Spent a weekend at this hotel with family. I was prepared for poor parking, I was prepared for street parking. I was prepared for a small hotel and rooms but NONE of the reviews I read in preparation for making reservations or arrival told me about the bullet proof glass surrounding the front desk. The area really doesn't look all that questionable but there was a sign in the lobby "No Visitors after 10pm". It's the Bronx; all of the Bronx looks a bit rough and I'm sure there are much more unsafe areas. But the bullet proof glass made me think for a brief moment whether we had made a good choice. It ended up being an ok visit.
Now for parking...adjacent to the hotel (to the right as you look at the hotel) is a dead end street - 202nd Street. We parked there throughout the weekend and had no trouble at all. Other reviews said there was parking across the street in the gas station lot. We didn't bother. Our vehicle was fine where we had it. Cars even parked on both sides of the street so if you are coming and going early enough you should be able to find a spot there. At no time were we concerned that anything would happen to it.
Once we got past the surprise of the bullet proof glass and the check in, which was fast and easy, we waited for the elevator. As soon as the elevator opened it reeked, and I mean horrible, of marijuana. We all looked at each other and thought that maybe it was the person who walked off the elevator. It smelled a bit in the hallway as well but again, it could have been from that guy. It is a smoking and non smoking hotel but I wouldn't think THAT kind of smoking. That was the only time we smelled it.
Now for our room. Keep in mind that space is at a premium in New York City and surrounding areas. Many budget friendly hotels are going to be on the small side. All of the reviews that refer to a small, nice, comfortable room are 100% accurate. A king bed or a room with two double beds plus corresponding furniture just fits. It is close quarters for any more than 2 maybe 3 people. If you have 4 adults or a family with teenagers it's going to be cozy. The bathroom is also on the small side but with a great shower as well as a hairdryer. There is not much room at all to put toiletries as there is only a sink, no counter. The beds themselves were fairly comfortable with nice crisp sheets and nice heavy comforters with duvet covers. Definitely not the lightweight comforters. For me, the bed was on the firm but not hard as a rock firm. Satisfaction with mattress firmness is definitely subjective. Air conditioner worked great and kept the room at a comfortable temperature. Since the hallways are very short and all of the rooms are grouped very close together sound travels easily. At no time, however, were we interrupted by anyone making noise of any kind. We did have a street side room and it was fairly loud for us. We could hear trucks and sirens very clearly. I would recommend a room on the back side of the hotel if you're a light sleeper or just like things a little quieter.
The breakfast area was very small; only 4 or 5 tables but we were lucky and easily got a table. Standard fare to choose from - eggs, sausage, cereal, toast, bagels, cereal, fresh fruit and yogurts. Breakfast runs 6:30-9:30 even on weekends so if you're a later riser you're out of luck. Coffee was pretty good too!
The front desk staff was very helpful. Answered questions, helped call a cab, etc. It is an easy 5 block walk to the subway station on 205th Street. We were coming and going in the middle of the day and felt completely safe walking the neighborhood. Very authentic and ethnic area. Loved walking by the grocers with their fruits and vegetable stands outside on the sidewalk. Trains run every 10 minutes or so. Take the D train right into Manhattan or Brooklyn and you can then get anywhere.
Overall, the stay was average; nothing spectacular. I do think the room was overpriced especially for not being in Manhattan. Given how Rodeway falls on the less expensive and no frills end of the Choice Hotels line I would have expected a less expensive rate. If we needed to stay in the Bronx again I would consider this hotel but only if I was able to find a pay in advance type rate to save some money. Overall, should you require a stay in the Bronx, this hotel is one to consider.
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