More travel info from our spring break extravaganza. In the spirit of full disclosure I should note today was not the finest day of travel. The hubby had to work. I think I have failed to mention the reason we are on this trip. My husband essentially has a 10 minute presentation to give in Niagara Falls so we are tagging along. But today I had to drive him 15 minutes to his conference, then 15 minutes back to the hotel so Hannah could nap and Lily could watch 2 hours of TV (I seriously needed some quiet time). Then 15 minutes back to pick him up, and 15 minutes back to the hotel so we could eat dinner. Net out: too much driving around and sitting bored in hotel rooms, not near enough fun being had.
Somehow because Niagara Falls is such a tourist trap the chain restaurants in the area have decided to jack up their prices to ungodly degrees. We ate at Rainforest Cafe last night and our bill came to $75 for 4 of us and there was no appetizers, desserts or alcohol involved. When I spend $75 on a meal there had better be a few glasses of wine involved. Tonight we sat down at TGI Fridays (very briefly) and I realized they were charging $30 for a steak. I am more than willing to pay that for a steak at a high end steakhouse, but at TGI Fridays give me a break. A hamburger was $17. So we left and found a Johnny Rockets with semi-normal prices. And I drowned my sorrows in a Oreo milkshake.
What does this have to do with the topic. Well, the first night of our trip we stayed at a Hampton Inn. This is my second experience with the chain and I am beyond impressed. First of all we got there at night and were greeted by a very friendly staff member and there were fresh cookies waiting for us. Soft, yummy, dried cranberry, white chocolate chip cookies. Then when we got to our very clean, nice room there was a hand signed note from the manager welcoming us to the hotel. Setting next to it…a package of Chips Ahoy cookies. The cookie bonanza would have been enough to make me a fan for life, but there is more.
The wireless internet is free. Note to hotel chains everywhere: I should not have to pay to use the stinkin’ internet at your hotel. Ever. And if you want me to love you, provide me with a lapboard so I can use my laptop in bed while watching the large array of channels you have provided me with. The internet is the key to my heart (that and cookies). Sitting in bed, eating cookies, while surfing the internet is pure bliss.
Then there is the free breakfast. You know how some hotels throw out a pack of doughnuts and call in “continental.” Not here. French toast, sausage, oatmeal, cereal. Hot stuff, cold stuff, well stocked. They even have little bags at the checkout counter that are already packed up for you in case you need your breakfast to go. If you want to eat there, they have a large dining room that is clean and well tended too. And you can eat while reading your USA today which they slip under your door in the morning.
As I said, I think I have only stayed in Hampton Inns twice, but both times my experiences have been above average for a chain in its price range. And it is part of the Hilton chain so you get Hilton points when you stay. The hubby actually had a fair amount of these accumulated so we got the room for free. Bonus! I will be looking for this chain whenever we travel cause it is now my personal fave. It’s all about the cookies people. Check them out!