When you pull up in front of the Velvet Cloak Inn, you whistle and murmur, "Fancy-Schmancy." At least, I did. Maybe it was because it was nighttime when we arrived, but it definitely had an air of past elegance.
Unfortunately, in the light of day, "past" is the operative word.
The rooms are nice enough, on par with a Comfort Inn, perhaps a bit better than some in that chain. Ours was clean, the air conditioning/heat worked. The kids were impressed with the heat lamp in the bathroom and the dual sinks (one vanity in the bath and the other just outside the bathroom door, convenient when little ones need to be railroaded to bed or to breakfast). We never ran out of hot water.
The cleaning ladies were sweet and cheerful. We asked them not to clean our room (they always seemed to come at nap time) but they came daily and were happy to give us clean towels and to switch out our decaf coffee packs for two caffinated packs. The coffee machine left something to be desired: it made only one cup of coffee at a time and used paper cups instead of the usual glass pot. This meant that if we wanted a refill or ran out of cups we were in big trouble. With two little ones, we ran out of cups almost immediately ;) We used the coffee cups for toothbrushing the night we arrived, not realizing they were necessary if we wanted coffee the next morning. But next afternoon, the cleaning ladies were happy to give us extra.
That said... The ONLY reason this hotel got two stars from me is because of those ladies and the fact that I didn't have to deal with the schmuck in the lobby until our last night (unlike Stooie, who made the unfortunate decision to go after ice at 2 am his first night).
Don't look up, when you're sitting outside your rooms in the plastic patio chairs the hotel provides (cheap, but a very nice touch, as I enjoyed sitting out on the veranda). Is that lead-based paint peeeeeeeeeeeling so severely it looks as if it will drop on your head at any moment? Is that a bird's nest, right over your head? I like birds and the kids were thrilled... but they don't belong right outside your hotel door. Poop. Mites. Ick. Definitely don't look up if you're standing under the "pool" (term used loosely because there is no swimming in it). The paint there is peeling to the point that you wonder if there was a serious leak that went on for eons before they finally drained it. Lead-based? I don't know... but definitely suggests mold hidden somewhere in its shadowy recesses.
Did I say peeeeeeeeeeling? I'm serious: it's not just peeling or flaking: the problem is so severe it looks as if someone dumped a vat of rose petals into glue, turned it upside down and stuck it to the ceiling. Since the paint is green, I suppose you could liken it to an overgrowth of ivy on the ceiling. It's that bad. Not a worry, if you don't have kids, though. One of ours sucks her thumb, though, so it *was* a worry to me.
And now we come to Stooie's nemesis: the manager. When does the lobby close? I have no idea, as I called down at about 11:30 and was told it was closed. Why would I call down to the lobby at 11:30?
Not an ice machine anywhere that I could find that worked. It's true. And no, I wasn't looking to fill up my beer cooler: my kids are addicted to ice. We'd been out late, the little ones were ragged, wound tight and being difficult. They wanted ICE water in their sippies. In all honesty, I should have just gone down to the lobby with my children and when told I wouldn't be getting any ice I should have said, "Fine, my kids won't go to bed until I give them ice water. Do you mind if they hang out here while I go to the 7-11?" I have serious suspicions that the ice machine in the office is broken too and they just don't want to admit it.
So... Hmmmm. I would like to give the hotel a better review. The actual service people were marvelous. The rooms are average and adequate. The covered veranda and all the wrought iron was sweet. Having a place to hang out with other friends staying at the hotel at the same time without leaving my kids alone or sitting in a hotel room with them was priceless.
The peeling paint, the empty pool, the broken ice machines the closed lobby and the unhelpful night manager were "for sucks."
Don't stay here unless you just want a motel 6 with atmosphere. Even then, don't bother to bring your bathing suit.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC