Hampton Inn ~ Richfield, Ohio

Hampton Inn tends to be our hotel chain of choice when traveling as their service tends to be a little nicer than some, pre-pandemic they had nice warm breakfast options, and I have a nice points system running with my Hilton Honors membership. It seemed like a no brainer to book at the Hampton in Richfield when traveling to Cuyahoga Valley National Park as it was just a 10-15 minute drive from the park. Sadly this was one of the most disappointing Hampton stays we’ve had in a long time.

Right away we were thrown off by the fact that we followed “masking” signs on the front door and the very cranky lady working the front desk rolled her eyes and told us if we were vaccinated there was no need to wear one despite that signs, that “they just hadn’t bothered to update signage yet.” Ok? Well don’t get mad at us for following what was being displayed!

She booked us into a room on the first floor, which was nice as it was just down the hall from a side entrance and we could have our car parked very close to have it visible from the room. She also informed us that stays that lasted longer than a night (we would be there 3) did not have daily room service and that if we needed more towels during our stay to bring old ones down to trade in for new. (This comes into play later.) We normally don’t do room service at all during our stays, so that was just fine by us.

The hotel was very busy all three days we were there despite it being the middle of the week. The first night we had particularly loud neighbors for much of the evening. (This Beavis and Butthead being your next door neighbors) but I think they drunk laughed themselves to sleep by late evening when we wanted to also sleep. So not too much harm done.

The one downfall to our room was that there was no vent fan in the bathroom. As you can imagine, this meant that our towels never really dried over night or during the day. Given we were out hiking we always showered at the end of the day, as well as morning showers. The room came supplied with 4 bath towels, so we used two the first night/next morning, and two the following night, and then decided we would go trade them in as had been the suggestion so we could have some fresh clean towels for our final night/morning. When Andrew opted to take the dirty down the person working the desk had one on hand to replace and said the rest were in the wash but to come back later. When we did, it was just our luck that cranky lady was back at work. She was on the phone on hold with Lord knows who and already seemed perturbed that we were wanting her assistance. When she finally gave us the time of day, we explained that we had brought 4 towels down earlier but they had only had one to give us, so could we now get the other three. She very snootily replied “what you need 7 towels for 2 people?” Ummm no. We already left our 4 old ones down here. We want the replacements please. She very reluctantly offered us 2 and said that was the best she could do.

This Hampton was offering a bag breakfast that still complied with their “pandemic rules” but did have an open pool (which looked disgusting and like it had stagnant water in it, so we avoided it at all costs.) They also still had their coffee area open at all times a day which meant people still lingered in the breakfast area in the morning. It was frustrating to see how many things they still wanted to use “pandemic restrictions” for where it allowed them to safe money (ie housekeeping or lack there of and bagged breakfasts) but then didn’t care at all about the mask restriction signs, communal coffee area, or an open pool. If you want more restrictions, great, but if you aren’t going to follow through with all of them, just the ones that save you money, don’t blame the pandemic, blame your poor budget.

All this being said, it really turned us off of staying in hotels and has a strongly considering only Airbnb for many future travels. I know hotels had a rough time with the pandemic, but still, try your best to give us decent service when we do choose to stay!

Hampton Inn Minneapolis Bloomington West~ Bloomington, Minnesota

Finding a hotel in the Twin Cities area can be a bit overwhelming. Do you want to stay in the heart of one of the cities and be able to walk around the downtown? Do you want to stay in the suburbs and drive from place to place or find public transportation? If you are visiting multiple sites around the city, which of these would you like your hotel to be closest to? Decisions, decisions, decisions. For our trip we were on a somewhat tighter budget, so we didn’t want all of our money to go to waste on lodging, as many of the attractions we were going to visit cost money. That pretty much vetoed out any hotels located directly downtown as they always cost a bit more, plus have an additional cost of parking your vehicle. If you’ve been following out blog, you’ll know that I recently became a huge fan of the Hilton brand, which while on the slightly pricier side than the Wyndham hotels we previously stayed at, offer a nicer breakfast and usually much quieter hotel stays. That found me looking at Hilton brand hotels near the Mall of America. While there were a few closer to the Mall of America than where we wound up staying, our hotel was actually a newer build and located near a business park, which made for a much quieter stay.

Check in was a breeze and we even got to opt into a program where we could earn more points if we were staying two nights or longer and opted to not have housekeeping come clean our room. I haven’t checked to see if they actually panned out, since a few times we’d be gone for the day and realized they did still come make our bed or provide new towels, but I digress.

