This gal has stayed at some swanky hotels from Paris’ Hotel de Crillion (twice!), to a six-room suite in a Ritz Carlton, and a good number of Four Seasons (thanks, fat-cat PR client Kahlua), … but now, I go on record: I luv Hampton Inns. We just hit yet another…
Cleveland is the home of the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame (“the Rock”), one of Larry’s bucket list destinations which is walking distance from the downtown Hampton Inn. We headquartered three nights at the HP and that’s when I started thinking about WHY I enjoy the chain so much. I’m a traveler… presumably you’re a traveler, too. Let me share my thoughts (AND yes, please share YOURS in the comments).
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are solely my own. If Larry has a differing view, he can start his own blog, LOL. We may travel together, but that doesn’t mean we think alike. Also, I was not compensated for this post. Heck, if Hampton folks stumble on this, they ought to simply be very pleased.
Hampton Inn is the business and family travel chain of Hilton. No restaurant on site, see “breakfast” below. No room service. No spa. Sometimes no pool or gym (but some have a relationship with a gym nearby – this matters to Larry; I never use).
High-end hotels can make me feel like Ivanka Trump, but guess what… they often don’t provide what I need. As in, I may WANT a facial, but I NEED a coffee maker in the room. Hampton has me figured out (one exception, see my last point). Upon arrival, here is what I luv:
- Rates are modest; our Cleveland room was $149 a night – regular readers of this blog know how that warms my cheap-ass heart;
- It’s a totally no-smoking property. The whole chain. God bless ‘em;
- They wash the duvets after each guest. Not just the sheets and towels. I’m no cootie fanatic, but still, a much appreciated service;
- Best beds EVER. Fluffy bedspread. Good support. Crisp sheets. PILES of pillows – feather and synthetic, whichever you want;
- In-room coffee maker, ironing board, iron, hair dryer. Strangely, these aren’t necessary a given in some hotels. Presumably rock stars, celebs and moguls choose not to brew coffee or iron a shirt themselves. I do;
- The bathroom has a night light. Thankfully helping us not smash our faces into a wall in the darkness. When you stay in as many hotels as we do, you don’t always remember which way the bathroom is;
- Free breakfast. OK, it’s not the healthiest of fare – a lot of processed, white flour stuff. But I can fill my belly with such offerings as granola, yogurt, hard cooked eggs, scrambled eggs, bananas, apples, peanut butter, fat-free milk. Plus 24/7 free fruit, coffee, tea;
- Free newspaper. We’re addicted to a daily paper;
- Free Wi-Fi;
- Electrical outlets everywhere – night stand, room desk, bathroom, even in the lobby and breakfast area;
- A “business center” — free computer that allows you to open and print attachments;
- A little food store. When we arrive at some late hour and a restaurant meal is out of the question, there’s at least something there, like nuts or pretzels. And wine. The desk will loan you a bottle opener;
- Free toiletries — forgot toothpaste or need a razor? They will provide;
- Hilton points for staying. Which we then use for free rooms. On our Route 66 road trip, we stayed some nights free via Hilton points;
- Rarely are we turned down when we ask for a late check-out;
- Hampton desk people are genuinely nice. Not pretend nice. Larry and I are needy check-in folks with questions and requests (room location for one thing) and they never cop a ‘tude. Cleveland, we had a LAST MINUTE PANIC and the desk gal was fabulously cool-headed and helpful. NUTSHELL: we thought our flight home was 2:30 PM, turns out it was 10:30 AM. Larry was at the gym in some nearby office building, I was savoring my in-room coffee all cozy under my fresh-clean duvet at 8:30 AM when I see the email flight notice. WAAAA?? Suddenly, I’m Wonder Woman, flying around stuffing all into suitcases, drag mine downstairs, run up the rainy street to try to find Larry – miss each other some elevator and located him back at the Hampton just tucking into a fresh-made waffle – !! RUN LARRY !! YOU HAVE FIVE MINUTES TO SHOWER AND GET THE !@#$% BACK DOWN HERE — desk gal got us a limo pronto, and yes we made the flight. Sans waffle. That was a sad part.
So, with all that, my one exception – a hotel bathroom NEEDS a magnifying mirror. Hamptons lack them, at least on my most recent visits. We travelers are used to our home mirrors, and hotel lighting is not the same. Yeah, yeah… makeup, contact lenses aside… try plucking a wiry chin hair without a magnifying mirror.