We usually visit my in-laws in Vancouver, WA, every Thanksgiving, and stay over at a hotel (though the kids often pernoctate with the grandparents). We usually stop over in Medford, OR, for the night in the way there. I usually priceline the hotels – the rates are so much cheaper than those you can get otherwise -, after checking for prices and possible hotels at Bidding for Travel and for hotel reviews at Trip Advisor. That’s what I did this year, and I ended up with rooms @ Red Lion Hotels in both Medford & Vancouver. Both ended up being good experiences and fairly good deals.
Red Lion Hotels – in general
The two Red Lion Hotels we stayed at were very similar properties. In both cases they were older buildings, well kept but a bit outdated (they still have old-style TVs, for example). They had nice furniture (two Queen-size beds, one night table with a lamp, a dresser/entertainment center and a desk with a chair. The room in Vancouver also had a comfy chair with an ottoman), comfortable mattresses & pillows and largish bathrooms (the one in Medford, with a separate sink) with good water pressure. Rooms were appointed with a coffee maker, a small fridge & a small microwave. There was coffee/tea/sugar/creamer. The rooms were clean and not particularly smelly. One issue with both hotels was that the heater units, while quite efficient, were very loud. In both instances we chose to turn them off while we slept. Another issue is that while the rooms are for two people, there is only one desk/chair – which means only one person can work comfortably at the time.
The facilities at both hotels were also pretty similar, and they included outside swimming pools, a small gym (which we didn’t use), nicely appointed lobbies and a restaurant/bar. The hotel has cable TV, but only offers a dozen channels or so (one was showing cartoons). There is free internet, but it was slow @ both hotels and had some blocked services. Both hotels offer soap, shampoo & conditioner (but not lotion) in the rooms, and they say they have other toiletries upon request.
Service in both hotels was very good, the front desk staff was very friendly. Then again, we did not have any special needs/requests.
The one thing to consider vis a vis the Red Lion Inn, is that the rates DO NOT include breakfast. Breakfast at the Vancouver Red Lion was $8 for adults (free for kids). That means that you must really add $20 to the nightly rate to get a sense of its “true” rate vis a vis other comparable hotels.
Now, as for each individual hotel:
Red Lion Medford
We stayed here last year as well and had liked it. This year the rate was more expensive (about $65 a night, including taxes – my priceline bid was $51), but not a bad deal for the area. This hotel is “motel style”, with a lobby that houses the restaurants and two buildings with guest rooms around a parking lot. One of the buildings is right next to the freeway and you can definitely hear some freeway noise from the rooms there – though it was drowned by the heater noise, when on. Rooms on the other building are much quieter – so ask to be put there.
We had dinner at the restaurant at that hotel last year, which wasn’t great, but this time we didn’t even go in, so I can’t even say if it’s still open. We’ve never tried their breakfast.
Red Lion at the Quay – Vancouver
I was disappointed when Priceline gave me this hotel (we stayed at the Residence Inn last year, which was both cheaper, much nicer and included breakfast!) for my $40 bid (plus $10 in taxes), but the hotel itself is nice. The lobby was nicely decorated with a large Xmas tree (and a few small ones), and the location at the River is very nice. We walked along it one morning and got to see the famous Old Apple Tree. The hotel is also very convenient (i.e. a couple of blocks from) downtown and the bridge to Portland.
We had the breakfast buffet at the hotel one morning ($8 per adult, free for children, including tax, but waiters clear out your plates so you have to tip them), and it was OK. The breakfast included two dry, paltry, unappealing mini-pastries, fresh fruit, 3 dry cereals, bread (there was a toaster) and hot scrambled eggs, bacon (very dry), sausages (fine) and country potatoes (also dry). They have a cool pancake machine – you press a button and get two warm, fresh pancakes in 45 seconds. The pancakes had that industrial taste that comes from commercial mixes. There was coffee & tea, milk and juices. In all, it was definitely nowhere as good as the free buffet we got at the Residence Inn the year before. The one plus is that the restaurant has beautiful river views.
In all, our stay was fine and we’d be fine staying here again.
Margarita’s Hotel Reviews