Baymont Inn and Suites Dubuque
Dubuque, Iowa
Nestled within a trio of states in the Midwest and founded by a Quebecois, the quaint town of Dubuque, Iowa is home to a number of lodging options that are quite affordable compared to larger cities. The Baymont Inn and Suites Dubuque, located on the main drag just outside of the city's main district is geographically quite easy to find.
We drove in on a very long and winding road from Chicago, and Dubuque was a welcome sign after being bored silly from all the rural scenery of neighbouring Illinois. This property is on a road that links Rockford, Illinois with Sioux City so unless you intentionally stray off, it is very difficult to get lost. The immediate neighbourhood around this property is lush with businesses and big box retailers, so the area has plenty of amenities. If you look it up on a map, you can see that this property is also a natural launching point for the next leg of your road trip (probably Sioux City).
Checking in was a little tentative, with a somewhat uninterested clerk ready to spit out my credit card receipt to sign before I even asked about her day. She issued convoluted directions to the breakfast room which later turned out to be quite unnecessary since the hotel is small enough to navigate and locate through trial and error. I do have to acknowledge that the clerk was really helpful fixing problems with our room keys involving noticeable efficiency.
Good intentions is what this room offers in its modern decor, but the living conditions this room offers leave much to be desired. The minute we entered, there was this overwhelming smell of mildew or a pronounceable humid musk that took an air conditioner running non-stop to quell. We didn't know whether or not the smell was contained and ventilated away or we got accustomed to it, but the stench wasn't offensive once we settled in.
It was a game of contrasts between modern comforts and much older surroundings. The lighting was new with swanky lamp shades, but there was a heat lamp in the bathroom that seems like a very common feature in the Midwest that helps counter those harsh winters. The furniture and electronics from the beds to the television were fairly new, yet some of the walls still have an ugly stucco texture.
The window provides the prestige view of a fence barely a couple of feet away, but we did ask to be assigned in a quiet area, so at least it was away from the main drag into town. One major issue though - the moulding around the window had some remnants of what appears to be mold, so more attention to the health of the structure could only serve to improve the property.
One feature that this hotel provides in immeasurable reliability is a great hot shower. Although the controls and tile around the tub were a little dated by its looks, the speed of a quenching, soothing spray was quite impressive. They made a great choice in showerhead with an even, consistent volume that blows the previous properties I stayed in away. Good they chose not to fiddle with what I think could be potentially a great selling point.
Other features: A free breakfast that is standard yet uneventful, an indoor pool (which we did not have time to use due to our hectic schedule) and a fitness centre with sauna that would benefit from the addition of equipment that targets the upper body. Improvements are definitely needed with this property, but nothing that turns us away in future.
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