As long as there are accountants looking over business shoulders and families and frugal travelers reluctant to pay too much for a night's lodging, the Hampton Inn franchise will continue to do well. What is sacrificed in individuality is somewhat compensated for in consistency and cleanliness.
Recommend this product?
This one is nestled on the "wrong side" of the Philadelphia Convention Center, on Race Street, which if not dicey gets a little rundown for the next several blocks running East. If you are uncomfortable with sharing the neighborhood with a few miission hostels, some pretty forlorn store fronts (even the fortune teller went out of business), you might look elsewhere. The walk, if not a drive, under the massive civic center, heading south is not well lit, and is asking for trouble at night. A stroll further East on Race brings you to the heart of Chinatown, and a splendid array of excellent restaurants amidst many all so rans. Certainly, the hotel is extremely convenient for the Civic Center, Reading terminal and other nearby venues.
This 11 story structure may not be entirely a cookie cutter Hampton Inn floor plan and there is evidence of significant upgrades in the lobby. The lobby area has a little bit of a post industrial modern open feeling. In a front corner, with a tall glass facade open to the street, is a makeshift "business center. Four or or five flat screens and keyboards for internet access and a couple of printers sit above bar stools, fine for a quick check of e-mails and transportation arrangements. Beyond a small longe is the breakfast area, with routine Hampton Inn "free" rotating hot breakfast selections.
There is a fitness center and pool which I did not use. Nor can I speak to the meeting rooms and facilities, but they are there.
Three oversize elevators (in two of them you could probably park a small SUV are on timers, but still make you wait. The doors open to the back for the convenience of the service staff, and housekeeping carts as well as luggage racks are easily accommodated.
The residential hallways and rooms offer no surprises; plenty of dark heavy duty carpeting. I think Hampton does a relatively good job on their bedding, room work stations, cleanliness and bathroom lighting. The towels are of decent heft, although the toiletries tend to be on the budget motel end of the scale. Free wifi and alternate cable connection for your laptop is a given but useful benefit for business traveler and anyone who is compelled to go on line.
A recent modification I have seen in Hampton Inns is a thin pull out door replacing the folding closet doors which typically block access. This makes it a lot easier to stow a hanging bag.
As a frequent (Hilton) sleeper, I was assigned a room at the far end of a hallway. That is good to reduce noise levels from hall and elevator traffic.
Allow an extra minute or two for the inevitable wait for an elevator.
Your bill will be pushed under the door in the morning. Check out takes a few nanoseconds.
Bottom line: a reliable but interchangeable travel experience.
P.S. While it is hard to get inspired about describing your seventieth or eightieth Hampton Inn, this one filled the bill. Clean, quiet, economical accommodations in the heart of a big city. A reasonably friendly staff. They did provide a good quality walking map. their preprinted restaurant selection list was not partiucularly helpful, but as usual I have my own sources.
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