HIE has over the years become a brand our family continues to seek out when we need a room. The property in Ft Washington does not disappoint. It's not a new building but it's been thoroughly
renovated and is kept clean and stylish. The seasonal snacks and the manager's free food and drinks apparently every Wednesday night are nice touches and appreciated. The breakfast of course is above average for the complementary variety compared to other brands. Staff in the breakfast area were great -- always made sure nothing ran out and took the time to go around to all of the tables and ask how everything was.
The room was spacious and clean. The TV, while only having 40 channels or so, they were all (if not all, nearly so) in HD. It pains me when I stay in a hotel somewhere with a huge flat screen TV and all they have is 5 channels of analog cable. 55 inches of static isn't fun! The room had a fridge (one you can actually use, not one with an overpriced mini-bar!), and a microwave. There was also a Keurig but we never used it. We did use the iron and hair dryer though. The not so great but not disastrous - the toilet handle needed to be jiggled so it wouldn't run all night. When we first got into the room it was 78 degrees at the end of November! Had to run the A/C which is a bit loud. The toilet flushes really loud and it's easy to hear the water running from neighbouring rooms. The hotel is also very close to the SEPTA train station and the line runs right behind the hotel. However, the noise, while noticeable, was not disturbing to me and most of the time the trains don't blow their horns, but they do so occasionally. The side of the hotel closest to Penna Ave is probably more immune to the outside noise. The water pressure seemed like your typical water conserving fixture pressure. Not great if you have long hair!
The hotel has a pool but it's outdoor only. Not something we could use in November! The business center is nice and was convenient to Google a few things quick on our way out. Didn't use the Fitness Centre or Laundry, but did notice it was there. There's also vending machines and a little market in the lobby, but a convenience store is also within walking distance.
My only grievances are these, and they are minor in my opinion. When the hotel is full, it's hard to park near the front door, but our room was closest to the side door and there was often a parking spot available close to this. It seems that employees, often a half dozen at a time, like to congregate around this door and smoke. If I was coming from the inside they wouldn't see me approach because they'd be sitting there facing away from the door blocking my way but they would move once I opened it, although only far enough away as to make a path for me. I would recommend that a designated smoking area be created for them at a distance of at least 20 feet from an entrance as suggested by the PA Department of Health if there isn't one already that they're just not using. Also, during the week, housekeeping makes their rounds at 8AM so if you're not leaving the room before then, you have to have the Do Not Disturb sign out -- or you'll be disturbed! I used the sign and one day a note was slipped under the door saying that they respected the sign and I'll need to call the front desk if I wanted my room cleaned and to do so by 2PM, which I did. On nearly every other day I encountered housekeeping in the hallway and they would stop me and ask me my room number, check the clipboard, ask me what day I'm checking out and what time I'd be leaving so they could clean the room. They weren't rude or anything, but I found this whole housekeeping experience to be strange and slightly inconvenient.
That being said, I do feel the issues were minor and addressable. They weren't big enough where I felt I needed to talk to someone right then about it. The positives about this property and the HIE product in general far outweigh these few negatives. I would stay here again. [Less]