to stay away from the rooms that face the freeway. Easy enough to do as there are two four-story buildings, one with the lobby and breakfast room attached, and a second located across a breezeway. I stayed in this building and had no problems with road noise or aircraft noise as the flight patterns appear to be located well away from this property.
The only dining option I saw in the immediate neighborhood was Bistro 330 located in that Holiday Inn. I didn't eat there but had a drink. It looked like a pretty typical Holiday Inn restaurant, an option I've tried to avoid for over thirty years. Downtown San Bruno, about a mile away walking (through what some might consider a sketchy neighborhood, but I had no problems walking through at 11 p.m.) or approximately two miles driving (the walk is shorter because of a pedestrian bridge over 101 while you have to go farther to find a road cut through), has a number of attractive dining options, including Peruvian, Italian, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants. I had lunch at a North Beach Pizza location along the main street in San Bruno, which was reasonably priced and more than enough food (about $11 for a sandwich and a soft drink, and I just barely finished half the sandwich). There's a Caltrain station on the fringe of downtown on the path from the hotel, and I took the $5, 35-minute ride into SF on Saturday for dinner.
Of course, there's a shuttle, which runs to SFO every thirty minutes, took about 12 minutes door to door at SFO at 4:30 a.m. (but I could imagine might take much longer during peak traffic periods), and is shared with the Holiday Inn. The shuttle runs from 4 a.m. to midnight. Reservations are required at the front desk. Although I found the front desk staff generally helpful and there is a sign at the desk mentioning that you need to sign up for the shuttle, I was not asked at check in about my need for a shuttle. Only when I inquired my second day at the hotel about the shuttle's hours did I learn about the need for reservations (and then noticed the sign). Although I did not have any issues signing up for a 4:30 a.m. slot the night before, the van was full for my trip the next morning, and while waiting to sign up, the front desk clerk told another guest that the 9:30 a.m. slot the next morning was already full and that he'd need to leave at 9 a.m.--so definitely inquire about reserving spaces on the shuttle as soon as you check in.
This hotel is a very good value at 10K points. I'd be willing to do a 12K redemption. 16K and above would make me hesitate and look for another option.
Next stop on the Northern California tour. Stayed 7/22 [EDIT: original post said 8K redemption--that's incorrect, actually on a paid rate at $79]. Another pleasant Comfort Inn property with no particular surprises one way or the other in so far as the building, condition, cleanliness, or breakfast was concerned. One-story property on the north side, two stories on the south with parking in between. The property is located on North Fremont Street, several miles from Cannery Row and to the east of Highway 1. Surrounding area is filled with hotels, some restaurants, and light commercial buildings. In my brief time there, did not have any safety concerns.
North Fremont is a main thoroughfare and traffic in the morning may be an issue if you're in rooms numbered below -15 on either the first or second floor, but I was in room 112 and really wasn't bothered much by the traffic. Old-fashioned superstition reflected in the absence of a room 113. Traffic was not an issue at night.
Breakfast room is small but augmented by an equal-sized outdoor area where I sat Monday morning for breakfast. During this time, I learned that the hotel is close to a flight path for the nearby Monterey airport. Mostly, RJs flying in, and obviously, not much of an issue as I hadn't noticed any aircraft noise before having breakfast. Standard breakfast offerings, including scrambled eggs, sausage, waffles, hot and cold cereals, breads and pastries, coffee, juices, milk, and tea. Large flat screen TV for the CNN junkies.
Pet friendly although I did not see any pets. Sauna, hot tub, and whirlpool available, but I didn't have a chance to sample these amenities. Decent wifi but not blazingly fast.
If you don't need to be in walking distance of Cannery Row or are simply looking for a centrally located base to see Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, and Santa Cruz, this is a good choice. This property [EDIT: adding that it currently runs on a 20K redemption rather than the 8K redemption mentioned in the earlier version of this post] but is probably comparable to some I've seen for 16K. I'd pay $90-100 for the king-sized room I stayed in, understanding that this price might increase for one of the occasional special events in the area (king room is available this Sunday night for $100, [EDIT: to add that a week from Sunday for $90,] and other rates are cheaper).
Last edited by lwildernorva; Aug 3, 12 at 8:54 am..
Reason: Correct error in redemption rate in original post; added information on available rates
More Northern California Choice properties. Stayed here 7/19 on an 8K redemption. Quite removed from central Silicon Valley (about 15 minutes away from SJC using I-880) but right off the interstate and across I-880 from the Tesla automotive plant. Nice, newer property that I felt was the second best of my California stay (Comfort Suites SJC was first, coming up in my next review). Didn't really explore the neighborhood but a quick glance around on arrival and departure left me with the impression that the immediate area is pretty sterile but will eventually see further development. King-sized room was pretty standard size for Comfort properties. Wifi was good.
Odd experience checking in at the front desk in that I was actually greeted as a status member with Choice. I don't particularly care about that particular amenity, but I notice that all of the surveys about stays at Choice ask about whether I was recognized as a Choice Privileges member, and this was the first hotel that did. Admittedly, the front desk clerk said something along the lines of "I see you're a Choice Platinum member, woo-hoo!" as if he were kidding a bit, but I suspect given the questions asked in the surveys that the staff at this hotel must have recently gotten some training that emphasized that they're supposed to do this.
Breakfast was standard Choice except for the lack of any scrambled or Frisbee-style eggs. Instead, biscuits, sausage, and gravy were the featured items. Breakfast room was much larger than the standard Choice property and there's an outdoor, covered patio outside the front entrance with about half a dozen tables that I would have used if I hadn't grabbed the last table inside.
At current redemption rates, and if you're willing to drive a bit, this is the property in the area to use for an award as it appears much nicer than some of the 16-20K Choice redemption in the Valley. Hard to argue with 8K, especially because with a more central location, I could see rooms at this hotel going for $120-130 given the relatively good condition of the property. Current rates for a king-sized room are $90 but $72 for advance purchase.