Friday, June 13, 2008

The Hotel

Staying at a hotel was a novelty for the kids. They've only been in a hotel once before and they were excited about it, especially when they learned that our hotel fed you breakfast, provided free cable and Internet access, and had a pool and hot tub. It was going to be fun! And, in many ways, it was.

Each evening we were there, we headed down to the pool to swim/play. The kids loved it! They went back and forth between the pool and the hot tub. Some of the parents in our group took advantage of the pool and hot tub as well. I took the chance to take Josh into the pool for the first time. He loved the pool and hot tub and pointed me back and forth to both of them. By the end of the week, he was happily walking off the edge of the pool (he doesn't know how to jump yet) and "swimming" to me from the steps.

One evening we couldn't swim as the pool was closed for the night due to an unfortunate potty accident. Oh, no! What are we going to do all night? Have a movie night party in our room, of course! We had three families in my room to watch Stewart Little 2. During commercials, they wrestled and played and threw popcorn all over the carpet. (The two children don't have faces because I didn't get a chance to get permission to post their photo.)

Thursday night, Josh was exhausted and passed out early. I don't know why; we only woke up at 7am, ate breakfast, went to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, visited the World Forestry Discovery Center, went to dinner at a restaurant, and swam for an hour and a half...all after spending the prior two and a half days doing other all day outings. Why would he be tired?

Mika wasn't tired either. Really, she wasn't. Not one bit.

So, about the hotel itself...

We stayed at the Comfort Inn & Suites near the Portland Airport. The group we went with (CVA) booked the hotel based on rate, breakfast service, and having a pool. It was an okay hotel. It was a smaller hotel and not quite as nice looking as the photos on their website. It looks older than the main building photo and is located in a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood close to two freeways. My room didn't come with that nice floral display on the coffee table shown in the photo but it was fairly nice and clean. The maid service cleaned every day, leaving fresh linens and towels as needed (unless you indicated otherwise). I had to call the front desk twice for a plugged toilet and another time for toilet paper. The day we left there were problems with the sound on our TV.

There were issues over the phone service because they block it when a group reserves the rooms. I had a hard time getting my phone service turned back on. The first day, the front desk employee basically shrugged her shoulders and told me she didn't know why it didn't work or how to turn it back on. I wanted to let my dad (whom we visited prior to joining the group) know we made it without getting lost. I also wanted to let my kids talk with daddy but they couldn't. The second day I was able to get them to allow me to make local calls. The third day, the phone was blocked again and I had to call down to the front desk to get it turned back on again. While I understood the reasoning behind blocking the phones, I think they should have allowed them to be turned on when requested. All that would have been required was a personal credit card on file so the call charges could be billed to the family instead of the group. It was a hassle that I didn't enjoy.

Breakfast service was ok. There were waffles you make yourself, four cereals, mini muffins, dry donuts, bagels and a variety of toast, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and biscuits and gravy. Drinks included coffee, tea, hot chocolate, milk and juice. While protein was lacking, there were a reasonable amount of choices that would be enough for most people. I recommend staying away from the biscuits and gravy as I've never tasted worse gravy.

Overall, the hotel was ok. It was more pleasant than negative. I can't really compare it because I don't know the amenities and prices of other hotels in the area. I'd probably do some shopping around if I were to stay in a Portland hotel again.

Ok, truth be told, if I had the money I'd stay in the Residence Inn by Mariott -- Downtown/Lloyd Center in a 2 bedroom loft, penthouse suite. I stayed there once with some friends and it was awesome. Of course it is also 2 1/2 times the cost.

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Suswan said...

I was going to say....I know a real nice hotel in Portland, but you said it for me. lol ;-)
A very well done review. Answers all the questions I'd ask if I were thinking about staying there.