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Once in a while, I have very mainstream hotel stays. Okay, if we are being completely honest, I very frequently have stays at places that somehow don’t rate on the blogger remarkability map (i.e. they are not the Hyatt Vendome in Paris) – places like the Fairfield Inn Sandusky in north central Ohio.
I feel like those hotels are equally worthy of my reviews when business often takes me to where there are no business range properties within an hour radius and where my choices are limited to budget motels, limited service hotels, and family resorts with indoor waterslides. Sandusky is one of those places – there are no Hyatt or Starwood properties anywhere close to the market (my preferred programs) and I’ve previously stayed at both of the Hampton Inn properties as well as at one of the local family resorts. This time I decided to give the Fairfield Inn Sandusky a spin.
Many who visit Sandusky are there to enjoy one of the many lakeside attractions including the famous Cedar Point amusement park. As my visit was mid-week after the start of school for many, I pulled into a near empty parking lot. The lot had well-spaced parking that was convenient to the front entrance. The turn-in is located off a busy main artery however and is easy to overshoot if one is not aware of the approach to the property.
The check in process was efficient as I was the only one in the main lobby. The desk clerk was friendly and recognized me for my Marriott Silver Elite status.
I was assigned to room 208 on the hotel’s second floor. The room was easily accessible by a stairway close to the room and lobby or could be reached by an elevator that was not as conveniently placed on the property, which is designed in a T formation with the main lobby at the intersection point. My room was on the short end of the T near the intersection.
The room was a fairly standard 2 queens room with comfortable bedding, good lighting, and functional HVAC (important on what was the hottest day of the year in Sandusky).
The room looked like it had undergone recent touch-ups. Walls and furnishings were in good condition and the furniture, while minimal was coordinated.
I was disappointed to have minimal work area – the desk was not a comfortable place to sit and there was no lap desk (like Hampton Inn provides) if I wanted to work from the bed or side chair. Electrical outlets were limited and I needed to be creative to charge all of my devices while working. WiFi worked well on the property, however, so once I got comfortable I was able to be productive!
The bathroom was non-remarkable with a small shower and toilet in an enclosed room and an outside sink/vanity room in a more traditional motel set-up.
The most remarkable thing about room 208 was the view.
Impressive, isn’t it?
The hotel has a small workout room which I did not use, opting instead to go to Tuesday wing night at Buffalo Wild Wings. They also serve breakfast in an enclosed room off the main hallway on the first floor. I chose to skip breakfast as there were too many small children in the area and I was not caffeinated enough to manage that at the early hour.
My bill was under my door and was correct, so I was on my way without needing to stop at the front desk. The easy access to the main highway meant I had time for a Starbucks stop before my morning meetings.
I had a good night sleep at this property. I did not notice hallway noise or any environmental concerns that hindered my stay. The Fairfield Inn Sandusky is a good property for business travelers who must overnight in the area. Its also an alternative for families who are looking for a convenient non-themed stay during a visit to the area.
One item of note – the rates for hotels in this area are relatively high during prime seasons (including my summer stay). Even with the benefit of a corporate discount, I paid twice as much for this room as I did for a nicer business-range hotel in Cleveland the previous night. Booking early may be a consideration for better prices – still, I booked my stay fairly far out and the prices never came down for any of the standard rates despite the hotel not appearing to be near capacity.