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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

HOTEL REVIEW: QUALITY INN, WILSON, NC

by JC Leahy

Wilson Quality Inn and Suites
4941 Raleigh Road Parkway West (Exit 121, Interstate 95)
Wilson, NC  27896
Tel. 252-291-7744

Our Garmin GPS identified this as a Comfort Inn.  The front-desk answered, “Quality Inn.”  The receptionist said they became a Quality Inn about 5 years ago.  She was flexible on the room price.  The regular rate was $79 per night.  She said that the corporate/government/military rate was $72.   She advised me that the AAA/AARP rate was the best, at $62 per night.  That includes a pretty high-end continental breakfast. When I said I'd call back, she offered the $62 rate even though I didn't belong to AAA or AARP. 

There are 74 rooms in this hotel.  We stayed Friday night, and the place appeared to be nearly empty: Empty parking lot, empty lobby.   It occurred to me that the supposed economic recovery may not have reached Wilson, NC.

What I liked:

At first glance, our room was not remarkable: 2 queen sized beds in a room barely large enough to contain its furniture.  It had the usual coffee pot with a couple of envelopes of coffee, a microwave, and the usual wall-mounted hair dryer in the bathroom.  On closer inspection, however, the room impressed me for these reasons:

  1. Lighting is a problem in many hotel rooms.  This room had a comfortable easy chair with lighting ideal for relaxing with a good book or watching TV.
  2. It had a well-lighted desk/table with a comfortable leather desk chair. 
  3. Whereas many hotel’s rooms seem to hide the electric outlets, this room had plenty of places to plug in gadgets.  In fact, the base of each table top lamp included a single electric outlet conveniently situated in the front of its base.  
  4. There was a clear signal to free wi-fi.
  5. The outer aspect of the closet door was a full length mirror, which my wife found notable.
Also, about the hotel in general:
  1. The continental breakfast was complete and ample and the setting for eating it was bright and pleasant. 
  2. I didn’t see it, but the website claims there is a fitness room.  I like a hotel to have a fitness room.
  3. The lobby is bright and pleasant with inviting places to sit and read or watch the flat screen television.

What I didn’t like:

  1. Our room didn’t smell fresh.  It didn’t smell bad, and I couldn’t put my “finger” on the problem, but it just didn’t smell fresh.  My wife didn’t say anything, and she’s usually the sensitive one about environmental issues.  On the other hand, I’m usually obtuse to scent problems, and it just didn’t smell fresh to me.
  2. The swimming pool is outdoors.  This is of no use in January.
  3. There is no elevator in the hotel.  If you have a problem with stairs, you would need a first-floor room.
  4. There were no luggage carts situated near the front door.
  5. There is no restaurant or bar in the hotel, although there is a pancake house across the parking lot.
  6. Confusing information: Their website is confusing on one point.  One page boasts that it is a “pet friendly” hotel, but another page boasts that no pets are allowed.  If you travel with a pet (which I don’t) you might want to clarify that point.

The Bottom Line: THREE STARS

This Quality Inn represents a pleasant place to stop for a night or two.  The room is comfortable, well lit and convenient.  The lobby is pleasant.  The very nice breakfast makes this hotel a good value.

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