Friday, July 12, 2013

St. Cloud: Hotel

Adam's cousin, Caleb got married on Friday night in St. Cloud, so I took the day off on Friday and we headed out in the morning. After a few trips in the last month, I was really getting sick of fast food and we had plenty of time before check-in, so we made a stop in Willmar for some good old Pizza Ranch buffet. Yum!

We had a little trouble finding our motel because MapQuest has it marked on the wrong frontage road but once I pointed it out, I believe Adam's comment was, "We're staying there?" It's a long story on how I thought I could get a corporate rate at a night hotel, but turned out it was way on the other side of town and then the hotel with the block of rooms for the wedding was booked and I didn't want to pay over $100 for a name-brand hotel, so I ended up at the Americanna Inn (and convention center). Whoever took the photos for their online profile should either be given an award or reprimanded. It was...less than stellar.  A few highlights:
  • trucker in the hotel lobby telling us that when he retires, his dream is to drive around in his pickup going to all the "Diners, Drive-Inns, and Dives" from the Food Network. Wanted us to tell him where all the famous places were to eat in Iowa. (Either he creeped on our license plate or figured Adam's Hawkeye shirt was from a home-town fan)
  • The lobby smelled so musty that Ryan actually plugged his nose and waved his hand around staying "Mommy! It's stinky in here!"
  • On the front counter, they have the base to a cordless phone with a sign that says "Press the button that says "Find handset" for service. You guessed it, they carry the handset like a beeper.
  • You have to use your door key to get into the side entrances, except the one by our door apparently didn't work. 
  • Don't even think about elevators.
  • Room smelled like bacon. Bad thing/Good Thing? Smelled better than the hallway.
  • I was not fooled by the headboards being queen-sized. The mattresses were doubles.
  • Pool (which we had promised Ryan we could swim in after a long car ride) was a little sketchy and about 95 degrees in the room, so Cohen and I couldn't stand to sit in there and watch. Also shared it with a dad who had "GANGSTA" tattooed across his back and "GHOST" on his chest.
  • Outlet I plugged my phone charger into all night didn't work. (Discovered at 3am, luckily)
  • In desperate need of a dehumidifier.  I refused to walk around without sandals, the carpet was so disgusting.
  • Broken ceiling tiles, sloppy paint job, ink pen scribbled on wall, mysterious reddish splash stains on the bottom of the wall (not kidding), toilet with problems flushing, general upkeep lacking.
  • 1 out of 2 door keys didn't work.
  • Zenith tube television that only had a few channels that were more picture than snow
  • Bath mat towel had green tinge except where there were bleach stains.
  • If you thought you were going to use their conditioner, forget it. You get shampoo and a bar of soap.
  • It took 2 of us a few minutes and a bent-back thumb nail to get the chain lock back off the door in the morning because it jammed.
  • Everywhere we walked, there were laundry carts in the hallway, doors propped open to messy offices, supply closets, etc. You kind of felt "behind the scenes" all the time. I also witnessed a cleaning lady chuck a bag of garbage into the dumpster area from a good 15 feet away. Didn't seem like her first time.
  • The breakfast tables were "made for Hobbits" according to Adam and the dining area seemed to be lacking air conditioning.
  • The utensils at breakfast literally bent in half when I tried to cut and eat my waffle.
  • We needed to fill Cohen's bottle with drinking water. There was none, not even at breakfast and when we asked, were told to buy water from the vending machine, which of course, was out.
Did we survive? Yes. Did we save about $30? Yes. Worth it? Maybe.  I think I should have checked the first tip on the FourSquare checkin which was. "Yeeeeahhh....don't go here."

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