As mom’s summer adventure with me draws to an end, we begin the fun task of getting her back to Michigan. While it is only a 13 hour drive, I have learned it is better for her to stop half way to rest then it is to try to make it the whole way if we leave later in the day. She had an appointment at 9:30 am on the day we were heading out, so I knew we would not get out until the late morning / early afternoon. We ended up staying the night in the Quality Inn & Suites in Bloomington, Illinois.
Bloomington, Illinois is about half way so it is a good place to stop. As I have mentioned before, LaQuinta tends to be my first “GoTo” hotel. The LQ in Bloomington has disappointed me personally once before and then, on the trip down, we were reminded how horrible they are from an ADA (American’s with Disabilities) standpoint if you choose to stay in a non ADA room. My biggest complaint with most hotel chains is they do not have ADA rooms with two beds. So any parent traveling with a child who may need this have to “throw a cot” in there or, as in my case, two adults traveling together have to pay for two rooms or if we want to save money and share a room, mom doesn’t get the benefits of the ADA facilities. It’s fine for one night, but if it was more than one, we would probably have to go with a more expensive hotel chain or get two rooms. I have written LaQuinta about this and was assured they were working to correct it and every location would have at least one ADA room with a roll in shower and two beds by the end of the year (two years ago) so clearly that has not happened. Back to my dilemma for THIS trip….I needed a dog friendly hotel my mom could use. The LaQuinta in Bloomington was out because their non-ADA rooms have a weird bathroom layout where the toilet is in a corner. You can’t get the walker in there and the toilets themselves are extremely low. She had difficulty getting up and without the walker to help or handles, it is horrible for her! I don’t understand WHY hotels continue to use the low toilets. If they would just put ADA height toilets in every room, it would be easier. I went through and switched all of mine to ADA height, even the ones my mom won’t use. I love them!
But again, back to the review on THIS hotel……We ended up here because they advertised their dog friendly rooms and when I called, they had an ADA room with two queen size beds. Worked for us. I broke the review down into sections to make it easier for the ADA traveler, the Pet Traveler, the every day traveler, etc.
Our room was pretty spacious and I don’t think it was just because of the ADA portion. It seems like they would all be similar. Sometimes in hotels in this price point and older styles, the rooms are a little cramped. Not the case. The rooms were clean, well laid out with the two beds, a desk, refrigerator, dresser, and a chair. While the room was clean, I can’t say they are well maintained everywhere. The dresser had two broken handles. It had an older feel to it, except the shower! The shower looked like it had been renovated and were featuring Quality Inn’s “Q Shower” which includes a nicer shower head with multiple spray settings, premium bath amenities, curved shower rod for extra room, and a shower curtain with a sheer window for extra light. The shower itself had a nice granite look to it. You could tell it had recently been changed. I will address the ADA standpoints in a separate section towards the bottom of the post.
The breakfast was pretty impressive for a hotel in this price point.
Three types of eggs; scrambled, hard boiled, and over easy (round to fit on a biscuit or muffin)
Waffles: Original and Blueberry. I would have preferred the spray to keep them from sticking, but not bad. Syrup was on every table. I appreciate little touches like that.
Biscuits and gravy (my mom, who is somewhat easy to please said they were so/so)
Bread, biscuits, bagels, and muffins
3 different types Cereal
Orange, Apple, and Cranberry Juice
Skim milk & 2% milk
Plenty of peanut butter, cream cheese, jellies, and honey
They converted a room into a fitness room. It has three pieces of equipment. Enough for you to get a decent workout in but nothing extensive. To be fair, I looked at it to comment, but I did not use it.
It is an outdoor pool. I didn’t swim this trip, but saw others swimming. It looked clean, decent size.
A nice touch is it has a chair lift so anyone needing assistance into the pool would be able to utilize it with minimal effort. Again, a surprise to see for the price point. Good ADA points there!
