Baymont Inn and Suites Michigan City
Michigan City, Indiana
Minutes from the Michigan border by car, and barely fifteen minutes drive from the Indiana Dunes National Lakefront, the Baymont Inn and Suites Michigan City, Indiana is a small limited-service hotel that is close to town. The area is impressively convenient with the local outlet mall within several minutes drive, and a variety of retailers and restaurants are within walking distance.
Since this property is located in the urban district of Michigan City, access from the interstate was a bit tricky (it is close to a major intersection). A little hidden beside all the signs advertising other businesses, so we needed GPS assistance to locate the hotel. It's a small place, but it contains amenities that larger accommodations provide.
A neat fact about this place: it was one of Howard Johnson's original motor lodges in The Hoosier State, and you could probably look up some great retro photos from its original incarnation. The hotel has gone through a small number of branding changes, and one also has to be aware that with history, this is an older property.
Soon after check-in time we arrived after a very tedious drive from Detroit, so we were ready for long showers and some room to stretch out. The clerk was very friendly and served us promptly and professionally. Our room keys were issued very quickly.
I can't really make flowery statements about the room, but the dark colours of the furniture and carpet provides a luscious environment a business professional can count on. The furniture is a little dated yet it was nothing to complain about as it served its purpose. The beds were nice and firm, and the pillows as comfy as you can get in a hotel of this price range. It's difficult to get over the fact that renovations were a pressing need, since the gaudy wallpaper not only contains scuff marks and other signs of wear and tear, the style harkens back to a decade we best not mention or speak of. There was a flat screen television - a good sign - but the coffee maker makes more than one cup which bucks the trend of single cup contraptions that other hotels and pocket monsters now favour.
The bathroom was in more need of a makeover. There was no way I could take a relaxing bath since the bathplug in the tub was broken and unsightly. A tired environment that oozes obsolescence from the 80s style fluorescent lighting which you used to install in your basement wet bar to the blackened remnants of adhesive in the bathtub that was once home to an anti-slip mat. The toilet works really well and there was some effort at an update including a new tile floor but the efficient showerhead was frustratingly weak.
Facilities that this hotel provides that harkens back to its years as a Howard Johnson include a swimming pool, fitness centre and even guest laundry facilities, which were especially useful since we were on a long trip. The swimming pool was a little full; either that or I was half a foot shorter in height than I thought. It was a refreshing dip although there was a spooky sign that warns against "swimming alone"! The exercise equipment was modern and worked wonders, but due to the low ceiling I had to lean forward on the elliptical machine.
Good to see an older property lives on as an oasis for the tired traveller, and updates will only help lead it to better stays to come.
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