Disclosure: This is a sponsored blog post however all opinions are my own.
ST. JACOB’S, ONTARIO – The sleep campaign is smart and funny. The lobby at was sleek and sophisticated. And my room was well appointed, with striking colours, nice amenities and tons of space.
I didn’t have a clear image of the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in mind when I rolled into St. Jacobs, a community on the edge of Waterloo, Ontario. But I didn’t expect this level of sophistication. Or this kind of fun, cheeky attitude.
Walking into the lobby I found a spacious seating area off to my right, with fresh flowers and a black and white colour scheme mixed with dark chocolate sofas and cream-coloured chairs. The overhead lighting also is cool and sleek, and there’s a coffee machine you can use anytime during the day for a hit of java or tea.
My room was enormous, and snazzier than I would’ve expected; with a nice blue-green sofa and a gold and blue-green chair that wouldn’t be out of place in a ritzy Toronto condo. I had good work space with an adjustable chair with solid back support, tons of power outlets and free Wi-Fi, always a bonus.
On my desk was a brochure outlining helpful hints for getting to sleep. Entitled “Bring your Zzzz game,” it offered seven tips for getting a good night’s rest, including before-bed stretching, a colouring sheet and an offer to provide guests with their choice of soft or firm pillows.
(If you haven’t seen it, the Holiday Inn Stay Smart campaign is worth checking out. There are fun videos galore, including one with a woman trying to fall asleep as technicians stand next to her bed and the Holiday Inn spokesman shouts encouragement, and another that talks about their breakfast offerings and “the power of the pancakes.”)
I had a great bed with a stylish headboard in a nice caramel shade, and the big screen TV was great for watching the baseball playoffs. The bathroom had plenty of counter space and nice amenities, with both a shower and tub. (A lot of new hotels only have a shower, so it’s nice to get the option).
I would’ve preferred glass drinking receptacles in the room instead of plastic, but there was a microwave and a small fridge, as well as a Keurig coffee maker. The hotel is on a busy road but it appeared they had double or triple panes of glass, and I wasn’t bothered by any traffic noise.
I had a good breakfast in the sunny lobby area the next morning. The free buffet offers toast, bagels with cream cheese, fruit, yogurt, pre-made cheese omelettes, raisin scones, pork sausage and more. I found the cinnamon rolls a bit dry, but everything else was fine. And, yes, they had a pancake machine. And good coffee.
I’d forgotten to pack my toothbrush so the front desk got one for me. They also had a TV in the lobby to catch up on the U.S. election, an array of newspapers and a computer with a printer for folks to use.
There’s a nice gym and an indoor pool for exercise enthusiasts or travellers with kids. And it’s a fine location, right across the street from the St. Jacob’s Outlets and a short drive to the universities and other attractions in the Kitchener-Waterloo region.
All in all, an extremely pleasant experience in a hotel with a surprising dash of sophistication. And a good night’s sleep.
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