Saturday, February 11, 2012
The Weird Bookings Of The Comfort Inn Airport, Las Vegas
The Good: Location, Decent price (if you check it), Nice, clean rooms, Very friendly staff
The Bad: Utterly unmemorable breakfast, Location (or directions in)
The Basics: With a friendly staff that knows its way around Las Vegas, the Comfort Inn Las Vegas becomes a hotel worthy of staying at, if not staying in.
For those who are not savvy with traveling in the United States, major destinations will often change their rates based on the time of the year. As I prepared to write my review of the Comfort Inn in Las Vegas, Nevada I stayed at last summer, I had the weird experience of checking my reservation for this year and discovering that the reservation I made in February for my August trip was $25/night more than the current rate offered. Figuring it might be a fluke, I adjusted the date in my research to coincide with this year's trip and the rate stayed the same! I understand that rates might change based on when one is traveling, but altering the rates based on when the trip is booked just seems ridiculous. Moreover, one would think that the rate would be lower the further out one books a reservation, but anyway . . .
. . . Last summer, I made a trip West for a convention (as always) and I went the furthest West I have ever been, making it to Las Vegas, Nevada. It strikes me that there are two types of hotels in Las Vegas (indeed, with virtually every casino having a hotel - or vice versa - it seems sometimes like there is little else in Vegas but hotels!): hotels one books to stay at and experience and hotels one crashes at while they explore the city. With room rates being so competitive in Las Vegas, but me not being much of a gambler, I opted for the security and stability of the Choice Hotel chain and I booked at the Comfort Inn, Las Vegas.
The best possible recommendation I can give for this hotel is this: as soon as I returned from my trip, I was ready to book a room at the hotel for this year. (Though, with this weird pricing thing, maybe it was good I didn't!)
This is the Comfort Inn Las Vegas (NV048 in the Choice Hotels numbering system) located at 4350 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a great location within Las Vegas as it is right near the strip. It is literally across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe (some of which closes surprisingly early for a city that is up all night!), on the same street as the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Hilton that houses Star Trek: The Experience! Little note about Las Vegas: it's a fairly compact little city in the middle of the desert, so even though everything is very close to each other - New York City walkers would not be intimidated walking all around Vegas for distance - the heat is stifling by nine A.M., virtually eliminating the chance of simply walking around the city. So, even though these things are very close to the Comfort Inn, you might want to have a ride or take a taxi around, just for basic survival.
The Comfort Inn is also down the street from Terrible's, a Casino and restaurant that features a nightly buffet that is easily one of the best values in Las Vegas (it, too, closes ridiculously early in the night for my tastes!). In the evening, this restaurant is in what I would consider Vegas walking distance (again, it's the heat, oppressive sunlight and the fact that this is a desert, rather than the physical distance!).
The detraction to the location is the ability to get in the front entrance. MapQuest annoyingly gives directions that takes a driver in through the back way, which involves going down some poorly marked winding roads that a misturn puts a driver in a giant Bermuda Triangle parking lot. I seem to recall there was some issue with Paradise Road being one way at one point past the hotel (I'll update this when I return this year) but the specific reason for the problem of getting into the Comfort Inn through the front way does not leap right to mind. The back entrance is not terribly well marked and I remember that it annoyingly took a couple of takes the first time to find all the right roads behind the hotel to actually get the right one.
Once there, the location is fine. It's located in a nice part of Las Vegas (is there a bad part of Las Vegas?), though there are no grounds for this hotel. This is basically a fenced in parking lot with a hotel squeezed onto the property. I do not recall seeing anything green on the property, but that was fine for me; I was staying at this hotel as a reasonably-priced option for my convention.
If there's a reasonable gripe about the Comfort Inn Las Vegas, it might be that the rooms are rather boxy. I stayed at a room that had two double beds and it was basically a twenty by twenty cube (approximately). The 2 double bed room, nonsmoking, is currently booking for $71.99 (9% tax on the room) per night. For some reason booking the same room in February for the exact same date range gave me a rate of $98/night! These are both the Internet Users rate, so your price might be more.