The staff I encountered appeared pleasant, the associate working in the breakfast area was very nice. Asked if we needed anything more than once. A touch you don’t expect, but appreciate. The night manager, Kevin, was great about helping me get the online rate even though I had to book the ADA room over the phone because the ADA room was not an option on the Choice Hotel app. When I checked in, he hand crossed out the rate and wrote in the correct rate, the one he agreed to over the phone. He wasn’t going to give me a copy of it at first but I insisted. Without it, it would have been my word against his about the rate. I am glad I did because sure enough, when I went to check out, they had charged me the higher rate! I brought it to their attention and the two young men working the desk at the checkout had a heck of a time fixing it because they had already checked me out of the hotel. They were extremely nice and worked diligently to get it fixed without making me feel like I was being a pain. It was about a $20 difference. They finally figured out how to get it corrected and were friendly and apologetic throughout the whole ordeal. I had no problem waiting because their attitudes were GREAT! Even the staff I passed in the halls with the dogs were smiling and friendly.
They advertised themselves as being pet friendly. Referenced their “pet friendly rooms” and they had a sticker on the door telling you to rate them on Bring Fido. I think this set the bar high for me as to their pet friendly qualities. As I mentioned, the room was pretty spacious, so it allowed the dogs ample room to play. I was happy about that. They needed to release some energy. When I took them out is when I had areas of concern. The first is, NO TRASH CANS at the doors! As a responsible pet owner, I pick up my dogs poop. Everyone should if they travel with their dog(s)! Other owners don’t want to walk in it. I walked almost all the way around and saw one trash can at an entrance besides the main entrance. There really needs to be more. The next problem is the limited space to actually walk the dog(s). There is very little grass around the hotel and where it was, it was extremely drenched, tore up with some tire marks, making it muddy. My dog Zipper will poop or pee anywhere so he went on the rocks around a tree near the entrance by our door, but Bella is a little more selective and has to have just the right spot. She didn’t even go to the bathroom the morning we were leaving. She waited until we arrived at a rest stop and then went. I know they can’t do a lot about the grass because of their layout, but they really need to add more trash cans!
This is the ONE area this hotel is severely lacking. They get the bonus points for having an ADA room with two beds, but that room doesn’t have a roll in shower. That isn’t my real complaint though. My complaint is that they slapped some side bars on a low toilet and some handrails and called the room ADA. The toilet WAS NOT ADA height, so it was still difficult for my mom to get up and down on. In addition, the bars were just tucked up UNDER the seat, not permanently attached. My mom was starting to get up and the bar slipped out from the seat and lost support. She could have gone down and been severely hurt! They were constantly slipping out. Another thing is that it narrows the width of the seat. It didn’t affect my mom, but as I openly admit, I am not a small woman, so I felt like I was being wedged between the bars when I went to use the bathroom. Another problem is there were NO towel bars or hooks within reach of the shower. The towels were over the toilet so it was impossible to reach from the shower. The other hook was on the back of the door, again, impossible to reach from the shower for ANY person. An ADA person would never be able to reach it easily. I know those with disabilities are used to adapting to make things work, but it was disappointing the lack of attention the hotel gave this room. They did the bare minimum to call it an ADA room
As I mentioned with the swimming pool, they do have an ADA chair lift to swim with though. I just wish they would take a look at their rooms and update them just a little more when it comes to being ADA standards.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced room in Bloomington with a great breakfast and a welcoming staff, I would recommend this location.
Traveling with pets? Again, a nice place to stay, just be prepared to throw your pet’s poop away in your room or take a hike around the hotel!
Need a good ADA room? I would have to recommend skipping this hotel. I just don’t think they are where they need to be yet. Hopefully they will take the steps to improve this over time and if we visit again, I will update this post if they do make changes. Since we stop near Bloomington whenever I bring mom back and forth between Michigan and Missouri, I am sure I will have another chance at some point.
It might not be the fanciest place to stay in Bloomington, but when you’re saving your pennies and you appreciate the Choice Hotel line, this is one to consider!
Have you stayed here before? Do you travel with your pets? Leave your comments below!
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