from Baltimore, Maryland
Submitted on 02-02-2017
December 29, 2016 to January 4, 2017 - General Negative Comment First, Then the Good Comments. To lock in a good price during summer 2016, I booked a twin room at the Holiday Inn Express from December 24, 2016 to January 4, 2017 to see the Rosebowl Parade. It was not until November 9, 2017 (before the change deadline) that I called to change the reservation to just 4 days but Serena at the hotel would not allow me to do that and insisted that I stay at least 6 nights. Well, I had a great pric...
December 29, 2016 to January 4, 2017 - General Negative Comment First, Then the Good Comments. To lock in a good price during summer 2016, I booked a twin room at the Holiday Inn Express from December 24, 2016 to January 4, 2017 to see the Rosebowl Parade. It was not until November 9, 2017 (before the change deadline) that I called to change the reservation to just 4 days but Serena at the hotel would not allow me to do that and insisted that I stay at least 6 nights. Well, I had a great price compared with what other hotels were charging and even compared with what the Holiday Inn Express was now charging, I decided to keep the room and stay 6 nights. Since we were visiting a friend in Los Angeles, by staying all the way at Pasadena, it caused some inconvenience; either he had to drive up to an hour or we had to take the metro. If it were not for the hotel not allowing me to reduce the stay to 4 nights, I would be giving the hotel a rating of 5 as excellent. Unfortunately, sometimes hotel dollar signs get in the way of practical customer service, especially since we are reward members of the Intercontinental Hotel Group and since I was not cancelling the reservation, just changing the number of days.
Bathroom - The bathroom was bright, had sufficient counter space, fluffy towels, good shower head, no mold around the tub or floor, and good hot water. However, I suggest that management and/or owners at the Holiday Inn Express at Pasadena consider adding additional towel racks in the regular room bathrooms. Our room 326 had only one towel rack behind the door.
Hotel Room - Room 326 - Our room was clean, the two mattresses were comfortable, the pillows were just right, and the drawer space in the dresser was clean and deep. We are used to Holiday Inn Express having a microwave and refrigerator in the room. When we noted that ours did not, we called the front desk and a microwave and refrigerator was delivered and set up in the room. Our room overlooked the front of the hotel and the parking lot; and had a small balcony with sliding doors that let in a lot of light, which was a good feature.
One late afternoon during our stay, I called housekeeping to have someone come to the room to change our sheets. I was impressed that a man arrived very quickly with two complete set of sheets and pillow cases. As you might know, the Holiday Inn Express and some other hotel chains how have a medium to heavy comforter on the bed and the sheets are tucked in at the bottom and sides. I like the sheets loose at the bottom to allow my feet to be free from downward pressure. When I tried to tell the man who was changing the sheets, he could not understand me because he did not speak English. I had to literally show him how I wanted the sheets to be put on the bed. In my opinion, hotel staff should speak a minimal amount of English related to their hotel jobs. I suggest the the hotel management and/or owners consider making sure that hotel staff know enough English to be able to function in their jobs and to be able to communicate with guests.
Fitness Center - The fitness center was well equipped with free weights and exercise machines. The one negative about the fitness center is that you have to exit the building (near the 1st floor elevators) and turn right for about twenty feel to get to the fitness center. Unfortunately, it was raining a couple of days during our visit and rather cool so it was not pleasant to go outside to get to the fitness center.
Breakfast - The breakfast had all of the wonderful goodies that most Holiday Inn Express hotels have for its guests. I remember cinnamon rolls, fruit, juice, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, wheat bread and other bread, pastries, coffee, etc. One thing that I noticed at the coffee area and at breakfast was that the hotel only offered sweet and low sugar substitute, the worst and cheapest of all the sugar substitutes. In my opinion, the hotel should be able to afford Splenda sugar substitute, the one that has not been linked with cancer. Certainly, I have been in many Holiday Inn Express hotels that provide Splenda so it is a management/owner decision not dictated by IHG.
Again at breakfast, I ran into a language barrier with the breakfast hostess. The cinnamon rolls area has a sign that says ask for a take out bag. So when the hostess lady was near, I asked her for a take out bag and she did not understand what I was saying. She actually had to take the sign over to the front desk to have someone tell her what was on the sign. Management/owners should assure that every staff member in their working area speak English to be able to effectively communicate with the hotel guests, for the hotel staff to feel more comfortable, and to be more efficient.
Hotel Staff After Arriving at the Hotel - Once we arrived at the hotel, we were impressed with the front desk staff. They were courteous, efficient, always smiled, provided directions and suggestions; and really helped enhance our stay. The staff with which we were impressed are: Alexander, Stephanie, Sarai, and, surprise; Serena, who had given me such a hard time over the telephone on November 9, 2017.
I know I have mentioned a lot of suggestions for hotel management to consider. What I noticed might not be noticed by someone staying only for one or two nights or by someone who speaks Spanish or who does not use the fitness center.
Still, we had a good stay because the hotel is clean, the front desk staff is attentive, the breakfast was good, and the room was comfortable. Those are the reasons I still rate the hotel with four stars.