Even with the two beds, the room does not feel cramped, but it also does not feel terribly spacious. There is a desk, a wonderful kitchen area, the two beds, the nightstand and the wash area. The bathroom is a little smaller than I would like, but it's not like I wanted to spend forever in the bathroom anyway. I guess I've been spoiled with large shower areas, this one was not (and as a taller person, I remember that the shower was ridiculously low).
The kitchen area enhances the feeling of value to this hotel room, though. The room has a microwave, refrigerator and a ton of cupboards. Hitting Terrible's at the end of the night might encourage even a glutton to bring some back to the hotel and there's adequate space for a ton of food. In fact, the kitchen area is more reminiscent of an apartment than a hotel!
Las Vegas, being in the middle of the desert, is a bright place. I would have expected it to be dustier, but maybe the oppressive heat just burns up any sand that gets into the air in August. Anyway, the place is bright, so there would be no hiding dirt in this hotel. Fortunately, this was one of the cleanest room's I've found in my travels. The giant window - which lets in a great amount of natural light in the morning - was crystal clear, as were the grounds and lobby of the hotel.
The room was immaculately clean, with no evidence that anyone had ever stayed in the room prior to me, which is always the ideal in a hotel situation. The refrigerator was perfectly clean and ready for food, the microwave was empty of any debris and the table and nightstand were devoid of any food or goo. Checking out the bathroom - the first thing I do in a hotel room is flush the toilet - the toilet passed the flush test (for the nightmarish inverse of this hotel, check out my review of the Quality Inn Meadowlands!) and the tub drained fine as well.
The pool was clean and inviting (I've yet to figure out how the water from an outdoor pool in Las Vegas keeps from simply evaporating over the course of a day) and it was nice to take a swim in after a day's work.
All of the linens and bedding were clean and each day they were replaced with equally clean linens and bedding. During my four days at this hotel, the cleaning staff continued to impress me with their fastidiousness and consistent attention to detail.
The Comfort Inn Las Vegas does manage to feel like a value with the refrigerator, microwave and the whole kitchen area. The rooms are comfortable and coming back to a room that cools off quickly with the industrial air conditioner was a real treat.
The staff at this Comfort Inn was especially helpful and gracious. The hotel offers a shuttle service to the convention center down the street and the hotel staff was wonderful about dropping me off and picking me up there at the end of the night. The rooms felt safe and secure.
One of the amenities I usually write about is the breakfast. This Comfort Inn has a free deluxe continental breakfast and I've absolutely no memory of it. Strangely, I remember the free coffee and tea in the lobby while waiting for the morning shuttle to the convention center, but I've no memory of the breakfast. Hmm . . . isn't it funny how when you start to write about something, it comes back? The Comfort Inn in Las Vegas had one of the weirdest breakfast areas of any hotel I've ever stayed at. The hotel converted a room into a breakfast area (where one picked up the food - I believe there was another with seating) and my overwhelming memory of it was that it was cramped. Very cramped. The food was available on a counter around one wall with a juice bar at the far end of the room.
The breakfast included bagels, english muffins, prepackaged muffins and danishes, prepackaged cereals (there was some decent variety in this selection!), and waffles. There were four juice options, milk, coffee, and tea. The breakfast was adequate, though barely memorable.
The room has a television with about fifty channels on it.
This is a decent hotel, though it's definitely recommended as a good hotel for crashing at while spending time in Las Vegas doing other things. If you're looking for a luxury hotel where you're likely to stay and enjoy the hotel/casino experience in Las Vegas, this is not it. If you're looking for a comfortable, inexpensive home base to come back to every night while seeing sites in Vegas, this is a great option!
The extensiveness of the kitchen area and the friendliness of the staff is what throws this particular hotel up into the above average rating.
For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Quality Inn Meadowlands - Lyndhurst, NJ
Quality Inn West - Baltimore, MD
Quality Inn & Suites Airport - El Paso, TX
For other travel reviews, please visit my Travel Review Index Page for a complete listing!
© 2012, 2007 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.