The Only Hotel Review I’ll Ever Write

I recently had my yearly oncology checkup. Unlike every single recipe blogger, I will not make you scroll through a thousand word post about how the dish you are looking to prepare was inspired by my girls’ weekend away at a Napa Valley Winery before I give you the information you really want. I’m just going to give you the goods upfront.

The MRI showed the growth in my tumors is still so minimal that I do not need chemo. I was prescribed a course of steroids and given a referral for physical therapy to deal with lingering pain and mobility issues. All in all, a very good checkup.

Now onto the really important stuff, the review of my damn hotel room.

My oncologist is nearly three hours away and my checkup days are usually quite long. I have an MRI earlier in the day, then head off to clinic to meet with my doc and review the findings. Besides being mentally and emotionally draining, it just eats up a lot of hours. So I generally get a hotel and stay the night.

My husband is the traveler. For his last job he had to travel pretty regularly, so I let him pick the hotel and set everything up for me. And that’s not because I’m some hapless dame who can’t figure out how to make a reservation. I’m just really lazy and can’t be bothered, so get the story straight.

He couldn’t remember the last hotel he put me in. And I was like, don’t you remember? It was the one where I was in the elevator with Iyanla and I embarrassed myself by telling her I’ve read all her books even though I have definitely not read all her books.

And he was like, how is that supposed to help me know the name of the hotel?

And I was like, it’s the one across the street from the mall. Duh.

And he was like, still not helpful.

Then I told him not to put me in the one that had the wasp in the bathroom. But it was okay if he put me in the one that was on the other side of the mall. That one wasn’t as nice as the Iyanla one, but it was better than the wasp one. Plus, I could walk to the mall and get P.F. Chang’s.

And then I told him to not put me in either of those hotels, but to put me in the one that was walking distance to the Five Guys so I could buy a big ass order of fries in case I was depressed by the results of my MRI.

Apparently none of these descriptions helped him narrow down the names and locations of any of my previous hotels, so he decided to start from scratch and pick an entirely new hotel. It’s closer to the hospital, he says. Walking distance! But don’t walk because you’ll probably get mugged or murdered.

So I say, if it’s that close to the hospital then I’m pretty sure I’m not going to die because I’ve been to the hospital numerous times and it’s a lovely area. I’ve yet to be mugged or murdered.

He still made me pinky swear I wouldn’t walk. And I did pinky swear, but I had my fingers crossed behind my back because he’s not the boss of me and I’m a grown ass woman who can take care of herself. Just as long as I don’t have to talk to a human on the phone and make a hotel reservation.

The hotel my husband put me in is this one. Just click on the link. The name is too long. Like, it’s stupid long. There’s at least a dozen words in it. But yeah, it’s that one.

I arrived mid-afternoon to check in and was greeted by a couple of very friendly young people. Yes, I said young people. I’m old. If you’re under the age of 35 you’re young people to me. They got me sorted out, gave me my parking pass, and even offered me a cold bottle of water. Seamless execution! 10 out of 10 stars.

For a hotel set smack in the middle of downtown it had an abundance of parking, which was a pleasant surprise. The place was clean and bright. The elevator still had Cherie Berry’s picture in it, which was possibly my favorite part about the whole experience. If you’re not from North Carolina, you might want to google that lady’s name. I really am making you do a lot of work this time, aren’t I?

My room was immaculate. Such a cute little space. Lots of windows, fully stocked kitchenette, big ass comfy bed. Not one complaint. Ok, one complaint. The toilet was in the corner of the bathroom. It was weird. It was fully functional, but it unnerved me for some reason. So I’m taking away a half a star for that. We’re at 9 1/2 stars, Marriott.

My MRI was set for that evening, so I hurried up and unpacked. I ate a quick dinner. Got my MRI uniform on. No buttons, zippers, or snaps you amateurs! I hydrated, so they get a nice fat vein for easy IV insertion. Had a minor panic attack. You know, the usual prep work.

I had some spare time, so I started getting nervous and pacing a little bit. I turned on the TV for distraction, but nothing interesting was on. Then, I decided to open the curtains and see what views I had of the city.

Oh, well look at that! Such a quaint old brick building. How adorable! What is it? An office building? Dormitory? Condos?

Oh, looks like there’s some writing on the front there. Huh. Let me just squint my eyes so I can see a little better.

What the everloving freak?!?!?!

It’s a… funeral home. AND CREMATORIUM.

So, I call my husband.

Husband: Hey! How was your trip? How’s the room?

Me: Trip was good. Hotel is nice. I have a view.

Husband: Oh yeah, what’s your view?

Me: A crematorium.

Husband: *silence*

*Commuter train horn blares in the background*

Me: Oh yeah, and there’s a train track right behind the crematorium and every hour a train rolls by and blows its horn.

Husband: *silence*

Me: Well, I have to head over to the hospital for my MRI. I’ll call you when it’s done.

So, listen. I realize the crematorium has to be somewhere, but did it have to be directly under my window? Clearly the hotel was built after the crematorium. Did y’all think of putting up some trees or something to sort of dull the shock and awe? I’m taking away at least four stars for that. Maybe five. I don’t know. Go to your room and let me think about it, Marriott.

By the time I arrived back at the hotel after my MRI it was dark and there was a little more competition for parking. Thankfully they had an overflow lot across the street with lots of bright lights. I felt very safe parking there.

The bar in the lobby was hopping, but tucked away in a corner so noise was never an issue. I had a restful night of sleep despite the fact that I was within spitting distance to the place where they set bodies on fire.

They had a breakfast spread downstairs and a cute little shop where you could purchase any essentials you forgot or wanted to pick up a snack. I am antisocial, so I opted to use my in-room kitchenette. The coffee maker provided me with the weakest, most pathetic cup of coffee I’ve ever had in my entire existence on this planet. But you know what, Marriott? That’s on me. I know better. Hotel coffee is a scourge on society. I shall return you a half a star.

Where are we now? Five stars? Four? Oh yeah, view of the crematorium. Three stars. And you’re lucky you’re getting that.

When my stay came to a close I gave one last nod to the funeral home across the street and headed out the door. I rolled my suitcase down the hall and headed toward the elevator. When the doors opened I was greeted by one of the maintenance workers. We exchanged pleasantries and he went on down the hall. Just before the doors closed he turned to me and said, your hair looks very nice today.

And in that moment I was like, what view of the crematorium? 25 out of 10 stars! Very much recommend.

So, in conclusion, the Residence Inn (insert 57 other words here) by Marriott was clean, bright, spacious. The front desk staff was helpful and friendly. There was ample parking in a safe environment. The room itself was immaculate. Horrible coffee, but that’s my bad. Oh, and IT OVERLOOKS A CREMATORIUM AND A SET OF TRAIN TRACKS. But then the maintenance guy said my hair looked good and who the hell cares about anything else after that, right?

Stay at this hotel! You will not be disappointed! As long as you keep the curtains closed and ride the elevator often.