Friday, April 16, 2010

The Hampton Inn

I love the Hampton Inn. I know I am supposed to support small business, but I also support well run business. And the Hampton Inn folks have done it right. Whenever they went through their last renovation, they didn't just focus on the amenities and decor, but the entire way they do business. And I'll tell you one thing - they own the hippie tour market - and we are a target market that spends money. Plus, we're older than we used to be and prefer the comforts of one couple per room rather than stuffing as many people as we can into a space.

I have stayed at the Hampton Inn Albany repeatedly for shows and one of my favorite experiences there is how cool the parking attendants are. They enjoy the hippie party that comes to town and make the process of parking in a chained hotel lot safe and fun for everyone. At the Hampton Inn Boston I recall enjoying the late night after show celebrating and instead of getting a knock on the door and being yelled at for the noise, getting a call at 1 am and politely being asked if we'd like to move to a more comfortable room - on a floor with all the other show peeps.

Most recently I stayed at the Hampton Inn Rutland for snoe.down and was blown away. The Mitch and I had booked one of the suites months before along with the additional adjoining room so we could enjoy a fun space for ourselves and other friends staying at the Hampton Inn. The room was sweet - and we enjoyed putting our personal touch on the room as we often do when traveling for shows. The beds are amazing and can be bought through their ingenious Hampton Inn Home Collection. I found this link to other marketing and amenity improvements they have made - - as my interest is much more on their customer service than anything else.

So, the jam band music scene is comprised of hippies and music loving folks who travel around to see their favorite band. Many have been doing this for years and so as we age, we have come to expect certain things and in our own right, are discerning travelers. The Hampton Inn's fantastic breakfast, 24 hour coffee and tea, complimentary WiFi, awesome bathrooms and beds, and decor that is white, silver, and clean looking instead of creepy all lead to a very pleasant experience. Considering the fact that traveling for shows is indeed that, we spend more time at the hotel than other pockets of guests. Yes, we enjoy good restaurants and when there is one attached to the hotel, we would much rather eat there than waste the time leaving when we have such a short amount of time to spend with our closest friends who often don't live in the same area. And so we pre-party and post-party in the hotel which could be of concern in some establishments, but the Hampton Inn seems to cater to it.

The staff at every Hampton Inn I have been to is professional and friendly and never, ever are condescending or judgmental to the interesting cast of characters who take over their hotel for the weekend. And what prompted me to even write this getting-too-long post was a man named Dave Searles, the Manager on Duty at the Hampton Inn Rutland. The first night he patrolled the halls all night long and was the friendliest "night watchman" I have ever seen. He smiled at everyone and was very polite if he had to knock on a door. He spent time talking to anyone who wanted to chat and many did - we're a chatty bunch! Because he was so kind, everyone respected him and there was only one complaint all night.

How do I know this? Because the next morning, everyone had a note under their door stating things such as, "We were pleased to welcome a good number of guests who went to the concert last night. Understandably some of the positive feelings generated at the concert made their way back to the hotel, and some of our guests took that opportunity to continue them with their guests. Some well into the wee hours."

He went on to let us know how appreciative he and the hotel was at the peaceful manner in which everyone was able to communicate and that everyone "was very understanding and cooperative" with his efforts at "maintaining the peace." He then went on to say, "I want you all to know what a good time that I had throughout the shift speaking with many of you, sharing stories and comments back and forth, etc." He then wished us all safe travels and hoped we would consider the Hampton Inn again.

Dave - you betcha!

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