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 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.