Rating Hotels

We’re just back from our vacation trip to a family reunion in Illinois. Along the way we stayed at several hotels. Here are some comments on them:

1. The Super 8 in Geneseo, Illinois offered us a nice, spacious room. Travelling as a family of five, that’s good (and rare) to find. Unfortunately, the sofa bed we paid extra money to get turned out to be broken, missing several springs the supports on one corner. We managed to get it to work by piling sofa cushions underneath, but it was less than optimal. On the negative side, the room also had a bit of smoke odor to it, though the front desk had told us it was a non-smoking room. Other non-smoking rooms had an identifying plate on the door – unlike our room. On the positive side, the hotel was quiet, had a friendly staff, and a nice indoor pool for the kids.

2. The Comfort Suites of O’Hare in Schiller Park (a suburb of Chicago) were quite nice. For only a tiny bit more than we’d paid in Geneseo, we got a much nicer suite. The room was very quiet (even with a major airport nearby and the heavy traffic associated with it). Note on price: I got a better price by calling the hotel directly than I did from the website. I was somewhat concerned about the security of our vehicle, but everything went fine. We were looking out the window (to the north) about 6:30 p.m., shortly after arrival, and noticed a convoy of helicopters. They were too far away to read any markings, but we figured the military must be up to something. Only later did we discover that the President had flown into town for his birthday.

3. Next we were at the Bell Tower Inn of Centralia, Illinois. We’d stayed there many times in the past since it serves as the headquarters for our family reunion. I think it was quieter than usual. Another improvement was the price – about $10 less per night than last time. On the down side, my daughter lamented the absence of plain glazed donuts at the breakfast. Sure looks like the best hotel in Centralia to me.

4. Our final hotel was the Super 8 in Siloam Springs, Arkansas. After driving over 300 miles through often torrential rains, it was nice to be able to park right outside our door (the only hotel in our travels this week that was true of) to unload our stuff. We especially appreciated the on-site laundry facilities where we could dry our rain-drenched clothes from the car-top carrier (the canvas model we have didn’t repel much of the rain). The hotel doubled as a RV park, so there were plenty of people around. Unfortunately, one of our neighbors decided to pound on his door at 5 a.m. The breakfast was pretty sparse. One daughter again missed the plain glazed donuts. The other (somewhat easier to please), had a cinnamon roll and a sausage biscuit.

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