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Hotel Report: InterContinental New Orleans

I got the opportunity to go to New Orleans to give some training, so I stayed next door to our offices, the InterContinental New Orleans.

The first thing I noticed was that parking was $39.95 a day for hotel guests, and IHG Platinum members do not get that waived — one of the reasons I cut my stay in New Orleans by a day.

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Hotel Report: Hampton Inn, Duncan, OK

Since my last recorded trip to Duncan in 2006, two more national hotel chains have placed properties in the founding city of Halliburton. I stayed at the Hampton Inn, a Hilton property.

The king-size bed was quite comfortable, and the air conditioner worked very well, quiet and cold. The TV boasted about 60 channels, about 2/3rds digital, with HBO the only premium channel. The microwave and half-height refrigerator combination was nice and convenient.

From the desk I had access to wire/wireless Internet (no problems with either) and four AC outlets. Three more outlets and two USB ports were available on one of the nightstands, but the USB ports didn’t have enough power to charge my iPod and iPhone.

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Hotel Report: Candlewood Suites, Houston (2)

I had done a report on the Candlewood Suites on the west side of Houston about 9½ years ago.  They deserve a re-do.

The queen bed was much firmer than last time. The rest of the room was very much the same:

Long desk and mini-kitchen.

The air conditioner functioned well, but it was very loud even on the low fan setting. The bathroom fan was also quite loud. The microwave and full refrigerator/freezer worked well. Four outlets were available at the very long desk.  Internet was wireless-only, but it was quick and only required one login a week. The TV boasted about 40 HDTV channels.

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Hotel Report: Holiday Inn Express Denver Aurora – Medical Center

Holiday Inn Express is reliably consistent in general, and the one in Denver/Aurora is no exception.

Two outlets were available in the lamp bases at the desk and at both nightstands. The wireless internet was quite fast, and I only had to login once during my whole stay. The flat screen TV boasted about 15 digital channels including HBO and some (does it matter how many?) analog channels.

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Hotel Report: Red Roof Inn Westchase, Houston, TX

This hotel report brought to you by Microsoft.

I was told a Microsoft convention tied up much of the available hotel rooms in Houston, leaving the Red Roof Inn and a couple of unknown brands for my choosing on 4 days notice. I don’t even have a frequent-stay number at Red Roof.

I normally need a panoramic photo to show a hotel room, but the room was so small the picture could be taken normally.

Close quarters.

Close quarters.

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Hotel Report: Grand Williston Hotel, Williston, ND

Normally I prefer to stay at hotel chains, but our corporate travel web site reported two weeks in advance that the Grand Williston Hotel was the only hotel with available rooms that I was allowed to stay at. I had visited the hotel before in its previous incarnation, the Airport International Inn.

Well-travel hotel guests will recognize the decor of the hotel’s original builder:

The Ramada Decor

The Ramada Decor.

The desk was nice and large, but only one outlet was available, provided by the lamp. Another outlet in the wall didn’t work at all. The wireless Internet worked quickly and without any logins, except for cutting off every 24 hours and forcing me to reboot the laptop.

The cable TV was odd. There were 17 analog channels and quite a few digital channels, but large blocks of scrambled channels were interspersed among the provided digital channels. The provided channel guide was also inaccurate, so I couldn’t avoid using the up and down arrows, either.

The queen beds were clean and firm, and the heater worked sufficiently. There was no refrigerator or microwave. My door wouldn’t shut on its own.

The bathroom was quite large with an inner and outer section. The walls of the bathtub were about half the height of a normal tub. The shower this time was sufficiently high. I had really hot water on most days, but on the last day I barely had any hot water at all.

The pool with its water slide is still here, but there was still no fitness room.

Parking is still tricky, the entrances from the frontage road were not well marked.

The staff was professional and courteous, calling maintenance promptly when I thought the TV wasn’t working. Surprisingly, I sat in the hotel lounge for 30 minutes and never got served.

The oddities about this hotel will make me try a little harder to get into the major chains around here: the Holiday Inn, the Candlewood, the Hampton Inn, and others.  At $175/night, the hotel rests on its laurels a little bit, taking advantage of a beneficial market without investing a lot of money in the product.

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