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Clarion Hotel Conference Center North
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Reviewed 10 December 2013

Once a legacy Holiday Inn, with an original ‘Holidome,’ l booked this hotel partly out of nostalgia and partly out of the friendly professionalism of its sales staff. This property has graced the north end of Newtown Pike for many years and has seen lots of traffic however still looks good for its age. Some notable upgrades off the lobby that otherwise looks nearly the same, include two televisions mounted over the front desk area, a self-serve rental car kiosk to the side of the desk area, 24 hour coffee (from a machine), an updated business center pass-through, and a mini sundry store. The other upgrades of note since converting years back from a Holiday Inn include a better maintained ‘fun center’ (previously ‘Holidome’), and a free breakfast buffet (more on that later).

Having known the hotel well prior I arranged to have my father’s room in the main portion of the hotel as this historically has been the area with the upgraded rooms featuring Tempur-Pedic beds, yes that brand of memory foam bed that we all know so well and is actually headquartered like a few other companies (like Lexmark, Jiff, and others) right here in Lexington.

The room:
Lighting in the room was more than adequate with a desk, floor, and two table-side lamps. The in-room refrigerator / microwave combination was helpful as my father visited for nearly two straight weeks and this was his home away from my home during his visit. The in-room coffee maker is the single cup (non-carafe variety) which is sanitary and although takes getting used to is superior to others. Let think about it, how are all those mini coffee pots washed by housekeeping each day at other hotels… you surely know they are not going through a dish washer and being sanitized. The furniture seems well built and although likely old still looks decent. The office desk chair was very worn and was a disappointment as it squeaked and squealed as one sat or tried to wheel around and felt like it would hardly support another guest but indeed survived the visit. The sofa was comfortable, and believed to be a pull-out couch as well, however there was not a chair in the room, like a comfortable seating chair. This was a must for my father who sometimes cannot sleep at night and sleeps in a recliner at home. I asked the staff and management and magically they produced a recliner chair as a very kind gesture. One member of the maintenance team reported he did not know there were any chairs like that in the hotel thus it was a special find and not to be expected when you book your room – FYI. Jaime in sales aided with the booking and he especially was wonderfully helpful and courteous. The bed, as noted before, was a Tempur-Pedic bed. My wife and I splurged on an upgraded version of this ‘classic’ memory foam bed at our home and now we swear by them. My father has a terrible back and thus this nice upgraded beed ensured his stay was much more comfortable.

Food / Breakfast:
Not as expected – much better. Most major company franchise hotels these days offer some elaborate breakfasts as each brand seems to try and ‘one-up’ each other. I have always hated the cheap plates and plastic-ware at these breakfast off-lobby sorts and was so pleased that this Clarion does breakfast right. The daily buffet changed slightly each day with bacon or sausage, self-made waffles, cereals, hot oatmeal and toppings, biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs, hash-browns, and likely a few other goodies I am forgetting to note. The food is placed on made in the USA China, thank you for that, real silverware, and mugs for coffee. The staff at the breakfast area were attentive and kind. This hotel has some familiar faces which have been in service at this hotel for years and years which is likely a testament to management and taking care of loyal service.

Service:
Prior to booking the reservation process was smooth and easy. Given the duration of the stay booked I spoke with sales prior to finalizing the reservation. In an age of mindless online travel agent bookings I was pleased to book directly with the hotel.

Travel / Booking Tips:
I highly recommend ‘you’ book this and any other accommodation directly with the business rather than a third party. Think about it, a middle man makes money and takes a cut, why not deal directly with the business? Expedia and other travel websites take a large cut of your dollar and the hotel makes less, sometimes much less, per room. Research online, use Kayak or others, but when booking deal whenever possible with the hotel directly.
At this hotel I would book the ‘main building’, and ‘first floor’ as there is not an elevator. Other less glowing reviews are from guests who booked and stayed on the fringes of the hotel, on the farther wings which are believed to not be as upgraded. There seem to be miles of hallways at this hotel, however booking the main building means you use the main entrance, area close to all needed points within the hotel such as the breakfast, restaurant, and fun center.

Utilize your club membership, points are always great and also many hotels offer some small ‘thank you’ items. This hotel offered a later check out and also calls were complementary, as I understood.

Overall:
Would book and stay again and recommend you do as well.

