This article is copyrighted (c) to Christina Roberts. All rights reserved.
How can the Rodeway Inn Civic Center hotel in Roanoke, Virginia be a Choice Hotels member? I was under the assumption that, for a hotel to qualify to be a Choice Hotels member, there must be a minimum set of criteria for the hotel to pass. After staying here this past weekend, I’ve had to conclude that Choice Hotels either 1) has shockingly low member criteria or 2) doesn’t check their members for compliance on a routine-enough basis.
The short verdict: The Rodeway Inn Civic Center hotel in Roanoke, VA was dirty, ill-kept, and barely functional even for their “essentials” guarantee. I will never stay here again unless, literally, every hotel within a 30 mile radius of Roanoke under $100/night is booked.
To break it down, I was previously aware of the “FAIR” rating on for the Rodeway Inn Civic Center on Choice Hotels.com (2 stars on Yelp) and that there were quite a few 1- or 2-star reviews. But I decided I’d try the hotel anyway, since I hadn’t been there before. And since it’s a Choice Hotel, I thought, “hey, it must not be that bad.”
I reserved my room online. No problem. The check-in process went okay, but the 2 front desk support members immediately gave me pause. A lady checked me in and her attitude seemed really passe. Not rude, but almost, like, “I couldn’t care less.” There was a gentleman behind her (no idea what his “position” was) and I honestly felt uneasy by him. He had a glassy sort of unaware look and it made me wonder if he was on something. Off and on during my stay, I’d see him walking around the hotel grounds picking up after the place, but I tried to avoid him. Least to say, because of their attitudes, I didn’t want to go down to request anything.
I got my paperwork and went to my room. I had reserved a non-smoking, double-bed room. When I went in to inspect my room, my boyfriend noted, “Doesn’t it smell sort of like smoke and ash and maybe something else in here?” He later checked the “YOU ARE HERE” map on the inside of my door and it showed that I was staying in a smoking room. Well, I could handle the smell, but I was not happy about that mistake.
Now I’ll discuss the good points of the room first, then the rest of the negative points:
Most everything technically worked: air conditioning unit, hot and cold water, freezer, tv, lamp, other lights. Beds were made and seemed clean. No broken or wobbling chairs, etc.
- One of the top worst points was that the bathroom door stuck on the top. At first, I wasn’t aware how bad this was. The first time I went in, I closed the door, but wasn’t able to re-open the door no matter how hard I tried. I had to call for my boyfriend, who came in and shoved the door open for me. The rest of my stay, I only closed the door just enough so it wouldn’t open while I was in the bathroom.
- The second worst point was that the front door was loose. You couldn’t open it without the key, but you could grab the handle and push it and it would move a few centimeters.
- The sink had one of those pull-up faucets. It was very hard to use and I was unable to turn the water on halfway. It was either full-force or nothing. Most of the time, I had to yank it up to turn it on.
- The shower head was loose. I went to adjust it and it literally moved and inch to the right.
- The bathtub faucet was loose. Likewise, it moved an inch to the left or right.
- No conditioner was provided. Even lower-end Choice Hotel member hotels are supposed to provide a little tube of shampoo and conditioner. This hotel only had one little tube of shampoo.
- There was only one washcloth. Two are the standard.
- Fridge was highly questionable and wasn’t very cool. When I tried to adjust the coolness level, the inside dial was broken off and the little push button beneath did nothing.
- I could only find one conveniently-placed (sort of) power cable to charge my devices.
People knocking on my door at 2 AM
This really freaked me out. I was asleep and around 2 AM (I looked at my Kindle), someone was definitely trying to open the door. It wasn’t a windy night. I lay there half-terrified. The first time someone knocked, I called out for my boyfriend. Nothing. Then the person at the door tried again! I called for my boyfriend louder. Bless him — he literally sprung clear up on his feet. I half-whispered, “Someone’s trying to open the door!” He went to the door and peaked out the peep hole, then the window. “There’s no one there,” he said. I replied, “Someone was definitely trying to get in…”
So he went back to his bed. It took me a while to go back to sleep. I was laying there listening and I thought I could hear someone outside trying to open other doors. I literally was wondering if a weirdo was trying to break into rooms to steal things — but, then again, what would there be to steal, really?
An hour or so later, someone else came to the door and tried to get in. I again called out, “Someone’s at the door!” Poor boyfriend — he hurried up a second time and wen to the door. This time he said, “Hello?” There was ‘s a lady outside and she said, “Sorry! I’m trying to find my room!”
My boyfriend went back to bed.
I’m laying there thinking, “why are people unable to find their rooms? Did the Rodeway Inn Civic Center front desk assistant not explain to them properly where their room is? Is the person unable to see the door numbers? Does the customer not have a flashlight or phone to shine on the doors and see the numbers? Ugh — I hope my boyfriend will be able to get back to sleep.”
Regardless of what was going on, I felt that the whole situation was almost untenable. I was laying there terribly frightened, rather upset, and thinking that it’s the responsibility of the hotel to ensure new guests don’t disturb current guests. Least to say, I was very underwhelmed.
I would have left this review on ChoiceHotels.com, but …
I couldn’t. I have an account, but couldn’t login. I reset my password, logged in successfully, went to the Rodeway Inn Civic Center page to leave a review, and I couldn’t. I tried first as a guest and put in my confirmation number, but Rodeway Inn Civic Center on the website claimed there was no such confirmation (I checked out yesterday). So I logged into ChoiceHotels.com and discovered there was no hotel reservation history in my account. Nevertheless, I went back to the Rodeway Inn Civic Center hotel page to leave a review, but ChoiceHotels.com spit out some mystery error that wouldn’t let me leave a review. Then the website automatically logged me out.
I have my confirmation email and print out sheets, so this is very strange. Since I couldn’t leave my review on their website, I wrote this blog review post instead.
Least to say, I have no delusion of grandeur that I can spend $40 – $60 on a hotel per night and bask in a 4-star room. But I do have a minimum expectation that the “essentials” are actually provided, and most of all, that my non-smoking reservation will be accurately confirmed. This is such a horrible hotel, that I honestly do not know how it’s still a ChoiceHotels member. Choice Hotels may want to re-evaluate this hotel, or the hotel may want to perform some basic renovations to improve the “essentials” it proudly advertises. I recommend anyone with a few more dollars to seek a hotel elsewhere. Even the nearby EconoLodge, which I’ve also stayed at, is much nicer than this hotel.