We went to the University of Illinois this past weekend. MS went to school there and I wanted to see his college town and he wanted to show me. Illinois was playing Ohio State -- a very popular weekend. Most hotels were at capacity. There aren't five star hotels in the Champaign/Urbana...
We opted to stay at the Holiday Inn Express (for over $180/night). The other low end hotels were all over $220/night. We were quite happy to find this rate. I've never stayed at a Holiday Inn Express before. The room was quite large, with a king bed, a desk and the TV in the bed area. It also had a room with a couch and a table. The room itself was large and relatively clean. The walls were paper thin -- we could hear people talking in rooms on either side of us.
The bed was comfortable enough (if you have ear plugs). After the first nights sleep we were awoken by the maid at 08h30. After I told her to come back later, twice, she opened the door and came in. I loudly told her again to get out and come back later. I don't know how she couldn't hear me -- I heard every word that our neighbors uttered.
When we got back that night, we found our room hadn't been cleaned. The bed was still unmade and everything was just messy. They were kind enough to leave us a big basket of towels in the bathroom, but that was about it.
We asked the front desk to send the maid up to clean the room and he said that he would try (we could tell from his voice that he wouldn't even try). Since we told the maid to come back later she made the assumption she didn't have to clean our room that day (I gleaned that from the front desk clerk). Who knew?
Am I going to hold this rough experience against all Holiday Inn Express Hotels? No, I do know I need to adjust my expectations when staying at hotels like this.
Do you like Holiday Inn Express? Have you ever had a maid refuse to "come back later?"
UPDATE 10.18.2011 20h58: The Holiday Inn folks responded amazingly fast to my review. They offered the GM of the hotel to contact me to discuss the details. I appreciate the offer, but as long as the folks at the hotel revisit their customer service requirements I'm happy.