Comfort Inn & Suites Review (yeah, you heard me right)

As previously mentioned, on Monday night I managed to score a bump off the later SFO to IAD redeye. Everything sounded great, until we got to the hotels they could accommodate me at — “Hmm, looks like we have the Red Roof Inn, Best Western, or Country Inn. Which did you prefer?” To me that sounded more like “Which would you prefer, seat 26B on an A320, seat 43E on a 777, or seat 34E on a 757?”

Now I hate to sound like a snob (and I’m sure many will perceive this post as being snobby), but hear me out. You know the show “Monk?” Well, I’m sorta kinda just a little bit like him, in the sense that I over analyze things and am kind of disgusted by hotels in general, especially when you consider how many people sleep in the same beds and stay in the same rooms in a given year. Well, I kind of think the cheaper the hotel, the more corners they cut when it comes to “cleanliness,” and I think for the most part that’s true. Fortunately I’m able to use hotel points to stay at nice hotels when actually vacationing, and at least stay at three star major chain brands like Doubletree, Embassy Suites, etc., when mileage running, even when United is footing the bill. Regardless of what class the hotel is, I’m always a bit “careful” in hotels.

Anyway, I figured it couldn’t be that bad, and to be honest it wasn’t…. at least not that bad.

The good news is that they share a hotel shuttle with all the crap hotels north of SFO, so the shuttles run frequently.

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Not begging would be greatly appreciated

When I arrived at the hotel I was not a happy camper. The hotel had exterior hallways like any two star roadside motel.

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Not my soda!

At check-in I was asked for my ID, which I showed from my wallet, because it has a special ID holder. “No, you need to take it out.” Fine, I took it out and he went to the back room and made a photocopy. I didn’t have much ground to stand on in terms of rejecting his request, but that obviously ticked me off! Oh well. At check-in I was also handed a “welcome” kit.

Wow, Pepto Bismol, Advil, Alka Seltzer. They must assume everyone showing up is either totally wasted or back from an all-you-can-eat buffet. I was kind of expecting something else in the “welcome kit” as well given the type of hotel, but we won’t go there. 😉

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What bothered me the most was that the curtains pictured above were the only thing separating me from the outside corridor. Given that they didn’t close all the way, anyone could just peak right through. Doesn’t make me feel all that safe.

I also thought the internet log-in page was pretty funny. There was a picture of the Burj Al Arab. Sorry, but this ain’t no Burj!

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Yeah, I know I need to clean my computer screen

In the end it was worth it for the bump, and it made me appreciate the hotels I usually get to stay in due to my crazy hobby. It’s kind of like flying in an economy “minus” middle seat and then appreciating the simple things in life like domestic first class. 😀

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About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. Wuss :p

    Admittedly that is a bad example of a Comfort Suites. The one near ORD … well… if the staff recognise you by face, it sorts of set the tone of a visit (that and free Internet is never a bad thing) 😉

    Last time I stayed I got the usual Address and ID. Being from the UK with nothing with my address in and saying those oh so magic words “You never asked for it last time…”. I then got one of the staff I knew well.

    Saying that – I’m slowly turning into a Hyatt points tart.

    Cheer up. It could had been the Red Roof Inn in the back end of NJ I stayed at.

    Now THAT would had got you running across the road to a Marriot 😉

  2. I can tell you that Comfort Suites in SFO may actually the better of all three they offered to you, although it has exterior corridor !

    Red Roof Inn is definately lower class than Comfort Suites, and the one in SFO is also having exterior corridor as well, it is next to the HGI burlingame (the one still closed for plumbing problems)

    Best Western is more likely Grovensor, as that one has more rooms, I believe he has 10th floors, right next to the highway 101, across the street from Holiday Inn Express. It is also the hotel it host the SFO airline collectibles show twice a year (March and September) . Anyway, the first time I went to the show I didn’t know there is a HI Express across from the street, so I stayed in the Best Western, it was a dump, really old and small rooms, although they provide free hot buffet breakfest. I believe Best Western is a horrible chain hotels base on my stays with different BW in different cities.

    P.S. That “wellcome pack” has really odd items inside, I would think a wellcome pack in a hotel would consist of some snacks and a bottle of water. I would actually ask them what is the pupose of giving out those items, is it sick wishes ?

