On this trip we spent a lot of time in hotel rooms. I have always been a clean freak about hotel rooms. Recent rating you can find online have always been important to me when picking a hotel to book. Since COVID everyone seems hotels have put a large emphasis on clean and sanitary. I felt at this point hotels were paying cleanliness more than lip service. Unfortunately I often saw in the ratings and reviews by folks who were quite unkind to hotel staff in their ratings. There were reviews that ripped a hotel for their skimpy breakfast; seriously I hope that was not the reason for picking a hotel for the night. Bed bugs….any bugs are a deal breaker. Price is important when you are staying in as many hotels as we were, but too cheap is usually too good to be true. Expensive locations meant we stopped early or we drove longer.
We are signed up for every chain’s rewards program. We generally try to stick with one chain to accumulate points and a possible free night. However we have found in some areas a particular brand may have have crummy ratings, so we did jump around a bit. I place emphasis on cleanliness. I don’t get hung up on if a hotel is need of a remodel or it not full of the latest amenities. I don’t pick a hotel because of the free breakfast. If the staff was not what a person expected I cut the hotel some slack. Service help is hard to find right now. A plus was a place to walk to to get a carryout dinner. Non-smoking and dog friendly without a fee were required.
When we checked into our hotel in Rapid City the person checking us in had laundry service under her name. She had a mask on so I was never sure of her facial expression. I was the eighth person in line and she was the only person working the front desk at the time. I was just grateful she was there. News stories tell about how hard it is to find help in the service industries. Since help is very hard to find I was grateful for her being there to check me in. Folks in line were carrying on about waiting. People were complaining because the pool was full of kids. Our room was clean and quiet. We were happy campers.
In Minneapolis we found our hotel was in complete lock down. It meant that there was only one door unlocked for entry and no guests of guests were allowed. This was also the only location where masks were required in public spaces for everyone. Was it inconvenient yes, but seriously, a hotel is where folks from all over the country congregate. If were were going to be in a super spreader event this was it. It made perfect sense when you think about. Yes I am fully vaccinated, but I don’t want a mild case of the new Delta, nor do I want to share it.
The Minneapolis hotel was in need of a upgrade, but our room was clean. This hotel had the most housekeeping staff around not just in the morning when rooms were being flipped but someone was always wiping things down, cleaning public area floors and just keeping things clean. The staff here was exceptional.
Breakfast is essentially gone now days. It is too hard to keep it all clean and I honestly don’t think I would be comfortable doing a buffet. Some of the hotels did do a stripped down version of breakfast, but we skipped those. Our hotel in Minneapolis had the best substitute for the “expected” breakfast. They had a bag breakfast program. Every night you filled out a breakfast ticket and there was a brown bag breakfast waiting for you in the morning. It included a juice option assorted juices, a dairy option of milk or yogurts, a protein option of breakfast biscuits/croissants for microwave, a fruit option including hand fruit or fruit cups, a carb option of bars, rolls and muffins, and all bags had a bottle of water. It was by far the coolest innovation we saw on our trip. We ate part of the breakfast early and then the second half later after we showered as we planned our day. Kudos to the Microtel of Inver Grove Heights.
So if or when you travel next think about leaving some good feedback for hotel. They get all the negative feedback they can handle justified or not. Take a minute to ask for the manager and tell them about something good that happened in their facility. It doesn’t take much to say something nice, good or kind. Enjoy your travels