the hazel project

on the road…hotel, motel, holiday inn

June 30th, 2006

Here’s one for you traveler’s.

There are certain spots on i40 that capitalize on their location because they know most are en-route to somewhere else. Amarillo, TX; Holbrook & Williams, AZ are 3 such places. The latter 2 are stop overs to the grand canyon. Gas is higher, Hotels like Holiday Inn and Ramada Inn and Travel Lodge still exist.

Herb has learned, not all Holiday Inn’s are the same.

Herb likes Holiday Inn Express because, and he really said this,

“It makes me feel like the rock group KISS in the morning.”

I laughed a long time at this statement.
What Herb really likes is the free breakfast and weather report in the morning.

Well, Holiday Inn’s differ in that they are full service hotels with attached resturaunts.

How it worked on the road:
We would call 1-800-holiday, while on the road, to book something close to where we wanted to stay. We were promised a free breakfast on 2 occasions. When we mentioned the Breakfast to the clerks, they shook their heads in disbelief. Saying, 1-800-holiday is just a reservation service and has nothing to do with the way we operate our hotel.

Apparently 1-800-holiday instead of using a computer, they have an intern who flips a coin to tell whether or not there is a free continental breakfast. Whether it be a holiday inn express or a full service hotel.

So we were denied the free breakfasts. To honor the glitch we were asuaged the first time with a breakfast voucher in Holbrook, AZ. A great breakfast where a short mexican woman stands behind a bank of griddles and takes orders for omlets and pancakes.

The second time, in Williams, AZ, they only offered a 10% discount of a $10/ person buffet. I tried to let the manager know kindly that she should check with 1-800-holiday again to make sure they knew what amenties they did offer, and that it wasn’t free or participatiing in a voucher program. This made her anagrily defensive.

After Herb obtained a business card, for a long letter to be written later, we left for the desert.

What we’ve realized is that 1-800-Holiday is a warm and fuzzy service that makes you feel that your bases are covered. But like canned meat at a wedding reception, there is a new experience to be had, and a surprise at any stop where there is a full service Holiday Inn on i40.

By the way Herb doesn’t take such business practices lightly. Since he’s my father and navigator on this journey, and having good sleep and good hotel vibes are a big deal to both of us; we are now holed up in a Best Western in Orange, CA.

They have a continental breakfast too. Industrial sysco coffee, fruit and near-end-expiration snack cakes from SAM’s Club.

At least they made good on their promise.

We were outside under an umbrella overlooking the parking lot. As we were talking and scalding ourselves on Best Western coffee;

I see in the distance a green circle.

Could it be? A Starbucks!

The first one in 3 days.

Herb politely asked if I was going to finish my liquid bitterness as he was already headed to the garbage can with his.

So we walk over to starbucks, a beautiful day in Southern CA.
We get in a line of 5 pixaleens ordering breakfast dessert, maybe their only meal for the day, but the line went fast.

Two tall colombian brews later, we were ready for our day.

Next I’ll go into excruciating detail about in&out burger.

Thanks for checking in, and leaving comments.

Anyone have a hotel experience on i40 they’d like to comment about, feel free to do so.

Stephen A. Thomas

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