Our room was located on the third floor, so we took the elevators up and then realized we were located at the far end of the hall, so the stairs may have been the easier way to go. The bathroom was directly to our right upon entering and unlike many rooms contained just a shower rather than tub/shower combo. I’m not sure if all they rooms are this way, or just some in particular. What we did enjoy was that what look like drawer pull outs, actually gave you extended counter space on which you could place other bathroom necessities as you prepped for the day.

Our King Bed was actually against the bathroom wall and faced the window, with a small desk are to the right of the bed and the TV stand/microwave/fridge unit to the left. We’ve had a few hotel rooms now set up this way, and actually really like it as you bed isn’t sharing a wall with the neighboring rooms bed, hence cutting down on neighbor noise.

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This Hampton had a huge breakfast area. The serving area was in a “room” of it’s own that opened into their larger dining/lobby space. Despite all the tables they had, nearly every morning most tables were full. Luckily with just two of us, we usually were able to find a few free seats at which to eat. Every morning they always had a few hot options, waffles, fruit, assorted breads, cereal, and coffee. Sometimes they would list the hot options on a small chalkboard in the lobby.

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Since we were there for three nights, we had ample time to check out the amenities the hotel had to offer. We did not actually use the exercise room, but made sure to check it out for this post. As you can see, it was larger for a hotel exercise room and had plenty of different machines and equipment available for use, as well as I nice water dispenser and shelf for towels.

The pool area was also very nice with lots of lounge chairs, a large swimming pool (that was a bit cool in my opinion,) and a standard sized hot tub. We found that the pool area could get a bit rowdy in the evenings, not just with kids, but with adults who would choose to bring some select beverages with them, despite the rule board saying not to. Thus we found we limited our pool time to the afternoon, as that’s when many families were out exploring the Mall or had checked out/not yet checked in for the day.

This Hampton also offers a free shuttle that can take you to the airport or to the Mall of America. The Mall of America has a light rail station located nearby should you want to take that into the cities. A friend advised us not to go that route, because while the light rail seems inexpensive compared to parking your vehicle downtown, it sucks up a lot of time that you could be out exploring the town. There are plenty of restaurants located just a short distance away (especially if you shuttle back to the Mall,) and also a nice lakefront recreation area that we decided to take a stroll along our final night there. I highly recommend checking out this hotel if you will be in the area for more than one night and know you may be spending a decent part of your time wanting to just relax!

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Hampton Inn Sioux Falls ~ Sioux Falls, South Dakota

While in Sioux Falls for a pastor meet and greet conference, we opted to stay at the Hampton Inn on Carolyn Avenue. This seemed to be in a newer development in the area and was just the perfect location! It was near several restaurants, the movie theater, lots of strip mall shops, a gas station, Walmart, and the Empire Mall was located just down the street. It also was very easy to head north on Louise to hook up with the interstate in a seamless transition.

I used to stay in Hamptons all the time with my family growing up, but this is the first time Andrew and I stayed in one. We finally have a nicer hotel budget now that he’s out of school! I can say after one stay that we are seriously hooked on the Hampton/Hilton brand! Everything about our stay was amazing!

The clerk who checked us in welcomed us warmly and was very friendly and helpful. He thanked us for signing up for their rewards program and even gave us each a complimentary bottle of water for doing so. He let us know that the pool was open all day for adults (and said it was a salt water pool) and also gave us the details on when breakfast would be available.

Our room was located on the third floor, so we went over to the elevator to head on up!

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We had reserved a King bedroom and as you can see it was very spacious. There was a built in desk on the far wall with a closet right next to it. The fridge and microwave were included in the TV stand.

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The bathroom was just to the right of the entrance and was one of the larger hotel bathrooms I’ve experienced in my travels. The wallpaper was a little frilly for my liking, but that’s a minor complaint when it comes to hotel bathrooms!

One other huge plus of the room was the outlets located on the nightstands. I love hotels that provide this many options as, like it or not, we live in a world of chargers these days. Shortly after arriving in our room, the front desk also called up to see how things were in our room, which is always a nice gesture.

While I didn’t get any pictures, we did enjoy the pool both nights we spent there. Well, the pool was actually a little on the cool side, but we still enjoyed the hot tub.

The breakfast area was also nice and spacious. One room had counters with all the food options, including a hot meat option each morning and some kind of eggs. They also had waffles, cereal, fruit, and an assortment of breads/bagels/muffins.

We hadn’t thought we’d find somewhere in Sioux Falls that we loved as much as the La Quinta, but the Hampton has now taken it’s place as the number one place I would choose to stay in Sioux Falls. The location can’t be beat, the service was incredible, and the hotel was extremely quiet, even with the interstate right outside our window. We will most definitely be back when in the area in the future!

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