So a couple of weeks ago (I've been meaning to get this out, but personal life has gotten in the way), there was an event I wanted to attend in Fayetteville, NC. While this is certainly a reasonable drive, I did not relish the thought of getting out of the event at 11pm and then having to drive 2 hours on the backroads of central North Carolina. Thus, I used it as an excuse to try out the newest brand from Hilton, Home2 Suites. It is an interesting hotel, and from design and service is a blend between Staybridge Suites and aloft. Home2 is an extended stay brand designed to compete primarily with Townplace Suites by Marriott, and the Fayetteville location is the first location in the entire chain, and the property has been open less than a month.
The hotel lobby is influenced highly by the trendy designs now with lots of room to relax and stay connected. There are a lot of comfortable chairs and power outlets, and the lobby experience actually extends to an outdoor patio area if you want to enjoy the weather while hanging out. The front desk and market are along the back wall of the lobby, and the staff are extremely friendly. I spent some time chatting with the staff, and they have actually been overwhelmed by the number of people using the market, and were struggling to be able to keep common items in stock.
This is one area where you can tell they are trying a few new things, even for an extended stay hotel. The kitchen area lacks a stovetop, but instead provides a convection microwave oven, so you can actually bake things, and provides ample dishware.
Although this was a one room suite, it is designed to be divided into two separate sections, one for living and one for sleeping. This is a huge improvement over other studio suites as it actually lets you keep things separate. This is managed by providing a curtain that you can draw to divide the areas if you need to, and if you don't you can just keep the curtain closed and it will not get in the way.
For the bed, it is decently comfortable, nothing fancy. However, the sheets are some of the most comfortable I have experienced in a hotel period, and I really would love for the sheets to be expanded to other properties in the Hilton Portfolio (I still prefer the actual bed from Hilton Garden Inn).
The bathroom is probably the one area that they really skimped out on. Normally when you encounter a hotel with a shower it is some sort of really nice well built tile shower. However, here it is a standard drop-in shower that you can find in some homes where they put in a shower instead of a bathtub. The shampoo and body wash are in large containers that you use what you need, and do not get to take any shampoo home with you. This was done in the name of conservation, but in reality is to save money.
Like many extended stay properties, the hotel gym and laundry room are in one area that is open 24 hours a day so you can workout while your clothes are being washed. The pool is nice, but it is small. One feature that really distinguishes the hotel is a walking path surrounding the property. While it is not a scenic path, it is still nice to have a little bit of a path to walk around without getting in the way of anybody.
Let me preface this by saying that Fayetteville is really a military support town more than anything else. However, the hotel is located perfectly as it is across the highway from the mall and main shopping district and it is easy to get to downtown or Ft. Bragg from the hotel. It is about a 10 minute drive to the other side of the city, and has easy access to anything you need (though it is worth driving a little bit if you need to get groceries to the local IGA over the Food Lion that is at the end of the road).
Wonderful hotel concept, and I really look forward to seeing more properties to give me a reasonably priced alternative to Hampton Inn or Homewood Suites.