With the exception of one, I've found Hampton Inns to be just what's needed: clean rooms, comfy bed, a satisfactory and free breakfast--all the basic needs, their only drawback being inconveniently located in an industrial complex or across the street from a strip mall.
Last month, though, the chain outdid itself. I had entered an adult spelling bee in Knoxville, and the Hampton Inn Downtown was recommended. I rented a car at the airport and followed the GPS directions. When the voice announced I had reached my destination, I looked everywhere and couldn't find the hotel. I got out of the car and realized that the impressive-looking brick building that I'd at first taken for a municipal hall or an upscale apartment building was the hotel. I was looking for a nondescript white hotel that looked like a Hampton Inn.
The parking was convenient; it was in a garage and led into the building itself. Kori and Justin at the desk checked me in and were incredibly friendly--and I don't mean with the Hilton smile. They actually wanted to please, and it wasn't just me that got the down-home treatment. Later on in the evening, I had a problem with my computer keyboard, which I brought downstairs. They weren't busy at the desk and enthusiastically gave me a number of helpful ideas.
Breakfast was terrific--not the food itself, really. Hampton Inn breakfasts are very good but basic, although the coffee's good. But other Hampton Inns don't have Bethany. Bethany has a mountain accent thick enough to spread on one of the biscuits, and she came over and chatted with us about her life and her work (she taught us that Rocky Mountain folks don't say "y'all" but
"you 'uns," telescoped to "y'uns." She carried around a little packet of Post-It notes on which she wrote sayings and homilies, which she then stuck to the bananas. I wish that I'd remembered a few of them, but they were wonderful.
And the location--steps away from City Hall, Main Street, and a bunch of neat little shops and restaurants. We were out there every evening!
I don't know what I'm looking forward to most: next year's spelling bee or another night at the Knoxville Downtown Hampton.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in the heart of Knoxville's Downtown Business District, this small, yet charming hotel pampers guests with personal service and special amenities including complimentary wifi, complimentary guest laundry, a business center, indoor pool, fitness center and a convenient complimentary deluxe hot breakfast. Business travelers enjoy beautiful guests rooms with executive desks, flat screen TV's, refrigerators, microwaves and coffee makers. Hilton Honors Points and airline miles are awarded with each stay. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hampton Inn & Suites Knoxville - Downtown Hotel Knoxville
- Hampton Inn And Suites Knoxville - Downtown
- Hampton Inn Knoxville
- Hampton Inn Hotel Knoxville
- Knoxville Hampton Inn