(Third) Rate the IL Hotel: 2012 Season Premiere


Ladies and gentlemen….boys and girls…..fish and chips…..Max and Erma’s…..Rowan and Martin……

“We get the idea!”

Whoa.  Sorry.  Testy studio audience.  It’s time for America’s fastest-growing sensation which involves an arbitrary rating system and not Wayne Brady…..


And here’s your host for Rate the IL Hotel……Jason Benetti!

Good day folks and welcome to the show which never puts too many pillows on the bed, Rate the IL Hotel.  We’re glad to be around for one more season.  If we go much longer, we might be forced by the networks to do Celebrity Rate the IL Hotel.  Nobody wants to hear about Phyllis Diller’s experience at the Sheraton Waterside Norfolk.

If you’ve just joined us, Rate the IL Hotel is very simple.  We give you three positives and three negatives about a recent hotel the Syracuse Chiefs have stayed in.  Then, we assign a number between 0 and 100 to the hotel.

Today’s contestant:  The Hilton Garden Inn Allentown, Pennsylvania.

For those keeping track, we have not rated an Allentown establishment since 2010 when the Hotel Bethlehem was the preferred lodging of the IronPigs.  Since then, the Staybridge Suites has taken over as the hotel for visiting ballplayers.  But, last weekend the Staybridge was oversold and sent the Chiefs next door to the Hilton Garden Inn.  Here’s how it was:


1) It’s not the Staybridge.  The first time we traveled to Allentown last year, the Staybridge could only offer me and Kevin a smoking room.  Because we hadn’t steeled ourselves to spend the night under a craps table at the Bellagio, this was not ideal and has colored my view of the Staybridge.

2) Continental breakfast selection.  Waffles, pancakes, loads of cereals, tasty hash browns, at least four muffin choices.  A dazzling array.  The only negative was the melon-heavy fruit salad.  A little pineapple goes a long way.

3) Clean.  A few decades ago, the folks who ran White Castle had all of their employees wear white lab coats.  At the time, fast food was under fire for being generally unkempt.  So, the White Castle gurus thought being as pristine as possible–say, in a castle colored white–might draw customers.  There’s a chance the Hilton Garden Inn braintrust descended from White Castle CEOs.  This hotel–and every other HGI I’ve personally been to–has been clean as a whistle.  Beautiful.


1) Low elevation.  Hotel beds typically are raised above ground.  These beds were rather, say, terranian.  If I wanted to sleep in a dojo, I’d have checked into the set of Kung Fu Panda.

2) Breakfast anarchy.  I brought my plate to the table I chose near a window in the lobby.  Realizing I had no fork with which to eat hash browns, I got up.  After scouring the nook with the food for a while, I asked a staff member for silverware.  She told me it was on the table.  Thinking I had gone totally insane, I went back to the table and found nothing of the sort.  I asked the woman again and she handed me a rolled-up napkin with a spoon, fork and knife inside.  I got up again later in search of apple juice, but couldn’t locate a glass.  The woman I asked for one told me that it was on the table.  Feeling like Allen Funt was somewhere in the business office, I asked then and there that she just give me one.  I’m not the rube who falls for the “your stuff is on the table” routine twice.  Just once, thanks.

3) Coupons.  Our team got breakfast vouchers.  I attempted to hand mine to the woman manning the front desk (aside: can a woman man a desk?  Or does she woman the desk?).  She wouldn’t take it.  Told me to leave it on my table.  Well, let’s be honest.  They don’t know how many people were at each table.  The human memory can store +/- seven things at once.  Good luck.

Rating:  82.  Nice work.

Join us next time on Rate the IL Hotel!!!!



P.S. Special thanks to Brandon Massey, Chief graphic guru for the great image.  I’ve never looked better with two glasses of shiraz.

1 Comment

That was great!

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