AMA Rick Husband Amarillo Airport Review

Fox news on the TVs -Pro

Glass jetbridges -Pro

low volume peak times – Pro

Nice new terminal -Pro

I really couldn’t find any negatives about AMA. It is a nice modern airport. It’s well located, rental cars are just outside the door from baggage check. I’d say the only thing I would change is to add rental car bypass the desk features which this airport lacks. That is pretty minor in my book. 

Hampton Inn Garden City Kansas Review

This location is a typical Hilton Hampton Inn property. Nothing really special but a nice up to date location. I would rate it as the second best hotel in this area. There is a newer Marriott Townplace hotel nearby that I think is slightly better. 

 

This Hilton Diamond sign was the only welcome I got as a Diamond Hilton guest. I’ll see if the Diamond welcome points ever post. This is sad as this stay is one of a few I am testing with Hilton properties this year to see if it’s worth keeping any loyalty with this chain. 

Summary:

Good clean room. Well located with IHOP, Target, Burger King and taco Bell within a few hundred feet of hotel. 

Staff is efficient and nice but lack any elite recognition in my experience here. I don’t expect much but at least saying thanks for being Diamond would be enough.

 I also wasn’t very impressed with the evening reception food. Not sure what I expected but it just seemed a bit weak and forced. I’d rather they just skip it and have cookies in the lobby I think. 

I sound critical but don’t mean to. This was a service and property test for me. I travel to this rural area for business a few times per year. I haven’t been that excited with the nearby Holiday Inn Express which is dated. I really like the Townplace hotel but I have little status (Silver) with Marriott. So this was just a property test.

Features of hotel I like include the indoor pool and breakfast that starts at 6am. 

Features I don’t like are the thin walks, poor desk chairs that aren’t very ergonomic, doors that seem to slam more than other hotels and the tiny TVs. 

Feature I hate the most…Fitness room isn’t open 24 hours. This is a deal breaker for me. I doubt I’ll come back over this. I know this seems minor but as a runner visiting in the winter I was very disappointed. 

Staybridge West Valley City (SLC)

A quick 2 night stay at the Staybridge West Valley City location in Salt Lake City Metro area. I might stay here again on business, haven’t made up my mind but I am very picky. I’m still searching for just the right hotel in the SLC area.

Pros:

  • Attached to the Holiday Inn Express that features an indoor water park.
  • Great fitness room.
  • Typical Staybridge evening reception and free breakfast.
  • New feeling hotel although I suspect this property is older than it looks.
  • Very clean and comfortable.
  • Great service.
  • Not far from the airport.

Cons:

  • 6:30am breakfast. This is a big deal since I often have to leave early in the morning.
  • Fairly noisy hallways (it seems that the housekeeping staff is talking loud and working hard from 8am to 5pm). Kids running down the hall. I suspect due to the water park feature.
  • Not many restaurants or shopping close by. There is shopping and restaurant near here but you have to drive a bit.

Holiday Inn Express Park City Utah Review

I stayed at the Park City Holiday Inn Express the week before Thanksgiving. I happen to be there for one of the first snow falls of the year. Late ski season this year. I traveled there on business and I am not a skier so I can’t vouch for the winter sports. Not much going on for the slopes yet. 

The fitness center was small but decent. There are also fairly good areas to run around outside in good weather. Nice way to do some high altitude training.

This seems to be an older hotel but it was clean and no major issues.

My company makes me rent from National. The National franchise at SLC is part owned by a Chevy dealer from what they tell me at the check in counter. Yes check in counter as SLC has no elite drive and go lot. It’s really the biggest problem with this airport. I picked a Chevy Traverse AWD to avoid driving issues. As you can see there wasn’t that much snow however.

The fitness center, sauna and hot tub are located within the indoor pool area. Not bad but does make the fitness center a bit warm for running.

Front of hotel

Small dated but clean bathroom.

