Holiday Inn Express Alliance, Nebraska
We were meant to be staying within the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in a B&B but because of the amount of rain that had fallen we couldn't get to the place. We were feeling very tied and a bit stressed at the end of a very long day. We had set off for Wakpamni where my daughter and partner were going to be staying in a tepee and we had hoped to go for a horse ride with Oglala Lakota guide. We got to the turning and I swung the car around onto the dirt track. After about ten yards the car was just moving sideways even in four wheel drive and I could see we were heading sideways for the ditch. I stopped and we were having a minor panic where a 4x4 with a Lakota family turned off the main road to help us.
They got out and between my husband, daughter's partner and the two kind locals they just pushed the car completely around to face the other way, the road was so slippery. He just shouted keep to the centre tracks as I headed off to the tarmac leaving hubby and daughter's partner behind to walk. We hadn't got very far. The lovely family stopped at the end of the road and told us there was another road to Wakpamni with only about 100 yards like that. We thanked them profusely, they said 'no worries, we don't scalp strangers any more!' and headed back on their journey. They had come out of their way to help us and thank heaven they did as we might have struggled to get sorted without them.
We decided that even 100 yards was too much on that sort of road so we headed into the local town to phone and say we couldn't make it. We left a message, popped into the local subway for some sustenance and headed off for Alliance another five hours away where we had seen on our Tom-tom that there was a Holiday Inn Express !! There is nothing for miles on the reservation and this was the closest apart from one we passed that looked far too like 'Bates' Motel' to be attractive.
WE were somewhat relieved to find that there was indeed a Holiday Inn Express. WE drove and parked the car then my daughter and are were charged with the task of seeing if they had a room available.
We left the men guarding the car and its contents while we went in to see about the room. They did have a room. We were happy to share as all rooms in the USA that we had stayed in had two double beds and as they charge for the room it saved quite a bit of money. This was a big help to my daughter and saved them quite a lot during the holiday.
The girl behind the desk was very pleasant and gave s our room key cards and then we went out to help bring in all our stuff from the car.
This was fairly typical of Holiday Inn hotels in the USA. There were two double beds and non smoking too so we were happy. Both the beds had extra pillows and were very comfortable with fresh white bedding so no complaints.
There was a huge TV in a sort of cupboard which could be seen from both beds. There was a coded safe and wardrobe and a few drawers but we were only stopping overnight so we didn't actually unpack anything. In fact we showered and changed then went to grab a meal before hitting the bed. There was also an iron and board but again this was left untouched during our stay. There was a small fridge as well as the coffee maker in the room which was nice to enjoy cold water and keep our margarine and fruit fresh.
We were also able to access the internet through the free wifi which we appreciated as we wanted to check on our next day's journey and see if the people at Wakpamni had contacted us. I sent them an email to confirm the cancellation and explained what had happened. (We never did hear from them again but we were not charged either thankfully.)
The room was decorated in neutral colours with a dull pinkish sort of carpet and muted colours on the valance of the beds which matched the curtains. They wouldn't have been my choice but they were not offensive at all.
I was thrilled to see that there was a bath with shower over it so I was able to relax in a bath and after the day that we had just had I needed that. Toiletries were the same as all the other Holiday Inns and included shower gel, soap and shampoo only. However the water was hot and the bath very nice and clean and all in all I was very happy to be able to lie back and enjoy the neutrally decorated bathroom. We were also pleased to find a hairdryer but this was not usually a problem in the chain hotels in the USA.
Downstairs there was a snack area where tea and coffee was always available. Having said that these were also available in your room but as always in the USA there was only a coffee maker and tea tasted foul from that.
The reception area was large and neutrally coloured with several comfortable seats to sit on and relax which was nice as the wifi was better down here and the room was quite small with four of us in there. There was also a small room with a couple of computers and printers that guests could use.
THE POOL AND OTHER FACILITIES
This was a pretty decent size and was pleasantly warm according to my daughter and her partner who went for a swim while I enjoyed my bath. They said the whirlpool was particularly good and massaged their aching bits after the day in the car.
There is no gym on site but that didn't worry us. Apparently there is one nearby should you stay here and want to use one.
There was a laundry room with washers and dryers that were coin operated so if you needed to wash anything that would be useful.
Once again this was included in the room rate so when four of you stay in one room this makes it even better value. It is the usual buffet style breakfast with plastic plates and cutlery which I do think is a bit non-eco friendly but seems to be what they do all over the USA in these hotels.
The food is pretty good though and includes fruit juice and coffee or tea. Yoghurts, fresh fruit (Whole) my favourites which are hot cinnamon buns and if you wanted there was also hot stuff including scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages which the other all enjoyed and it meant that we could set off and not need to stop before coffee time when we would be well on our way.
A free newspaper can be delivered to your room or you can pick one up at breakfast if you wish.
This is a chain hotel and of the same standard as other Holiday Inn Express hotels we stayed in while in the USA. They are clean, efficient and functional the room was comfortable and the food pretty good too. I think we paid about $80 US for the room for the four of us which we thought was pretty good.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name