My trip to the Chicago Seminars started off with a surprise: a stay at the La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Chicago O’Hare Airport hotel.
No Room at the (Holiday) Inn
I arrived at the Holiday Inn and Suites Elk Grove Village (the Seminars’ host hotel) late Wednesday night — around midnight or so.
The Amazing Abed — guest representative extraordinaire — welcomed me with open arms. (Like, literally, spread out his arms as if to say, You’re here! Welcome!)
Abed punched around on the computer a little bit. But I quickly gathered that something was rotten in the Village of Elk Grove.
Ethiad canceled a flight earlier in the evening — and the Holiday Inn was where a bunch of passengers were sent with room vouchers.
“We have to walk you,” he said. (For those unfamiliar with the term, “walking” is hotel speak for “bringing a guest to another hotel because the original hotel has no more available rooms.”) That’s not something any hotel guest wants to hear — especially late at night.
I worked at a hotel during college. Our property walked people to other hotels once or twice a year. The situation is unpleasant for everyone. The walked guest is understandably irritated. The hotel workers deal with angry travelers — on top of keeping up with the busyness of a sold-out property.
So, I understood the situation. (Plus, I could squeeze out a bonus trip report blog post! Score!)
And, yes, hotels can do this — even with confirmed reservations. It’s sort of the equivalent of a bumpertunity. But unrewarding and much more of a pain in the neck.
Abed called around to several hotels and eventually found me a room at the La Quinta Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel.
I took an Uber (on the Holiday Inn’s dime) and arrived at my home away from home — away from home.
La Quinta Chicago O’Hare Airport Hotel
I guess La Quinta is accommodating to some folks. That might explain the homeless-looking person who sat on a lobby couch and watched TV.
That’s nice of them.
But then the front desk rep gave me more news that chipped away at my patience.
Apparently, there was no walk agreement in place between the Holiday Inn and La Quinta.
But I was tired and needed sleep. So, I held the room on one of my business credit cards while the two properties remedied the situation. (The rate was $135, FWIW.) The Holiday Inn came through with payment and La Quinta removed the hold off my card.
The front desk rep and night manager both were polite and as helpful as possible.
One of “Those Places”?
Do you ever go somewhere and get an uneasy feeling? It’s not necessarily that you’re in danger or facing harm. But there’s a strange, sort of negative energy in the air. You don’t want to be there — at least, for longer than you need to.
That how I felt when I stepped off the elevator and into the fourth floor.
One of my first impressions: this isn’t one of those nice La Quintas you may hear about. It seems old and worn — and needs a refresh.
A sort of musty smell greeted me. The carpet felt thin and worn.
The mattress on which I slept wasn’t very comfortable. Plus, the pillows were square-shaped. That might work for a snooze on your couch. But they weren’t conducive to a good night’s sleep. (Just ask my friends who saw me the next day.)
The bathroom sink featured a mishmash of toiletry brands. (Why do I get the feeling it’s a “Lost and Found: Greatest Hits Edition!” offering?)
And then we have the shower.
There was this stain on one of the tub’s sides.
I’m not even kidding: the first thought (and sound) that came to mind was:
I can’t say I recommend this property. Even to people who are all about “I just want to save money and have a roof over my head while I sleep.” Nope.
Sure, I’m spoiled. But this place was just — no.
I truly enjoy staying at the Holiday Inn Elk Grove Village. I’m always comfortable there — and was never so happy to be back as I was later that morning.
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