Friday, December 2, 2011

Planning Ahead Saves Money Everywhere, But Especially At The Comfort Inn, East!

Comfort Inn East
The Good: Excellent room size, Generally friendly staff, nice amenities, Decent location
The Bad: Expensive for the room/location
The Basics: A pleasant place to crash, especially when desperate and the hour is getting late, the Comfort Inn East is comfortable with good, clean rooms.

I've been delighted to the feedback thus far about my disastrous "play-it-by-ear" hotel experience in Indiana and it is worth it to continue the story to its logical conclusion. My general rules before my last trip included sticking to a chain I know and trust (in this case, the Choice Hotels chain) and having a plan. Flying without a plan landed me in Indiana, past New Castle without a hotel. As it turned out, the night I was circling Northern Indianapolis getting more and more tired, searching for a hotel, there was a convention or reunion in town. After an hour and a half of seeking low-cost lodging and finding nothing open, I headed for a place I knew. I headed for Eastern Indianapolis and Shadeland Avenue. Usually, I stay at the Quality Inn nearby as it is next door to the hotel my conventions are at. That night, despite that Quality Inn being only an additional block, I opted to stop at the closer Comfort Inn East.


The Comfort Inn East (IN099 in the Choice Hotels pantheon) is located at 2295 N. Shadeland Ave. It is exceptionally easy to get to when traveling the major arterial, 70W (though it is under construction as of this writing) as well as some of the arterials around Indianapolis (Shadeland Avenue is one of those arterials coming from the north). In other words, this is a great location, very easy to find.

The grounds are nothing to speak of as this is basically a six-story building surrounded by a parking lot. As a (mostly) business traveler, this did not bother me at all.

For the first time in a decade, I arrived at a hotel without a reservation and was not able to take advantage of internet rates. As a result, I ended up paying $93.14 for a nonsmoking room with two double beds. I was too tired to care at the time. Had I known that in the lobby behind me when I checked in there was a computer where I could have made a reservation and knocked approximately $30 off the room rate, I would have done it in a heartbeat. C'est la vie.

The front desk staff was exceptionally helpful and she had me checked in in no time.

Room Size

The truly blissful thing about sticking to the chain and trusting in the inherent quality of Choice Hotels was that I did not have to inspect the room beforehand. No, I booked the room, grabbed my stuff and my traveling companion from the car and went in on faith. We were not disappointed.

The room was fairly spacious, approximately thirteen by twenty-seven feet. The two double beds occupied space, but not so much as to oppress the room. The bathroom was bigger than most bathrooms in hotels I've stayed at recently, but the amount of space it carved out of the room seemed mostly inconsequential; the room felt big enough for at least two people. We had no problems moving around one another.


After the inspection of the Super 8 sponsored by Satan, it was refreshing to be in the Comfort Inn. Everything was clean. From the front lobby to the linens, there was a very well-maintained feeling to the room and the whole hotel.

In the room, the linens were clean and the towels and washcloths were all clean and soft, which is not always the case (I've discovered). Every surface was spotless and even the television screen was completely devoid of dust. The room was clearly a nonsmoking room and there was no indication anyone had ever smoked in it. The tables and chairs and refrigerator were all clean and well maintained.

In the bathroom, the toilet passed the first flush test without any problems.

Outside the room, the hotel was very clean. The elevator buttons were not covered in grime (which I remember after a few weeks, which is pretty shocking) and the pool looked well maintained and inviting in the morning when I woke up. The dining area was a nice nook which was kept up and it never had any sort of mess while I was there.


The Comfort Inn East offered some nice perks, whether or not I was able to take advantage of them during my visit. In addition to the nice looking pool and the complimentary newspaper in the morning, our room had a refrigerator and microwave. The bathroom came with the usual soaps, shampoo and lotion (no conditioner) and there was coffee in the room.

The lobby had a public terminal with internet access. NOTE TO PARENTS: While it might be convenient for the computer to take care of your child while you have breakfast and tend to your other children, when someone is sitting and waiting patiently to use the computer, it's considered impolite to let your little bugger use the internet to look up what the kid missed on his cartoons. Moreover, if you have to yell across a breakfast area for everything from how to spell words, e-mail addresses and what your passwords are, your kid probably shouldn't be using the computer.

The breakfast nook is a cozy dining area with five or six tables adjacent to the lobby which had a couch and loveseat. I've never spent as much time in a lobby as I did that morning waiting to use the computer (determined as I was to not have a repeat performance of the roaming night before without a hotel on the way home!), but it was very comfortable, even though I was subjected to yelling children and FoxNews on the television.

The breakfast at the Comfort Inn East was decent, though standard. There was the make-your-own waffles that Choice Hotels are becoming known for (no complaints there!), danish, mini-muffins, bagels and two cereal options. There was also fresh fruit in the form of bananas, oranges and apples. There was apple, orange and cranberry juice in the machine and it seemed like it had been recently cleaned. Other drinking options included coffee, teas and hot cocoa (Nestle w/marshmallows!). There was also yogurt to eat.


The Comfort Inn East was a decent place to stay for the night and when I return to Indianapolis for business later this year it may be where I stay (based more on where my convention is). The staff was helpful and they made checking in and out easy and relatively painless based on the fact that I did not have a reservation. The hotel itself was clean and inviting and while the breakfast was nothing to light the sky on fire, it was adequate.

This is an excellent hotel to stay at when in the Indianapolis area; I'd just be sure to get a reservation using a better rate than the standard one!

For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Quality Inn & Suites Historic St. Charles - Saint Charles, MO
Comfort Inn - Hill City, SD
Quality Inn & Suites Airport - Bloomington, MN (Mall Of America)


For other hotel or travel reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
Comfort Inn East

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