I know, I know. Yesterday I was talking about Missouri, and now I’m talking about Oregon. I have a plan. To completely confuse every one of you! But seriously, I am backed up on trip reports, and since each one involved Carlson Hotels and Holiday Inns, I figured, why not do them together and give you a cross-country comparison?
Over Memorial Day weekend Megan and I took a road trip to visit my relatives in southern Oregon. We stayed at a lot of small overnight hotels along the way, and by the end of it Megan was grumbling about how spoiled she was by the upgrades I get for us at Hyatt. We actually did stay at a Hyatt on this trip …just not one with a Presidential Suite!
I thought it would be interesting to compare the differences between Priority Club’s Holiday Inn Express, Carlson’s Country Inn & Suites, and of course Hyatt’s Hyatt Place that we stayed at during our trip. All of them cost about the same ($80-100 a night), and we didn’t stay very long at any except to get a night’s sleep and a free breakfast. In between I may throw in my reviews of the Holiday Inn Express and Radisson we stayed at in Branson, MO, to provide some comparison.
Our plan was to drive to Portland Friday night, where we stayed at the Hyatt Place near PDX thanks to a deal I got during one of the spring 48-hour sales. I was excited to try it out after seeing all the ads for the a.m. Kitchen Skillet breakfast on Hyatt’s website. Unfortunately I never read closely enough to learn that this is offered at a limited number of properties. Really all they had was grains and fruits, about the most basic continental breakfast I’ve ever seen. However, I can credit Hyatt Place with offering the opportunity to buy hot meals, including eggs, bacon, potatoes for $7 (I like the standard American breakfast). The eggs were just Eggbeaters, and the bacon was the thin, greasy Oscar Meyer stuff, but it was good enough and delivered directly to our table. Certainly better than what I grudgingly eat at Holiday Inn Express.
As for the room …wow! It was huge, with practically a separate living room and giant sofa. There was even an extra blanket to cuddle up with. (Though Megan was dismayed to find there was no robe. Apparently robes are a must these days. If Hyatt reads these posts, please note that I will settle for a robe if I can’t have a helipad for my giraffe.) The bathroom was nice and bright, there were cheerful colors everywhere, and the view from the window was great for plane spotting as they came in for landing. Despite this, there was almost no noise.
Downstairs we decided to try out the bar. Every Hyatt Place (at least the new constructions) look identical. Normally I would say this is a bad thing, but they are actually attractive and well designed. There are lots of tables, comfortable leather chairs, private nooks, and the check-in desk doubles as a small bar. For about $4 each we got some generously sized gin and tonics, took them back to the sofa, and read the newspaper for an hour before bed. Quite a nice departure from most roadside hotels.
My only real complaints with the Hyatt PDX were due to misplaced expectations that I would get a hot breakfast or my unfamiliarity with the check-in/bar/restaurant desk (it was kind of confusing). But having stayed there once, I’m ready to go back the next time I find myself near one. Certainly it was the nicest budget hotel I’ve ever been to.