Country Inn and Suites Toledo
Maumee, Ohio
Approximately an hour and a half from the Ambassador Bridge lies Toledo, Ohio, a city which rival neighbouring states almost warred over to claim. Located at the crossroads between a suburban expressway and the Ohio Turnpike in the suburb of Maumee, the Country Inn and Suites Toledo is a taste of suburban living with important services a walking distance away. Geographically, if you are interested in staying close enough to the city while on a road trip or just want to be away from Toledo's downtown, this is a great contender.
Check-in in simple terms was a textbook example of a "warm welcome". We immediately spotted the dual porches located beside the entrance and realized the property had a different take on the business hotel concept. Although reaching the property by car was a bit of a hassle since we had to navigate around a couple of neighbouring parking lots (direct left turns from the highway were prohibited), that was quickly forgotten by the noticeably wide smile and calm demure from the professional clerk. He was to the point and I had a good conversation without slowing him down during the process.
Perhaps the room was very well furnished and had a nice balance between modern features (lovely wooden furniture), but space was an issue. There was a chair in place instead of a sofa beside the beds; though the high ceiling adds a spacious feel, it just didn't translate as a "big room" by width or length.
Abstract paintings cover the otherwise bland, dulcet walls. But the neutral colours encourage a quiet, unobtrusive rest. The carpet had a bit of dust around the corners along the wall, while the bathroom by contrast was squeaky clean, equipped with an environmentally friendly showerhead. The little toiletries were special as well, created from natural ingredients that smelled wonderful.
Other facilities provided by this hotel included a computer and printer beside reception, a pool and an exercise room. Unfortunately, the pool was a little small and unpleasantly shallow (around four feet at its deepest, like a very large bathtub) and in the hour or so we were there, it seemed that supervision was lacking. Apart from a peek from a member of staff, I found it hard to fathom if their rules could be enforced. There is a specific time set for adult swimmers exclusively, yet a couple of boys that were diving into the pool would have been unsupervised if we weren't present. If there was a saving grace, at least they had a surveillance camera installed.
Included in our stay was a nice breakfast that was pleasantly substantial to say the least, compared to competing hotels. Boneless fried chicken with a peppery white gravy was the main item served that day. Just the plain idea that we were dining on actual dinnerware and metal utensils is a small, yet defining detail. Even nicer is the beverage service with cookie jar in the lobby that guests can easily appreciate.
Finding a memorable hotel can be a draining game of Goldilocks - even the highest standard properties can fail at the most basic requirements for a good stay. From complimentary shaving kits to service that deserves compliments, I can say they achieve a good balance here. All that's required to make the experience better for guests is to put in a deeper pool with noticeable supervision, room to put in a sofa in each room, and a price that's more competitive with similar properties that are in the same area.
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