We had to go to a funeral in town and wanted to be as close to family as possible. The Howard Johnson was perfect. It was clean, and the room was lovely. Best of all, we were given a room with a ton of floor space AND a balcony. With four kids, that was very thoughtful of the receptionist. We appreciated the floor space because we have air mattresses that we use for two of the kids, and normally we have to step over them after we set up for bed; but in the room we had, there was plenty of space even with the mattresses set up. The balcony was a bonus, too, because that gave our boys another place to "be". Plus the weather was beautiful, so we were able to appreciate the summer-like weather.
One of the only negative aspects was not all that negative: there was no pool. Like most kids, our boys love swimming and look forward to it when we travel. They did love the theater the hotel had, but I would have liked for them to have had the opportunity to get be active (it was a ten hour drive to get to Spring City, and after the funeral we had another ten hour drive to our Spring Break destination in Myrtle Beach). Of course, we could have stayed about 30 minutes away, at a hotel with a pool, but as I said at the beginning, we wanted to be as close as possible to family. The pool was not the focal point of our stay.
The other negative was that our room smelled like smoke. The hotel did what they could to alleviate the smell, but it was pretty strong. We looked at another room that didn't smell like smoke, but it was not as big, and it didn't have the balcony, so we got a scented candle and aired out the room as much as possible. It wasn't a huge problem.
Other people complained about the noise of the train, but we barely noticed it, even though our room was facing the tracks. In fact, we appreciated the trains going by from time to time...maybe it's a little boy thing! :)
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