Thursday, February 23, 2012
Near To St. Louis, The Sleep Inn O'Fallon Is A Fine Place To Crash.
The Good: Good location, Decent sized room, Amenities, Good breakfast, Price
The Bad: No grounds
The Basics: A good place to stay near St. Louis, the Sleep Inn O'Fallon offers a place to sleep - and not much more - at a fair price.
On my way home this year from Las Vegas, I decided to truly push myself. It was stupid, I know, but actually, reviewing was one of the things I had in mind when I booked my return journey cross country. I made my usual stop in Boulder, Colorado for my yearly tea supply and then I pushed on. Last year, I discovered that St. Louis was about halfway from Boulder to my home in Upstate New York, so it made for a natural place to crash for the night. And last year, I found a perfectly good hotel in the St. Louis area; the Quality Inn & Suites in historic St. Charles (reviewed here!).
Despite that being an adequate hotel, this year, I decided I wanted to wake up on the Eastern side of St. Louis so I didn't have to compete with any traffic in the morning. It meant twenty minutes more driving and it put me right over the river in O'Fallon, Illinois, but I found a place there. It was the Sleep Inn, O'Fallon. I was unsure I had ever been to a Sleep Inn (until I entered this one and found the shower alcove identical to one I must have stayed in years ago), but this experience is certainly not going to keep me from trying another one in the future!
The Sleep Inn O'Fallon (IL431 in the Choice Hotels numbering system) is located at 140 Venita Drive. This is a little over twelve miles off the major east-west arterial, Interstate Route 70, exit 2 off I-64, right over the Illinois border. MapQuest gives excellent directions with the correct address and it is important to note that O'Fallon seems to be one of those cities that straddles two states. The Sleep Inn O'Fallon is firmly planted on the Illinois side of that divide.
The Sleep Inn appeared to have a single entrance (I arrived late at night and left rather bleary-eyed, despite checking out almost at noon the next morning!). There is parking in front and on one side of the tall, white building and even arriving late at night, there was adequate parking for a late check-in like myself. The Sleep Inn in O'Fallon is not a huge hotel and it is not much to look at on the outside. There are no grounds to speak of - the hotel is surrounded by parking lots and is right near a shopping plaza, though it is set back far enough to avoid noises from traffic or other distractions.
The lobby of the Sleep Inn in O'Fallon is a giant, surprisingly elegant lobby adjacent to the breakfast area. I was greeted at midnight by a very friendly desk clerk who was able and willing to answer all of my questions as I came in. There was a staircase opposite the front desk that allowed easy access to second-story rooms, which was where my room was.
Inside the Sleep Inn is a modern, brightly-lit setting that defies the lack of grounds outside. Unlike the parking lot that surrounds it, the Sleep Inn is surprisingly spacious, clean and inviting. The carpets all seemed clean and new and the building was easy to navigate around to find my room, which was a nonsmoking room on the second floor.
The room was a fairly substantial sized room for a location intended just for sleeping in! Sleep Inns are billed as the affordable option in the Choice Hotel chain, usually for business travelers who are coming in and getting out. The room at the Sleep Inn O'Fallon I stayed in measured twenty-one feet deep by only twelve and a half feet wide, but it did not feel cramped at all. The room included two queen beds, a full bathroom with shower (not a bath tub), toilet and a sink/mirror area outside the shower alcove. As well, there was the standard desk and a small table with chairs at it.
Despite all that was crammed into the room - including the refrigerator and microwave - the room did not seem at all like a tight fit!
From the first moment I opened the door to the room at the Sleep Inn in O'Fallon, I had an excellent feeling about it. First, the nonsmoking room smelled like nothing but air. There was no evidence or trace of scent that would have indicated it had ever had a cigarette smoked in it. Instead, the entire hotel smelled good.
Every time I enter a new hotel room, I flush the toilet (past experience has proven this is an excellent thing to check out right away!) and this Sleep Inn easily passed the first flush test with no difficulties. The wallpaper in the room was tasteful and none of the wallpaper or paint was peeling. This was an exceptionally clean hotel.
The common areas were all clean and well-maintained. Given that there were no grounds, some of the maintenance is easier than at other locations. There was a very vigilant worker at the breakfast room, keeping it clean constantly (and also guarding the oatmeal packets . . .).
The Sleep Inn O'Fallon has a pretty decent package working for it for a hotel in the Choice Hotel system. In every room there were the standard coffee packets, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion, along with an air conditioning unit. There were also two tea bags with the coffee as well, which seems to be a new trend in the chain! At this location, there was also available upon request: razors, toothbrushes and sewing kits. This, too, makes the guest feel like the hotel is full service.
This feeling is reinforced by the friendly staff and the 24 hour coffee and tea service. In addition to the coffee from the room, there is coffee in the lobby/breakfast area; the guest need never go thirsty. Well, at least not for coffee!
The free continental breakfast at this Sleep Inn is pretty decent. There were four types of cold cereal, milk, apple and orange juice from a machine. There were pre-sliced plain and raisin bagels, cream cheese, and five different flavors of oatmeal. As well, there were English muffins, donuts, and white bread for toast. There was, as well, a waffle maker, which is one of the trademarks of the chain. Hard boiled eggs, fresh oranges and bananas, and sausage biscuits and gravy were also available at this location!
The Sleep Inn also has a large indoor pool. There are also two (2!) free high speed internet terminals in the lobby, near the breakfast area, which guests are able to freely use at all hours of the day or night. The television has approximately fifty cable television stations. Anyone looking to do sightseeing in St. Louis, but looking to stay outside the city should give this Sleep Inn serious consideration!
Very comfortable and packed with amenities, this Sleep Inn in O'Fallon, IL is a reasonably priced hotel near St. Louis. I don't recommend driving quite so far in one day to get there, but it is adequate and the workers there were friendly both at check in and check out. Having to only spend $66.59 on a hotel during peak summer travel season was nice and I certainly feel like this one was a bargain at that price.
For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Comfort Inn Independence - Independence, OH
Comfort Suites Lakeside - Houghton Lake, MI
Comfort Inn Airport - Las Vegas, NV
For other travel reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!
© 2012, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.