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January 28, 2011

Candlewood Suites, Richmond,VA (West)

Staying in extended stay hotels is always a bit odd to me, especially when I am only booked to stay for a day or two. There does not seem to be much of a point, but if the hotel is the only game in town, so be it.  I stayed at Candlewood Suites in Richmond, VA (West-near Short Pump) for that very reason.

Upon entering the facility I found it to be clean and the staff friendly.  Aside from an easy and quick check-in I noticed a tiny store, called the Candlewood Cupboard, filled with instant meals, toiletries and snacks that I could buy on an honor system during my stay. This hotel also has a small lobby, movie rental area and pool on site.  A Subway restaurant, gas station and McDonald's are within walking distance as is the Phillip Morris cigarette plant.  It is also just off Interstate 95.

My room contained a small kitchenette, a desk with chair, queen-sized bed and television.  My entire stay I had to deal with a TV remote that didn't work properly and a television that made a weird buzzing sound intermittently.  The staff could not fix the problem and didn't offer to discount my rate.  This was disappointing.  The photos on the website also show flat screen TV's.  Mine was a standard box television.  Trash removal only happened once - I assume after I checked out.  Both my bathroom and bedroom/office trashcan were completely full after my two night stay.  I was not pleased.  Nor could I fix or the staff the fact that my telephone message light blinked the entire stay.  The towels in the bathroom were rough, except for the facecloths.  That seemed odd.  The bathroom lighting was harsh and the soap was basic.  I'm talking old school White Rain products.  While the bed looked as if it had been updated with clean, soft sheets.  The kichenette was stocked full of dishes, dishcloths, paper towels, pots and pans and utensils.  It is a nice touch and everything worked properly.  This was probably the high point of the room even if I didn't use it.  I liked that it was there and I could nuke my oatmeal in the morning since there was no where nearby for me to eat breakfast.  Free internet access in rooms was another plus. 

Overall, I did not enjoy my stay at the Candlewood Suites.  I don't know if they are all like this but a brand new Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn with free breakfasts at both, gyms and restaurants are now open right next door to this hotel.   Candlewood is going to have to do more than a soft sheet, four pillow upgrade to compare to those two new, full amenity hotels to maintain a competitve business.  For the money this particular Candlewood Suites isn't worth it.

MPR Rating:  Two Stars.

Disclaimer:  MPR was not paid for this post.  My stay at this hotel was for work purposes only.  Opinions are MPR's only.