* The staff at this place are excellent! Extremely accommodating and clearly care about their customers' experience - even when there's little to nothing they can do in certain
* Front desk staff at all hours are fantastic. I went down to check out some movies after 10pm or so and was met with great assistance and friendly service. When I returned after 2am to turn one of the movies back in, I got the same wonderful service - immediately. I didn't have to wait; track anyone down; or wake anyone up. The folks here are awesome!
* The location is convenient to many nearby shopping and dining establishments. But be warned - Hiway 280, which you have to get on to go anywhere can be overrun with stop & go traffic.
* While the Candlewood Pantry is in a room that combines the workout room, the laundry room, and the pantry - uncommon mix - all are nicely appointed for what they are. The workout area has some great machines, free weights, and Bosi Balls. The laundry has plenty of machines. And the pantry has this excellent coffee & hot water machine that I used every day. I only wanted a cup or so each morning/evening, so it was easier to walk down and get a hot brew by the cup than to waste an entire pot of brew for only that cup. The selection of foodstuffs in the Pantry is also very good here.
* The TV in the living room is on an articulating arm that allows you to extend it and swivel it as needed. This was great for me to hook up my laptop to do work using a second screen that was large enough to be used from the desk or the recliner. Great feature!
* It's a Candlewood, so it's made of wood; which means if you're not on the top floor (I was in the middle), you will hear every footstep of those above you. If you stay in Candlewoods often, you know what I mean.
* This place looks as though it's been road hard and hung up wet. It definitely shows its age and apparently heavy use. The carpets are worn thin to the point of showing through in some common areas. The room I was in had the newer cabinets and bathroom vanity of the Candlewood brand, while the doors, walls and appliances were seriously tired (patched and unpatched holes in walls & doors, stains, lots of hair stuck to... well most everything, etc.)
* The room cleanliness was not superb. The linens on my bed had so many pet and human fur/hair follicles on them, I honestly questioned if they'd been changed since the last guest. The bathroom towels seemed ok & clean but the bed linens, not so much. I lived with it but probably shouldn't have.
* Water pressure in the shower = not so great due to the type of shower head used.
* Cleaning crew on checkout day will just blast right into your room, no knocking, etc. - even when it's several hours prior to check-out time. Good thing I was working at the desk on my laptop and not getting out of the shower, etc. ;-) Yikes!
* Upon my arrival on a Thursday, the property was completely full.
My room smelled like a family of enormous dogs had been living in it for a very long time.
(NOTE: This belongs/relates back up top in the GREAT section: Becky at the front desk was SUPER nice and apologetic about the situation from the time when she called up to see how everything was after my check-in (a VERY nice and appreciated gesture), throughout my stay. She offered me some air freshener in a bottle like one would put in one of those plug-in units until she could maybe find me some spray like Lysol, etc. Eventually, she hooked me up with some Febreeze - and 500 extra IHG points for the trouble.)
Honestly, neither air freshener did anything to even come close to containing the odor. Eventually I gave up on them as my allergies do better with dog than chemicals. Becky explained to me that I could maybe swap rooms after the weekend but not sooner, as they were at total capacity during the largest motorcycle convention of the year at Barber Motorsports Park nearby through the weekend. By Monday, I'd become used to it and had settled completely in, so I never moved. As well, I'd been turning on the AC during the day when I was away and turning it off upon my return, as the AC unit apparently still has a pack of wet Newfoundlands or Pyrenees Water Dogs living inside it. This was the main source of the odor issue but not the total source. Plus, they'd put me in an end room and I didn't want to move.
There was a woman complaining of basically the same thing during one of my early trips to the front desk and they were telling her that they couldn't move her either. She (guest) said that the source of the issue was the air conditioning unit as well. Several of the units in the common hallways also were quite musty smelling - to the point that I'd hold my breath while walking past them to avoid a allergy attack.
* There's only 1 AC unit in a 1-bedroom suite, with a fan high up on the wall to attempt to blow cold air into the bedroom from where the AC unit in the living room is running. That fan is OLD and incredibly noisy. Squeaking, Rattling, Buzzing - and WAKING at all hours. That was very frustrating. The speed knob on the fan is more of an adjustment of which of the annoying noises you want - buzzing? Squeaking? Rattling? A combination? Just turn the knob to decide but there is no setting for no noise/only air moving through a fan noise... except, Off, of course. But then it gets hot in the bedroom which is equally effective at keeping one awake/waking one up.
Overall, smells and all, I recommend this property for one main reason:
The people who work here are super nice and genuinely care about their patrons. The property is pretty dogged (pun fully intended) but it's old and wear happens. It's definitely way past due for a major refresh but that's tolerable when the staff makes it worth it to stay there. At least for me, it is. I've been in much worse places than this and the staff sucked. These folks make you feel like a regular even when it's your first visit. [Less]