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Holiday Inn Express
3019 Lakeshore Drive
We booked this hotel before we left the UK as we knew we were wanting to spend some time in Michigan near the lake. We paid a bit more for this hotel as it promised lakeside views a d also had a spa bath which we thought would be fun.
We had driven up from Springfield in Illinois back up Route 66 stopping at different places on the way. We arrived here around four in the afternoon and checked in very quickly. The hotel was easy to find as it is right on the lake and just outside the town/city of St Joseph on a main road. Parking was around the hotel and we chose a place that was easy access to a door so we could get our bags up to our room easily.
The staff were great and welcoming. The Reception area was light with plenty of space and there were comfortable places to sit and it was tastefully decorated in neutral colours. We didn't spend a lot of time in here really but it was a pleasant welcoming space.
This was on the first floor ( UK ) which is up one level and so we did have a view of the lake which was nice. The room was huge, it was a suite which we were not expecting. The room was so big that the entry looked empty and led into the lounge which also looked under furnished and yet had a sofa bed and other seating as well as a TV, desk and tables and chairs.
The kitchen was off to the left, just before the lounge area and had a fridge, microwave , sink and coffee maker as well as plates and cutlery. We were quite surprised to find a pizza in the fridge but when we looked in the box we found it wasn't whole. We phoned Reception who apologized and came to collect it and the drink that was left there too. Housekeeping obviously hadn't checked the fridge.
The bathroom was to the left of the kitchen and off a corridor which was created by the wall of wardrobes and cupboards separating this from the entry. There was so much storage we could have had enough for a month in there. Inside the wardrobe was spare bedding, a safe and ironing board and iron.
This was huge and had a spa bath and a shower plus toilet and two basins in a long vanity shelf. We had nice toiletries tucked into flannels and had soap, bath gel, shampoo and body lotion. I did get to quite like the holiday Inn stuff as it had a subtle sort of creamy cinnamon scent. The bath gel worked a treat in the spa bath making lots of lovely bubbles.
This was also pretty big with a queen sized and a window again overlooking the lake which was clever as they had angled the hotel so that as many lake views could be enjoyed by guests in their rooms as possible. The bed was neatly made with crisp white cotton sheets and a wall of four comfortable pillows. Once again the décor was subtle and quite tasteful. The carpet in the main living area was a bit dark blue but apart from that it was all neutral tones throughout.
We did think the furniture in the lounge was a little tired and generally the room was in need of an update in the areas away from the bedroom but the bed was very comfortable as were the pillows and we were only there for one night so we were quite happy.
This was free and available in the room with a code given to me at check-in. It was available in public areas too. British hotels could learn from this as I am sure it doesn't cost that much and creates a lot of good will.
This was included in our room rate and was all set up in a very nice room. It was the usual self service breakfast typical of most USA hotels but with plenty of choice. We had fruit juices, fresh fruit, cereals both hot and cold, hot food like scrambled eggs and bacon burgers as well as my favourite cinnamon buns, muffins, Danish pastries and yoghurts. There was plenty of choice for people wanting healthy options as well as those who didn't mind quite so much about healthy options.
There was a very decent sized indoor swimming pool and a fitness centre as well as a few meeting rooms for those who may need these facilities. There was also a pleasant guest lounge with TVs if you wanted to socialize outside your room.
Next to this hotel was the Mexican restaurant El Cozumel where we ate in the evening. We did appreciate the fact that there was somewhere we could walk to for a meal as when you have spent the day travelling the thought of getting in the car again is very depressing.
Across the road was Lake Michigan which is huge. When you see the Great Lakes on a map they llok big but you really cannot really appreciate how large they are until you see them and they are an inland sea. There are waves and beaches just like a seaside. When we drove to a local state park from here we climbed huge sand dunes which we had no idea existed beside a lake.
Yes I would say this is a great hotel for seeing Lake Michigan. It was a really huge room, a little tired but still perfectly clean and comfortable. It was a bit of a surprise to find things in the fridge but it was soon corrected with an apology. This hotel was very nice and fresh and airy in all the public areas. It was all we wanted for the night and made a perfect base for our Lake Michigan exploration.
I would say 3.5 stars rather than 4.
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