I've stayed at a lot of military lodging facilities of different services, many of which are excellent. This, however, was my first stay at a civilian contracted "hotel" on a military post, and it was really substandard, as well as a bit more costly than most.
Check-in time is 4:00 pm--later than most. We arrived quite early and the young, blonde desk clerk would do nothing for us. She did say that she thought she could get us in before 4:00, and would call to let us know: no call. We came back after 4:00 and another clerk sent us to the wrong room in a building that is perhaps a half-mile drive from the office. We had to drive back to get things straight.
First floor rooms are two short staircases up--not a big deal unless one has some mobility impairment. The room and bed were not too bad, although the mini-blinds were terribly beat up and the floor creaked a lot. We were very glad for the fridge, although the freezer was the open kind which won't freeze things very well. The clothes washers and driers in the basement worked fine and were free. That night, the people in the room above us did an incredible amount of stomping around from maybe 2:00 am on, and the building not only has no sound insulation, it actually seems to amplify noise. I didn't get much sleep, so when we learned that those people were staying several more nights, I asked for a room change. The young blonde, again, offered no apology, and indeed seemed quite annoyed that I would ask for such a thing. We wound up in another building.
No further major problems, except that the microwave tripped a breaker while we were trying to heat some rolls for breakfast. Their continental breakfast is bare-bones.
Not the "hotel's" fault, but the base has its own share of eccentricities. The main east-west road is Goss Road, with gates 8 and 9 at either end. Gate 8--the closest to downtown Huntsville and the one your GPS will likely take you to--closes at 1:00 pm weekdays, but midnight on weekends. Arrive after one and you can find your way further down Patton Road to Gate 10--which still has some pretty limited hours. I've been on a number of high security bases, but this is the first where my wife also had to show her ID for us to get on.
Then there's Gate 9 on the west end of Goss Road. If you're trying to get off around 4:00 pm weekdays, be prepared for a half-mile backup and pretty good wait. Coming in, if you just want to get on post, you probably want to ignore the "visitor stay right" sign and drive far left. Once past the guard shack, during the day you must drive straight ahead about a half mile and then make a U-turn through traffic to come back to Goss, which is about even with the guard shack. It's all more than a bit disconcerting to visitors.
MWR on Redstone is useless for the Space Center or for local sights, while the Huntsville visitor center was incredibly friendly and helpful, as well as offering some nice discounts. If you're in the area Thursday evenings, the space center hosts a Biergarten open to the public, where you can buy some good beer and German food, and peruse the outside exhibits at the center.
I would not recommend the "hotel" on Redstone, but would stay in an off-post facility which wouldn't cost a lot more, would be much nicer, and would probably be friendlier and much less hassle.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We offer a wide variety of accommodations ranging with rooms with two queen beds to two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens. ... more less