(Second) Rate the IL Hotel

Last year:

The International League was taken over by a sensation so large, a movement with such force, a presence so daunting….that the fear created in inns around the circuit has……re-generated the beast!  I give you:

(Second) Rate the IL Hotel!!!! (Cue thunder clap).  Wait, we don’t have the thunder?  We were over-budget?

Anyway, our game of value-judging the vacation stops has returned.  Our producers thought it was unfair to simply create a reputation for the International League hotels based on a first impression.  So, the calendar has turned to 2011 and we give the establishments a second chance to be seen, heard, tasted and slept in.

If you’re new to the game, we offer up the pros and cons to each hotel that the Chiefs stay in and then assign a rating to that hotel using a gizmo which quite resembles the one in the board game “Mouse Trap.”

Our first hotel on the docket this season is:

The Sheraton Waterside Norfolk!!!!

The view from one of the guest rooms:

Here’s what they’re saying about the Sheraton Waterside Norfolk:

“Outback Steakhouse is next door, and you have the diner D’Eggs only a few short blocks away.  Does it get any better than that?”

—Neil Solondz, Voice of the Durham Bulls.

Normally, I’d take Neil’s word as gospel for two reasons:  1) He is a terribly perceptive fellow and 2) With Durham being in the same division as Norfolk, Neil spends more time at the Sheraton Waterside than Jay Gatsby spends staring at the green light.  In this case, though, the Voice of the Bulls has pointed out a false positive.  How about that?


1)  Valet parking.  Yes, parking is expensive (22 simoleans a night), but there’s something to be said about being at a hotel which offers valet parking.  It’s like going to a restaurant which has a 3000 dollar steak on the menu.  You don’t have to order it.  But, by virtue of its existence, you’re pretty sure the low-end stuff is going to be more than alright.  And, if you decide to take advantage of it, it feels slightly ritzy and empowering.  Especially when your rental car is a Ford Focus.

2) The sights.  Behind the hotel, you’ll find a walkway which takes you right along the water.  It’s a perfect place to see ships rolling in during the morning or early afternoon.  If you’re so inclined, it’s also an ideal running location (I was nearly sideswiped by a shirtless jogger yesterday).

3) The food nearby.  The mall is about an eight-minute walk from the hotel.  It has every chain restaurant one might ever ask for:  Chili’s, Max and Erma’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Johnny Rocket’s…and, yes, Panda Express.  Find me a reputable food court in the United States without a Panda Express.  I swear, there are malls which didn’t plan to have a Panda Express.  The construction workers go home for a nap around 10 one  night.  When they come back to the shell of the building, a Panda Express has moved in.  That’s the way it happens.  And what hungry foreman is going to say no to delectable beef and broccoli?

There’s also the Outback Steakhouse which Neil mentioned….


1) The Outback Steakhouse.  It’s open for dinner only on the weekdays!  I don’t know what sort of gustatory system Neil has, but having a closed Outback Steakhouse does nothing for my hunger pangs.  I cannot taste a bloomin’ onion simply by standing outside those giant wooden doors.   Maybe Durham’s had some day games or weekend night games.  Or Neil’s an E.T.

2) Internet.  The Sheraton Waterside and the Isle of Tortuga are the only two places in the galaxy which don’t make an effort at wireless internet.  I am posting this through an ethernet cable.  I feel CompuServe-y.

3) The front desk.  I went to the main reception area last night to get a new room key.  The gentleman told me to hold on a minute.  He then spent roughly 60 seconds looking around.  Then, he asked me what I needed.  It was as though he was an informant on some keycard-laundering ring.  Bizarre.  Not the first odd experience I’ve had at the Sheraton front desk.

Rating:  62.  The beds are nice.  Would have been a 50 without the beds.


The Chiefs and Tides play game three of four tonight.  Our coverage starts with the Clubhouse Show at 7….inside, you’ll hear our first of many Before They Were Chiefs Wednesdays as Kevin chats with both of Tommy Milone’s pitching coaches from his alma mater, USC.  Join us on your radio at 1260 AM or online at http://www.thescore1260.com.  Follow us on Twitter @ChiefsRadio.

Until next time,


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