Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Quality Inn & Suites Warren, MI: Amazing Room Size/Good Location Vs. Unclean/Light On Amenities!
The Good: Suites are a good size, Decent location, Public internet terminal
The Bad: Unclean throughout, Breakfast options
The Basics: Despite being cheap and safe, the Quality Inn & Suites in Warren, MI is dirty and dank in a way that does not make visitors inclined to enjoy their stay.
As I prepare for my big move to Michigan, I have been wasting no time in combining work and pleasure by making more trips to places in Michigan that I am going to likely want to spend time when I move out here. I have been managing to get into screenings down in Detroit and despite having a hotel I absolutely loved, the Comfort Suites in Southfield, MI, I figured that while I am still getting to know the area, it would behoove me to try a few other hotels. So, as part of my sidetrip to take my fiance on vacation, I went to a screening of I Love You, Man (reviewed here!) and chose a hotel in the Choice Hotels chain to stay at that was determined solely by price.
I suppose the phrase "You get what you pay for" applies, but when I first entered the Quality Inn & Suites in Warren, Michigan, I had a vastly different impression of it than I do now. The Quality Inn & Suites in Warren is out of the way and over twenty dollars less expensive per night than any other Choice Hotels hotel room in the area. As a result, it became the hotel for me to try.
The Quality Inn & Suites Warren (MI135 in the Choice Hotels numbering system) is located at 32035 Van Dyke Ave in Warren, Michigan. This is a short distance from I-75, a major north-south route through Eastern Michigan. The hotel is easiest to access from I-696, which is an arterial around Detroit. Mapquest gives perfectly accurate directions to the address and there were actually no issues with finding the hotel when I arrived.
Warren is one of several suburbs of Detroit and it seems to be dominated by strip malls and low buildings. As I look out of my room, I have a view of the side parking lot and the local UAW. This is not a tourist area and it is not a scenic area by any means. The hotel has no grounds, just a wraparound parking lot. Easy to find, the hotel has a single hallway that one enters when they come through the front door. As a result, there is less of a front lobby and more of a desk in the hallway that one enters.
The Quality Inn & Suites is a multistory drab gray concrete building, but it is brightly lit, allowing visitors to feel very safe immediately. Still, the lobby area does not make one feel welcome. I arrived in early afternoon while the front desk staff was being sold new vending products and the clerk did not suspend negotiations to check me in, which kept me waiting over ten minutes. I had booked a room with a single king bed, nonsmoking for the after-tax(es) price of $55.37 and due to it being a slow time of year in the location and as a Choice Privileges member, I was given a free upgrade to a suite. The first attempt to get into a room failed because the door's keycard reader's battery was apparently dead. I made it into a suite on my second attempt.
The suite I was given was actually impressively large. In fact, this was one of the larger rooms I have ever been in in a Choice Hotels hotel. The room was a nonsmoking room, but it clearly had not always been one. The room had a faint odor and it was exacerbated by humidity after I took my shower. I recognize nicotine scent and at some point in the past, this had been a smoking room or someone had smoked extensively in it. The room had a great sense of space to it with the king-sized bed not at all dominating the approximately 13 1/4 X 25 ft. room in the suite. The full suite is twenty-eight feet wide and twenty-five feet deep. The suite is large enough that when I entered and checked the room out with its large living room, it took me a few minutes of looking to discover that there was a second bathroom (one is adjacent to the bedroom, the other to the living room).
The bathroom was surprisingly spacious and both bathrooms had a shower stall with bathtub. The living room had a very nice sized tub and even with the desks in each room, the kitchen area and the television/entertainment center, the room had the feeling of being bigger than it actually was. This was a room that used space well. This is nice because the view out the lone window in the place was terrible and so even when the shades were closed, the room felt like it was a good size and not at all claustrophobic, which was a nice change in perception considering the entranceway to the hotel.
The fundamental detraction against the Quality Inn & Suites in Warren was its lack of cleanliness. The public areas in the hotel are disturbingly dank and dirty. The stairwell smelled of urinal cakes (which I suppose is somehow better than smelling of urine). The hallway on the third floor had a large bleach stain and the metal doorway in the stairwell was dented. There was no public area in the hotel that I encountered that left me feeling clean. Every time I went back to my room or my car, I used a pretty healthy dose of antibacterial lotion. The wallpaper is peeling in several places and the white paint on the ceiling is discolored in several places.
As for the room, the room was nonsmoking, supposedly. The room is not quite as dirty as the rest of the hotel feels, but I was disturbed when checking into the room to find the linens were dirty and had hair from someone else on them. Imagine my relief when I discovered the second bathroom stocked with clean towels and washcloths! The tub was generally clean, but there were spots on the rub throughout the suite. The room smelled faintly of old nicotine. Both toilets passed the first flush test, but the fixtures on the shower were covered in soap or hard-water residue on all of the metal parts.
The bedding was clean, though there were handprints or oil splotches on the headboard and that, too was pretty disturbing to me.
This Quality Inn & Suites had the feeling of a place one passes through, not where one stays for real enjoyment. As a result, along with my own hurry to be on the road, I did not spend time at the pool and I used the breakfast room just long enough to eat my breakfast and get out (it was depressing and poorly lit and left me just wanting to get back to my room.
There was a safe in the room, which led to the usual hassle of having the $1.50 taken off the bill. Fortunately, I noticed this charge when checking in and had it taken off right then. The room was equipped with the usual Quality Inn shampoo, soap and coffee. The television in the room was of decent size with about thirty channels worth of choices. The heating unit worked fine and there was one in both rooms in the suite. The room had a kitchen area with a little refrigerator and tiny microwave.
Next to the main desk was a desk with an internet connection and I spent more than my allotted fifteen minutes on it in the middle of the night when I could not sleep.
The breakfast was served in an dank dining area, with signs that food was not to leave the room. The breakfast was unimpressive, even for an inexpensive hotel. For sure, few hotels in the Choice Hotel system have sausage and potatoes and eggs. But the eggs were powdered, the potatoes were undercooked (hard and cold and unflavored) and the sausage was overcooked and cold. There was the usual coffee, tea and the only juice option was orange juice. There was no make-your-own waffle station, which is unlike virtually every other Comfort Inn and Suites I've stayed at. As well, there was a pile of donuts, oatmeal in canisters, and a couple of cereal options, served out of a dispensers, but I could not find any milk for it. There was also fresh fruit in the form of oranges, apples and bananas. There was very little of everything, though and the plates were chipped, at least most of the ones I looked at and ate on.
Staying at the Quality Inn & Suites in Warren forced me to reconsider what it was I used as my standards to define an average hotel. The room size here was great, the price was right, but the cleanliness is so far below average that it was bothersome and the breakfast was equally bad. Either way, I knew relatively early on in my stay that I would not be recommending the hotel, but for the room size, I had some debate on how I would rate it.
Ultimately, I considered that I was in one of the best rooms in the place and I still was not thrilled about it. That's what ultimately led me to consider it below average enough to rate it so low. It's too bad, though . . . the suite was big!
For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Comfort Suites Grand Rapids North - Comstock Park, MI
Quality Inn Niagara Falls
Quality Inn Brockton - Brockton, MA
For other travel reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2012, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.