Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Outside Cleveland, The Comfort Inn Elyria Is A Less-Expensive Option That's Still A Tough Sell!
The Good: Generally clean, Inexpensive for those near Cleveland, Good breakfast, Nice room size
The Bad: VERY thin walls, No pool, General disrepair
The Basics: A very average hotel, the Comfort Inn Elyria is not a bad place to stay near Cleveland, Ohio, but it is not a luxury stop, either!
Last week, around this time, my wife and I were fulfilling one of my lifetime goals by visiting the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame (reviewed here!) in Cleveland, Ohio. It was exciting for me and it was something we agreed to do on our way to visit her friends in Michigan, so we both had a trip experience. Because staying in Cleveland was a ridiculously high expense, we opted to stay just outside Cleveland in Elyria, Ohio. That's about twenty miles west of the city proper and rates there went from being in the hundred dollar range per night to $64.99 for our room.
The Comfort Inn Elyria is a good place to spend a night, but even with getting upgraded to one of the best rooms in the hotel, a room with a king-sized bed and a two-person hot tub right in the room, the hotel had enough faults to make it a less strong "recommend" than I would have liked going into it.
The Comfort Inn Elyria is located at 739 Leona St. in Elyria, Ohio (44035). This was a very hotel-looking building located in a hub of hotels right off the interstate. The Comfort Inn Elyria is OH086 in the Choice Hotels numbering system. MapQuest and similar programs give accurate directions to the hotel. Once one gets off the highway, the Comfort Inn is visible with its bright blue sign even from a distance.
The Comfort Inn Elyria has two entrances, from Leona Street and a sidestreet behind it (near a Honda dealership, which was handy in the morning when we discovered one of our tires was soft!). The parking lot was a bit cramped, but even though the hotel was fully booked when we arrived, all of the fifty cars that were supposed to be there were accommodated. The Comfort Inn Elyria is set back behind a McDonald's restaurant. There are no grounds to speak of coming into the hotel.
Upon entering the hotel, I was somewhat impressed by the main lobby. The main lobby was spacious and included a computer where guests have internet access. The main lobby featured stairways up to the second level and the three-hallways that extended back to the various rooms. The breakfast area, which seated about ten tables, is also visible when one enters the hotel.
The hotel staff immediately greets guests and every member of the staff that I interacted with was friendly, kind and knowledgeable about the area. In fact, when I was checking in, the staff was remarkably friendly with the woman who checked me in giving us a room upgrade when I asked (I am a member of the Choice Hotels loyalty program). I knew there were better rooms than the one we booked available going in, but sometimes the hotels aren't so keen to give away their bigger rooms. We managed to score a nonsmoking room on the first floor with a king bed and two-person hot tub in the bathroom.
As for the room itself, it was large and felt large, especially because it was not cluttered with excessive furniture. Bigger than most in the Choice Hotel system, the room measured thirty feet deep by fourteen feet wide. Our upgraded room included a king-sized bed, a true two person hot tub (which replaced a wall between the bathroom and bedroom, though the toilet was essentially in a closet with a sliding door), the usual television and desk combination and a couch in between. There was an enclosed closet and because there was no table, there was a large amount of open space near the window. While I was checking on the bathroom, my partner got a good running start before leaping on the bed.
From the first moment I opened the door to the room at the Comfort Inn Elyria, I had a good feeling about it, though some of it was just from getting away with my partner. Our room did not smell of smoke at all, though I noticed immediately that the rugs were not terribly clean and throughout the hotel there were patches of peeling wallpaper.
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 Comfort Inn easily passed the first flush test with no difficulties. The hot tub and toilet were all clean, as were all of the linens. None of the towels had spots, nor did the sheets or the comforters.
The wallpaper in the room was tasteful, though some of the wallpaper was peeling. More than any hotel I've been to of late, I noticed several surface details that were in states of disrepair, especially in the hallways. Fortunately, the hot tub was perfectly clean and clear.
The Comfort Inn Elyria 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, and lotion, along with an air conditioning/heating unit. There were also two tea bags with the coffee as well, which seems to be becoming standard.
The room we stayed in was the largest in the hotel and ours had the king bed and a two-person hot tub in the bathroom. The hot tub was very comfortable and a true two person hot tub. It was even contoured on either side so people could sit facing their tubmate and while that was cool while we were bathing, I found it problematic when it came time to shower; the water pressure was a bit low that I had to stand some on the incline! While bathing, though, I was able to stretch out and the water was hot and both my partner and I enjoyed relaxing in it. As well, it had very easy-to-use controls on the wall and there was a little information plaque below which informed users exactly how to operate it. Simply twisting a knob on the wall after the tub was filled activated the jets and it worked wonderfully.
The free continental breakfast at this Comfort Inn was very average. Everything seemed fresh and there was a fairly decent selection. In addition to hashed brown potatoes and bacon, there were three types of cold cereal, milk, apple and orange juice from a machine. There were English muffins, fresh plain and raisin bagels, muffins, danishes, and white bread for toast. There was, as well, the trademark waffle maker - this one having four mini-waffles it made - and fresh batter and a lot of syrup. There were hard-boiled eggs and fresh oranges and apples, the fruit being available around the clock.
This hotel did not have a pool, but it did have a small weight room. There is also a free high speed internet in every room, which I was able to access. As I relaxed in the tub, my wife played on-line on our iPod Touch (reviewed here!).
The television has approximately fifty-five cable television stations and the television was small.
Unfortunately, the room had paper-thin walls and it began out trip off with both of us getting very little sleep. People making noise in the hallway and adjacent rooms made for a tough night's sleep.
All in all, this was a nice place to stay with a friendly staff, but the rooms were not exceptional and the place was darker than it was inviting. That said, I've stayed in far worse places and for those just looking for a place to crash for a night near Cleveland, Ohio will likely find the Comfort Inn Elyria to be a decent value.
For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Comfort Inn Carrier Circle - Syracuse, NY
Comfort Inn East - Indianapolis, IN
Quality Inn & Suites Historic St. Charles - Saint Charles, MO
For other travel reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.