The Bad: Overpriced for the condition, Cleanliness, Lack of amenities, Lack of value, Lack of lighting, Breakfast issues, Loose fixtures, Inattentive staff, Smell
The Basics: The Rodeway Inn Allentown might seem like a good deal when booking online, but it's a pretty horrible little hotel that is not worth even its low price.
I have stayed in remarkably few places I would call a complete dive before. The truth is, I tend to be fairly discriminating in where I stay on my business trips, even though price usually is an important governing factor for me. When I had a trip that took me to Allentown, PA, I found a hotel that was less than half a mile from the venue my business show was at and it was more than $10 less expensive than the next nearest hotel, so I figured I would book there for convenience. That hotel was the Rodeway Inn Allentown and I now know I would have been far better off paying the extra $10 and driving the 14 miles as opposed to staying at that hotel. in short, it is hard to imagine a worse hotel than the Rodeway Inn Allentown.
The Rodeway Inn Allentown (PA185 in the Choice Hotel numbering system, which may be helpful if you decide to ignore my advice and book a room here) is located at 2115 Downyflake Lane, Allentown, PA. This is found completely out of the way in an area that seems like it was once a manufacturing district, but is now run down and mostly abandoned. There is a train track right near the hotel and there are active trains, which one can hear from the rooms.
Downyflake Road is near Route 73 and PA-309, which seem like pretty major routes, so it was fairly easy to find. The Rodeway Inn Allentown is down a steep, narrow driveway that seems like it would be entirely impassable in the winter.
The Rodeway Inn Allentown has no grounds to speak of, merely a parking lot that wraps around the entire building. In fact, the rooms out back face a very narrow parking strip and right beyond the parking lot is a fence and then train tracks. As someone who is fairly loyal to the Choice Hotel chains for their value, I prepaid for my stay at the Rodeway Inn Allentown, and I regretted it almost instantly. When the decor out front for the hotel is a small car with four flat tires and a broken window, it is tough not to get a sinking feeling in one's stomach. The moment I first walked into the office building, which was packed with boxes, smelled strongly of incense and featured a breakfast nook with standing room only and a walls that were nowhere near as white as it looked like they had once been painted, I was sure I had made a big mistake paying $65/night to stay there.
The Rodeway Inn Allentown has a strong smell to it, like it became a non-smoking hotel only a week before. It is hard to tell what the persisting source of the foul smell in the hotel was; the rug color in the hallway ranged from filthy gray (i.e. gray because it was white, but people had tracked in dirt and rock salt and the rug had never been cleaned) to spotty black, the walls were dirty with streaks, and the ceiling was waterstained. What was holding in the smoky smell could be any of those things.
The rooms are approximately thirteen and a half feet wide by twenty-one feet deep. With two double beds, a shared nightstand, a television stand, chair, desk and small bathroom, the rooms have a very cramped feeling to them.
The Rodeway Inn Allentown is just plain dirty. The exterior windows seem to always be covered with grit from the city and passing trucks or whatever. The interior is dark and in the hallway, the stairs to the second floor were noticeably uneven and warped. All of the carpet in this hotel is stained, dirty and contributes to the overall dank feeling of the hotel.
Whenever I first arrive in a hotel, the first thing I do is go in and flush the toilet. There's nothing worse than a hotel room where the plumbing is backed up. To the credit of the Rodeway Inn Allentown, it passed the first flush test! However, when the toilet was flushed, it spit water back up, much like if the plumbing had been off for days and then turned back on, contributing to bubbles in the line. For the entirety of my stay, the toilet spit back as if there were bubbles or blockage in the line.
Sadly, though, for as helpful as the cleaning staff is, the rooms are not clean. The nonsmoking rooms seem like they are not terribly well enforced as the room bears an odor that could be from rooms formerly smoked in.
The peak of the problems in my room came from the tiny sink in the room. Pulling the handle to turn the faucet on moved the faucet and it took me three tries to turn the water off because pushing the handle back in pushed the whole faucet assembly.
The room's floor creaks. Walking around the room is unfortunately loud. I felt bad about that until the people in the next room began having sex. I'm not sure if they were especially loud (but wow, did they have admirable stamina!) or if the walls were just that thin, but this is not a hotel for people who want any measure of privacy.
Room rates at this hotel are fairly expensive (given how unclean the hotel is and how poor the amenities are) with all rooms being more than fifty dollars a night and they are nowhere near worth it. The rooms feel dank and there is nothing distinctive about the hotel for what it offers.
The room has two double beds, a television (with, admittedly, an awesome channel selection), a nightstand, desk and shampoo and lotion. They also have a desk chair and a coffee maker; despite three lamps and one overhead light, the rooms never actually get bright. I was surprised when the room had a microwave and a refrigerator; less surprised when I discovered that the refrigerator barely worked. The telephone in the room did not work and I know it was plugged in because when I first arrived in the room, the alarm clock was unplugged and I had to plug it in near where the phone jack was.
Rather creatively, the room's smoke detector and battery were stored (battery out) in one of the room's drawers.
The hotel features a continental breakfast in the office, which is detached from the main hotel. "Breakfast" is a generous term for the generic donuts, fig newtons, chocolate chip cookies, bread, and two types of cereal. There was a juice choice: unrefrigerated orange juice that I instantly found questionable by the fact that after being out for an hour, there was no condensation on the glass pitcher.
Ultimately, the Rodeway Inn Allentown is unworth the time, attention, and patronage of even the cheapest traveler.
For other hotels in the Choice Hotels chain, please be sure to check out my reviews of:
Quality Suites - Hunt Valley, MD
Quality Inn & Suites Airport - El Paso, TX
Comfort Suites Downtown - Buffalo, NY
For other travel reviews, please be sure to visit my Travel Review Index Page!
© 2017 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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