Our trip around the West Coast of the US was pretty well planned, with hotels, routes and hikes setup weeks in advance. Most of our trips are planned this way, we rarely book a hotel on the fly. This was different. Because of some horrendous traffic issues, Highway 101 was closed completely and we had no viable way to return to our lodging in rural Mendocino County. The hotels in Willits were filling up fast. The Best Western was sold out. Similarly several other small, local hotels had filled up by the time we made it to their lobby.
Finally we found a hotel, the Baechtel Creek Inn, which is located just a bit off of the main drag in Willits, visible from the road but not as clear as other properties, it looked nice from the road, with lit trees and a winding drive. We jumped on this property. We were followed by several other cars, as we pulled into the hotel. I hopped out and ran towards the lobby hoping to beat the crowd. This town had limited hotel rooms which would be sold out in short order.
There were a few people in line in front of me and many in line behind me. The lady checking in when I arrived was arguing about the price. She demanded a jacuzzi suite (gross), but didn’t want to move her car from the temporary parking spot. She was just arguing with the guy working the front desk. He was doing his best to handle all of these new reservations and most of the people checking in were taking their traffic frustrations out on him.
I was patient and we joked about how awfully rude these people were. We managed to get two rooms and shuffled off to bed.
Our room was on the first floor, facing the parking lot. This was a motel, with exterior doors leading outside. When checking in, we were given a stern warning about smoking in the room and there would be a $500 fine. I was quite surprised when we walked into the room and were immediately hit with the smell of both cigarette and weed smoke. We got use to the stench pretty quickly though, only noticing it again, when we left the room and returned.
The floor was also a bit damp – not just near the air conditioner or near the bathroom, where there was no shower door or curtain, but everywhere. The floor didn’t exactly squish when you walked, but after the first step, you never put bare foot on the carpeting again during the stay.
There were power outlets near the beds, which didn’t do us any good because we didn’t have phone chargers with us, as we were expecting to be gone for just a couple of hours, not overnight.
I do love when a hotel does something interesting with the toilet paper. I’m just not sure why they folded this roll into the shape of a penis.
Factory muffins and some fruit with coffee and tea comprised the complementary breakfast served the next morning. We skipped breakfast.
The staff on site was pretty accommodating. I was surprised, especially considering they weren’t expecting anyone to bother them at 22h30 in the evening then they were hit with an onslaught of unexpected guests. The room was fine, better than sleeping in the car…I guess. It was a bit gross and I wouldn’t plan on staying at this property again.
Are you a fan of the Choice Hotel chain? What do you know about the Ascend Hotel Collection?