Indoor pool area

Before the snow. This is a view of the storm clouds moving in over the nearby Smith grocery store. There are many stores and restaurant within walking distance of the hotel (1 to 3 blocks away).

Front lobby

Room fridge, microwave, etc.

View from room.

My blurry photo of the front lobby. The serve breakfast here in typical HIX fashion. Nothing to write home about.

Overall the service and location of this hotel was very good. The rooms are average but not bad. Fairly quiet but close to the Interstate. I would stay here again on business. It’s fairly close to the many ski areas but yet close to fast food, etc. Might be a good budget choice if in the area for ski or pleasure.

Trip review Houston / Kemah Texas

I had a recent quick trip to Houston for business. I stayed at the Kemah Texas Holiday Inn Express. Not a bad hotel located near the Ocean front boardwalk area in Kemah. This is on the South side of Houston.

The room was decent although I’m not sure it was much of an upgrade based on my IHG Spire and Ambassador status. The room was comfortable, clean and quiet.  The only negative was the HVAC system. It seemed to be set way too sensitive. It has the dumb Inncom electronic thermostat which can be set to VIP mode but it would switch between cold and hot. For example I came in the room and it was slightly too cold like at 68 degrees so I turned it up to say 69 and the AC would go off and then switch to heat to try and moderate 1 degree.

img_20161106_150035791

The view from my room was nice. It was a bit cloudy and rainy but you could see the boardwalk area and ocean. img_20161106_150027654

The wild colored bathroom sink. Interesting. This room had a walk in good shower. Not sure if all the rooms have walk-in showers. img_20161106_145958886

Another view of the room. Microwave and mini frig. Desk was fairly good set up for work. img_20161106_145937762

A morning run view of the boardwalk amusement area. img_20161107_062803777Part of my morning run in the area. View of the rough sea on a cloudy morning. img_20161107_063438777

I flew into Houston Hobby on AA but had to get over to El Paso for other business so I elected to fly the United non-stop out of IAH. I was surprised that I didn’t have to pay a big surcharge to drop the rental car from National at a different airport so that was impressive.

The regional UA jets are lumped into one terminal cattle holding area where they call you down the hallway method to walk outside to board. I always love it for some odd reason. My wife things I’m an idiot for getting so excited about walking out on the tarmac. img_20161107_144617778Always a good photo-op situation. I love it. img_20161107_144643367

Holiday Inn Express MXP Italy

I stay in A LOT of Holiday Inn Express hotels. This stay was for two nights at the end of a trip to Austria, Germany and Northern Italy. It’s super close to the MXP airport but way out on the edge of Milan. The hotel was very average and kinda depressing I think as yoi may be able to see from the photos. 

While it served a purpose I was disappointed in some things that might seem picky. The ice machine was broken and the hotel bar had no ice. They only offer liquid soap, no bar soap, minor I know. The windows in the rooms are tiny so it made the room seem like a prison cell. The good part is they did offer a bar which was nice but very limited choices for dinner. Luckily there is a fantastic Italian restaurant nearby and only about two blocks away in this small town area. 

The next time I’m in the area I would tempted to try the nearby Crowned Plaza, that doesn’t look awesome, or the Sheraton that is in the airport. The MXP HIX is very average in my personal opinion. 

Holiday Inn Express Denton Texas

I recently needed to stop overnight along I-35 on my way from San Antonio to Kansas City. I selected the HIX Denton mostly due to location but also good reviews. My luck in the DFW with Holiday Inn has been spotty at best. Many of the hotels in this area are in serious need of a make over or are in bad areas I think. This hotel was a pleasant surprise. The staff was outstanding. As a Spire Ambassador member I was upgraded to a huge room. Breakfast started a 6am if not before which is super valuable for a roadside stop. 

I’d say the only weak part of this visit was a lack of places to walk for dinner or run outside as I tend to do. Still a good place on the Northside of the metro Plex.