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After snagging a Best Rate Guarantee for our stay on Thursday night, we stayed at the Best Western Country Suites Indianapolis. As the name might indicate, this is an all-suite hotel, but even a 1BR suite doesn’t cut it for our family of 8. BRGs are limited to 1 per 30 days per household, and while I thought about testing the limits of that, I decided to just use points to get a 2nd room. This is a Category 2 hotel in Best Western Rewards, which means a redemption costs 12,000 points.
We had no problems getting there, though there was still a lot of snow in the parking lot due to all the recent snowstorms. Check-in went fine, though there was a bit of confusion because one of the rooms was in my name (the BRG) and one was in Carolyn’s name (she has all the points due to signing up for the Best Western Mastercard). Very soon we were on our way with our complimentary gift bags (due to my being a Diamond member). The gift bags just had a bag of potato chips and a bottled water in them but it was appreciated.
The rooms were a very nice size as seen below
Each room had a living room area with pull out couch and TV, then a bathroom with a separate sink area with a mini-fridge and microwave (1st picture above). Then there was a bedroom with a king bed and a 2nd TV. We had adjoining rooms on the 2nd floor at the far end of the hotel. One note was that between the alarm clocks and the microwaves, we had (at least) 4 clocks. When we got there, all the clocks were showing different times. And I’m not just talking a minute or two off, they were hours apart.
Not a huge deal, and probably just a prank played by the previous occupants, but it was strange and would be something that I would generally expect the staff to take care of as part of the turnover process.
Anyways we got settled in and proceeded to do the kids’ favorite thing about staying in a hotel – the fun game of “Explore the hotel” 😀 . As I mentioned above, the hotel itself wasn’t very big so… this didn’t take very long. We found out that there was no pool which I forgot to check beforehand. We had brought our swimming stuff but this wasn’t too bad since we weren’t going to have a ton of time there. After dropping our luggage off, we headed down to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum (link goes to trip report).
We got back to our hotel a little late for us, so it was immediately bedtime. There was a bit of argument over who had to sleep with who, but we eventually got that sorted out. Our general plan when we have 2 rooms is to put the kids in one room, with the baby in a pack and play in the bathroom in our room. That lets us use “our” bedroom at night after the kids are in bed. When we’re not able to do that, we usually have to go down and hangout in the lobby till everyone actually goes to sleep.
Good: The bathroom was big enough to fit the pack and play. Bad: the outlets in the bathroom seemed to have a short or something in them as they kept resetting and turning off the nightlight and white noise machine, which caused an unfortunate toddler late-night wake-up. The evening’s sleep reminded me of why I don’t share a bed with a 2 year old… Good: The bed was actually quite large. Bad: Even so, I would have preferred just sharing it with ONE other person 😀
The breakfast was … okay. It was your basic continental stuff (cereal, muffins, etc.) along with the standard hotel waffle maker as well as a triple hot tray with biscuits, bacon and sausage gravy.
It was okay, though the bacon was pretty limp and even though you kind of now that there isn’t someone slaving over a stove in the back room making homemade biscuits, it didn’t add to the ambiance when the worker came out with a box of frozen biscuits, popped them into the microwave and then dumped them into the tray. One of the 2 containers of syrup didn’t work, and when I told the lady at the front desk, she was just like “Oh okay. The other one still works?”
We actually didn’t have plans till 11:30 so after breakfast we just kind of hung out in the room until it was time to leave.
I don’t mean to just dump on this hotel – it was pretty good. Carolyn and I were discussing the stay and what we would “rate” it. We talked about the difference between the rating of a hotel and the rating of a stay. I mean, this hotel is NOT a 5-star hotel, nor does it pretend to be, so you can’t knock it for, say, not having an executive lounge or concierge services.
But it does need to do well at the things that it is trying to do. I think the thing that frustrated me the most about this stay is that all of the intangible things about this hotel were great. It had a good location, the price was great and the rooms were large. $70 all-in for a 1BR suite? That’s a fantastic price!
The other side of that was that all the little things were just not there. In addition to the things I mentioned above, the lights were weird (sometimes they’d come on and sometimes not), one of the smoke detectors looked like it was missing, and the temperature seemed to alternate between hot and cold depending on where you were.
So for all those reasons, I rate this stay as
I think the best way to sum it up is that the hotel was okay, and I wouldn’t be opposed to staying there again, if I were back in Indianapolis. But it wasn’t to the point where I would recommend it and/or always look to stay there if I was visiting. And that’s the unfortunate part because I felt like it had that kind of potential.