Crowne Plaza Springfield IL April 28 2012

A few things had changed for the better since our last stay a year ago at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield IL ( May 6 2011 ). The elevators no longer have the knife carving graffiti in the wood panels. Replacement panels didn’t look to be as high a quality. The ancient televisions have been upgraded to nice size flat screens ( at least in our recent room ). Hopefully the old units were properly recycled. I’d make a bet that even though the newer models are larger they are actually more energy efficient. So not only does this provide a better guest experience it may reduce operating cost.

Check-in was a bit slow since only one desk clerk was on duty. They were on the phone helping a guest attending the same event that evening figure out the dress code. We had booked a king size bed but at the last minute needed a room with two beds. The clerk was very courteous and helpful with this last minute request.

Unfortunately the double room we received had full size beds instead of queen. Many places do queen in their double rooms. This was going make for a less than comfortable sleep for me. But our last minute guest had a bed to themselves and slept well. The bed they slept on definitely could use a retirement – it’s been well used. It’s the bed closest to the wall in room 1018.

The video above shows the room quality. What it didn’t show is the room has a good amount of outlets. This is something that seems to be disappearing in hotel rooms. Which is interesting considering more people than ever travel with gadgets needing plugged in. Another common issue is having a notepad with no pen. Granted many people have done away with using paper. But I do make use of these notepads. Lucky for me I always carry a pen.

Light technology in the room is a mix of CFL’s and older incandescent light bulbs. I’m not sure if properties just don’t switch out all lights do to cost and just let the older technology burn out then replace them. You’d think the energy savings would make up for the cost of newer bulbs.

There is a fee for wireless Internet access. Quality of the connection was good especially considering the hotel was fairly busy that weekend. The charge is waived at check out. Wireless service is provided by iBahn.

Room service is available but we haven’t used it for either of our stays. We got carry out from the bar on our first visit. With our most recent stay I ate at the Mahogany Bar & Grill. Although it wasn’t extremely busy when I got there – the bartender definitely kept running. The crowd did increase while I sat there. What really hurts service is the fact that the bartender has to always run to check on food orders. This means the person has to walk all the way across the hall check on things and come back. This leaves the bar unattended when only staffed by one person. Guest might not understand that the bartender is working hard for others. Late in the evening the bar was staffed by two employees which helped smooth service out. Received great service at the bar both times during our recent stay. Food quality was good and prices reasonable.

A free breakfast was included with our room. So 3 adults and 1 child got to head down to the buffet style breakfast. The service was just as good as the night before. The hostess was working double duty taking care of the cafe and arriving guest. The food quality was average – some of it good – some not so good. Granted for the price free – you can’t really complain I guess. A good selection of items were available. Considering many places just give you cereal and muffins – this is definitely a step up. But when scrambled eggs that just got put out are cold – you have to wonder is this – you get what you pay for? Guest seated by us found something in their food. The couple mentioned this to the waitress – who had worked the evening shift the night before. She didn’t seem to concerned. My girlfriend found a hair in her biscuits and gravy. We made no mention of it – because of the reaction we saw from the other waitress. Definitely turned everyone off at our table to eating more.

The female cook that morning did walk around and ask guest how there food was. I think the couple by us who had complained liked what was cooked for them by her.

Swinging back to the room. Our floor was a designated quiet zone ( I have a picture of the rules on the next page ). We weren’t exactly as good as we should have been about following the rules. Although it looks they aren’t “enforced” on weekends. It’s a Sunday through Thursday “promise”. For our stay this time there were no ear plugs or air freshener. The bathroom night light was there. These are hit and miss features in the few Crowne Plaza’s we have stayed at. Crowne Plaza Metro Chicago had the ear plugs and freshener but no bathroom night light. Our next stay it was the opposite – light – but no ear plugs package. Only Crowne Plaza Springfield offered the curtain clip which I love. All motels / hotels should have the “chip clip” for curtains as standard room amenities.

Nowadays you definitely see there isn’t always consistency within the same brand. Quality of service and what is offered can vary from property to property under the same name umbrella. Both Crowne Plaza’s in Springfield & Chicago offered a quality experience with a few things that could be tweaked.

Check out is 11AM for Crowne Plaza Springfield. This is becoming an industry standard which I hate. Luckily the front desk was decent enough to give us a late check out for the more desirable 12PM. This gave us a less stressful stay – we were able to get the car loaded and actually get a quick dip in the pool upstairs. Crowne Plaza Springfield includes a full size swimming pool, hot tub and sauna on the top floor of the property.

The check out process went smoothly and the wireless Internet charge was deducted off our room bill.

For this stay we had a room located at the front of the building facing off property restaurants, competing hotels and Downtown Springfield IL to the left. For our stay last year our room was located on the back end which faces the Springfield coal fired power plant, Lake Springfield and similar businesses to what you would see on the front side of the hotel.

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