  3. @ Kevincm — Yeah, I really felt like this was one of the worse ones. This was the first one I’ve stayed at, but I picked the Comfort Inn because the ones I’ve driven by looked quite nice, actually. I sure hope this one is an exception.

    Sounds like your Comfort Inn ORD experience was much better! I’ll have to try the “you didn’t ask last time” line!

    @ ORDnHKG — It’s funny, because when the agent presented me with the three options I responded with “Which would you go with? I’ll trust your judgment.” He said “The Red Roof Inn is actually pretty nice.” I responded with “Nah, let’s go with the Comfort Inn.” Made me feel like an idiot, but I wasn’t going to go to a Red Roof Inn!

    Agree about the kit. I was kind of excited when I saw it, because I figured it would be snacks or something, which would’ve made me a very happy camper since I hadn’t had dinner.

  4. I take it you’ve never stayed at a motel 6 or — heaven forbid — a youth hostel, Monk?

    I personally like mid-level hotels where you don’t get strange looks for wearing jeans and sneakers.

  5. If you make it over to London lucky, I’ll put you into the Hostel that I stayed in with my Mesa flight attendant friend.

    You’d be *running* for that Comfort Suites 😉

  6. Hey, Lucky. Believe it or not, I’ve stayed at the Red Roof Inn SFO recently. I was on an emergency trip to San Francisco (needed a palaver with my best friend after a distressing one-month work trip to China), so I booked a Coach award DEN-SFO and a $67 room at the Red Roof Inn.

    I was surprised at how nice it was. The place definitely looked and felt cheap — and it had fluorescent lighting, bleech — but the room was sparkling clean, the bed was comfortable, and the internet was free. I slept well, and I’d stay there again if I need a cheap place within shuttle range of the airport.

    Would I rather have stayed someplace better? You betcha. And is it possible I was fortunate to stumble onto one of the good places? Definitely. But the Red Roof Inn made me rethink my aversion to budget hotels.

  7. I guess you were never a fan of the Wyndham BRG, eh?

    Thanks to that program, I feel like I’ve stayed (for free) at half the Super 8 and Days Inn’s in the country! Can’t argue with the price though. And one of my biggest pet peeves is paying for wi-fi at a place with $100 rooms — gimme a $30 room and FREE wi-fi anyday!

  8. I’ll bet you a good steak dinner that the “welcome kit” was provided by a manufacturer or a company specializing in distributing free samples, not the hotel itself. Sad, really. Did they at least have free Internet?

    I’d cut the shuttle driver a little slack, though, he probably has to deal with a lot of foreign visitors who have immense suitcases they expect him to load and unload, and who don’t understand the American tipping culture.

    And what is it with US hotels and ID? I’ve stayed at four hotels in the UK in the last week and not been asked for ID once.

  9. Ha, ha! Another great lucky story. I’ve slept at both the SFO Comfort Inn & Stes and Red Roof Inn. I’m not Monk-ish, so no serious complaints. I think your lesson learned is to give some weight to airline employees hotel/motel suggestions. 🙂

  10. I find that a couple of clothespins are a great thing to bring along on trips with me. I use them to close curtains that just won’t close the way I want them to.

  11. I’m no longer going to allow anyone to photo copy my driver’s license. If they insist on photo copying something, I’ll give them a passport. American’s should really get a passport card for this purpose: very resistant to ID theft since banks rarely, if ever, ask for a passport number.

  12. @ Oliver — I like mid level hotels as well, but c’mon now, the Comfort Inn isn’t mid-level.

    @ Kevincm — Deal. 😀

    @ Lori Q — If I’m in the same situation at SFO next time (God forbid), I’ll give the Red Roof Inn a try.

    @ hobo13 — To be honest I never quite could get those to work. Crazy, huh?

    @ Craig — No doubt the Comfort Inn didn’t pay for the welcome kit. C’mon though, can’t Oreos or Coke sponsor something as well? 😉

    Yep, the hotel did have free internet, which was nice. I also agree about the shuttle bus. To be honest, I don’t tip on shuttle buses if it’s just me and my carry-ons. Other than driving the shuttle (which he’d do anyway), he does nothing for me.

    @ boxo — Heh, so you think the Red Roof Inn is better?

    @ Ripper3785 — Good idea. Usually I like the curtains open a bit so I don’t oversleep, but when the windows face into an outside corridor, no way.

    @ mre5765 — Good point. Even better I’ll give them my German passport next time.

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