I have had very good luck with La Quinta before, but my luck definitely ran out at the La Quinta Inn & Suites Strawberry Plains in Knoxville, TN.
Arrived very late at night after a 13-hour drive. Instead of walking into a well-lit and welcoming lobby I was diverted by the locked lobby doors into a small alcove featuring the same accommodations one finds at all-night gas stations or a small banks in very bad parts of town.
The last time I had to speak with a hotel night clerk through a bulletproof partition was...never.
Upon confirming my reservation and being issued my room card, I was instructed to exit the building and re-enter via a side door.
The last time I was instructed to enter a hotel through a side door was...never.
Cannot tell you anything about the lobby. When I left the property later that morning I exited the same way I entered.
There were no unpleasant smells in the hallways, and only a few discolorations on the hall carpeting. The elevator had an unnerving tendency to drop an inch or two (with an accompanying "clunk") before the mechanism caught up with the carriage. If I seem to be nit-picking then you have discerned my actual intent.
The room was spacious with the usual appointments. Unfortunately the temperature selector knob on the wall-mounted air conditioner (such as one would find in a standard Motel 6) was broken, there was obvious water damage to the wall to the right and below the aforementioned A/C unit, the carpeting in the corner below the ironing board looked like it had never seen the business end of a vacuum cleaner, there was a large hole in the wall adjacent to the bathroom, and there was a long black hair on top of the toilet in the bathroom <shudder>.
However, the bedding was clean, the mattress acceptable, and the flat screen TV large enough to see without propping your neck in an unnatural angle. The carpeting was not exactly pristine, but I have seen worse. There were no obtrusive noises of any kind (plumbing, mechanical, neighbors, etc.). The shower was hot, the towels adequate. I did not use the coffee maker, microwave, or refrigerator. I was, however, charged for a room safe that I did not even know I had.
"Breakfast" @ 6:30 AM was interesting. Bare minimum fare, although the dozen or so screaming/climbing/crying children in the breakfast area seemed to enjoy it. Either that or they were just annoyed at being awake @ 6:30 AM.
Parking was adequate for cars, SUVs and standard light trucks. If you drive a Crew Cab or anything larger you will have to maneuver carefully. Vehicles with trailers may have to park off-property. There is a Pilot Travel Center (a full-on truck stop) nearby, as well as several minor league restaurants. When I departed I looked longingly at the Best Western Plus across the way.
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- Also Known As:
- La Quinta Inn And Suites-Knoxville East
- La Quinta Inn & Suites-Knoxville East Hotel Knoxville
- La Quinta Knoxville
- Knoxville La Quinta