The Little Things

Y'know, over the years of this blog, I've certainly never hesitated to complain about a company or a product.  This time is different.  I'm going to compliment a company and a product.

As much as I love a long weekend getaway at a romantic B&B with beautiful antique furnishings and scandalous breakfasts, when we're traveling and needing a place just to sleep for a night, I can't see spending a lot of money on a room. 

Several years ago we stopped at our first Holiday Inn and quickly became "Priority Club" members.  We gather "points" for each stay and over time accumulate enough points to earn free nights.  Back in April or May, I contacted Holiday Inn to make reservations for a total of six nights at five different hotels.  I'd earned enough points from past stays that we only paid for four of those six nights. 

This past weekend we stayed at three different Holiday Inn Express properties and had good experiences at each of them.  All of them were pet-friendly and gave us rooms on the ground floor, not far from the end entrance -- this really made it easier to move in not just our luggage but Blackberry's paraphernalia and crate.  All three hotels had firm and soft pillows on the bed.  All had nice curved shower rods and very nice showerheads and plenty of towels.  All had complimentary toiletries and soap with a faint clove-cinnamon fragrance that was very pleasant.  I imagine that all had excellent cable TV, but we didn't turn it on.  All had predictable but more-than-acceptable free breakfasts -- so nice for getting an efficient start to the day's travel.  Two had very enticing swimming pools, though we didn't have the opportunity to indulge.

Holiday Inns are pretty standard; we kind of expect a similar decor and similar amenities and similar complimentary breakfasts at every one. But there are individual pleasant peculiarities.The place in Lexington, Virginia, is a place we've visited before.  I am delighted by the little rubber duckies that they place in the bathroom for their guests to take home.  A very little, very inexpensive thing.  But it won me over completely!  The place in Brevard, North Carolina, was the most expensive of the three (at about $135 per night as opposed to the usual $89 -- $109), but the room was huge and at a corner, giving us more windows than usual.  The last place was in Dublin, Virginia.  We'd set out heading north from Brevard around 6 p.m. and knew we had a net drive of four hours.  But we had to stop a couple of time for Blackberry and once for our supper, and then there was some traffic and it was much later than ten when we arrived.  The woman at the desk was so warm and so welcoming as we sort of stumbled into the lobby.  The room was convenient and on the desk was a complimentary bottle of water and a mysterious little brown grocery bag -- that contained a shiny red apple and a bag of microwave popcorn!  Into the microwave it went and our tired crankiness just popped away!

Talk about the little things making the difference . . . .


blop said…
I so agree w/all your comments. We have used HIE for many years..always on our trips south for the winter and north for the summer. Last year we decided to make it our last drive south, we are flying from now on. I thought I would cash in my points for nights stay unsure of how their process worked. Pleasantly surprised, they were always very welcoming and we too received our little goodie bags at each stop. Easy peasy and would not hesitate to use them again, especially all the free nights.
Well, thank you for the "heads up". Next time we are in need of a hotel, I will keep this in mind.
Isn't it nice to have such a welcome? It makes me think of how I can make it better for my guests when they come to stay at my house.
Annemiek said…
These things make travelling so much better. We have Holiday Inn throughout Europe and i'll certainly check it out when we go roadtripping coming summerholidays. We take an hotel every once in a while when we're too tired to put up our tent. Holiday Inn should give you at least a free night for this post :)
Anonymous said…
Our kids put us up at a HIE last Sept. for our 50th anniversary weekend in Santa Cruz, CA and we were most pleased. It was fairly new, everyone helpful, breakfast was great and I wish I had the bathroom in my own home. Sounds like you went south to visit that cute redheaded grandbaby. See e-mail. Love, CA cuz
Nancy we always try to use Holiday Inn Express too. The Priority Club helps but I like it that I know what to expect when I spend the night. We've never had a bad experience at one of their hotels. blessings, marlene
Sweet P said…
We love HIE's. Hubby is a priority member and travels more than 100,000 miles a year. I don't remember the last time we had to actually pay for a stay at HIE. They are great hotels. In fact we are staying at one in Brooklyn, NY the end of this week.
Mrs. Goodneedle said…
We've never stayed in one... we will look for one next time though, thanks to this recommendation. Thanks~ I still am sad that I missed out on you IRL.