Room Tip: - 'First floor' if you have any issues climbing stairs... as there is no elevator. - 'Main building'... as this is where the upgraded rooms are located - Book directly with the hotel rather than an 'OTA' (online travel agent) - Provide loyalty (Choice) card for points and upgrades / extras
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled with family
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Thank NewSouthernYankee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarionlex, General Manager at Clarion Hotel Conference Center North, responded to this reviewResponded 20 December 2013

Thank you for choosing Clarion Hotel. We appreciate your business and your wonderful review. I am so pleased to hear that you enjoyed your stay and everything went smoothly during your stay. I hope that we get the chance to see you again soon.

Once again thank you,
Melissa McGuire
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Bad visit.. Did not stay in the main part of the hotel.. More like the no tell mo tell attached to it.. Room was old and dilapidated, wallpaper peeling, door to restroom was deteriorated badly, door to room had to be opened with shoulder. Bed was fine. Only had smoking rooms available. We have stayed in the hotel portion before and it was fine and met expectations, this did not.

Room Tip: Stay inside the main building at all costs.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Moonshiner8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarionlex, General Manager at Clarion Hotel Conference Center North, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2013

Our goal is for every guest to have a good clean room, with great amenties, at a good price. I am so sorry that you were unsatisfied with your recent stay. I would love to speak to you directly so we can find out what room you were in so we can ensure that we correct the issues you experienced during your stay.

Once again I apologize and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,
Melissa McGuire
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

Very pleasant hotel staff from the front desk to housekeeping. Nice lobby. Older decor in guest room. Furniture and carpet need updated. Beds are clean and comfortable ( but we were "upgraded"). I bid and paid $50 + tax per day for a 4 day holiday stay. The amount I paid made me feel better but it is not a three star hotel by any means. There is a complimentary breakfast buffet that is better that your average free hotel breakfast. There is a huge pool and kid friendly recreation area. I have bid and stayed at The Rupp Arena hotel in Lexington for the same price so, I am spoiled. Bidding just isn't what it use to be :)

Room Tip: Tell them that clean is very important to you as is pet and smoke free.
  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank 362lianeh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarionlex, General Manager at Clarion Hotel Conference Center North, responded to this reviewResponded 10 December 2013

Thank you for staying with us at the Clarion Hotel. We appreciate your business. We are currently in process of installing new carpet through out the hotel with over 60% already completed. I am glad that you enjoyed the bedding in your room it is a Tempurpedic, one of the two options we offer.
Once again thank you for staying with us and I hope that the next time you are looking for a good clean room, with great amenities such as a free hot breakfast buffet, indoor pool, restaurant and lounge, and free wireless internet, all offered with great service you will think of us.

Sincerely,
Melissa McGuire
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2013

I always try to stop at this hotel for the night when traveling late from Georgia to Michigan. It is very clean, the staff is super friendly and helpful, the prices are very reasonable and the beds and pillows are super soft. The price also includes a very breakfast. The lobby is beautiful. All and all a great place to stay.

  • Stayed: November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Debra B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarionlex, General Manager at Clarion Hotel Conference Center North, responded to this reviewResponded 9 December 2013

Thank you so much for choosing Clarion Hotel as your stopping point when traveling. We are so happy to have you and hope that you will continue this tradition for years to come.

Sincerely,
Melissa McGuire
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

This hotel has a friendly staff and a nice pool/fitness area. Unfortunately, the complimentary breakfast was the same every day - biscuits and gravy, eggs, hash browns.......I was wishing they would offer some fresh fruit, yogurt, granola, and other healthy options, but it never happened. My friend and I opted to find other breakfast options in Lexington, and found a few with internet searches. Otherwise, the rooms were clean, it was fairly quiet, and very convenient to Kentucky Horse Park. Don't expect good coffee in Kentucky, though. They have no idea! Guess it is too hot there most of the year to warrant all the coffee demands we have here in colder climes.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Pegspony
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Clarionlex, General Manager at Clarion Hotel Conference Center North, responded to this reviewResponded 27 November 2013

Thank you for choosing Clarion Hotel we appreciate your business. I am happy to hear that you enjoyed your stay and appreciate your suggestions for additional options we could offer on our free hot breakfast buffet. While we do offer a variety of items such as a waffle station, oatmeal, cold cereals, whole fruit, etc in addition to the hot items of eggs, biscuit and gravy, and hashbrowns you mentioned we are always looking for ways to improve so thank you for your comments. We also offer a full breakfast menu that guest can order from if they are looking for an alternative to the complimentary buffet. In regards to the coffee we will definitely look into it so we can get Kentucky on the right track.

Once again thank you for staying with us and we hope to see you again soon.

Sincerely,
Melissa McGuire
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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