This week I was in Kansas all week for work, flying into Wichita on Monday morning and back on Friday. As I was working in two different Counties an hour and a half each side of Wichita, I did a fair amount of driving this week, and stayed in 3 different hotels.
Not a lot to report other than I stayed in Hampton inn’s in Mulvane Kansas, Hutchison Kansas, and the Doubletree Wichita airport. Besides the work of course, I had a different experience at each hotel. The towns I was staying in were quite rural (except for Wichita), so I was pleasantly surprised when I pulled up to the HUGE and exceptionally nice Hampton Inn, Mulvane Kansas. This Hampton Inn, about half an hour from the airport seems like an unlikely place to put such a nice hotel, (as it is quite rural there), but as it’s on an Indian reservation there is a huge Casino adjoining it – the Kansas Star Casino. The Hampton Inn looks brand new (it is actually is 3 years old) and looks like something you would see out of Vegas, instead of the typical 3 story property. I was only there for one night, but had a very nice one bedroom suite.
As there were no other restaurants around the area, I went to the Casino for dinner. I’m not a gambler, but do enjoy watching people play, so sat in a lounge with a drink for a bit watching people play the tables and roulette. I can’t bring myself to part with money so quickly, and didn’t even play the slots, although there were hundreds of them. I did have a nice dinner at the $15 all you can eat buffet, complete with salad, pulled pork, beef brisket, but skipping on the many dessert options. For casinos, the Kansas Star was quite clean and modern, however I wish they would ban smoking as I woke up the next day with a sore throat from all the smoke; not to mention the smell in your clothes. I really don’t get why people smoke, but I digress.
The next night I stayed at the Hampton Inn Hutchinson, which was night and day from the Hampton in Mulvane. I was at this Hampton for two nights, and although it had recently been remodeled it was quite apparent it was an older property. I had a large room with two queen beds, and updated bathroom and carpet. Certain things, however weren’t changed such as the clock radio, electrical outlet plates, the tub etc, that showed wear and tear. My clock radio’s buttons stuck so bad I couldn’t adjust the time that was wrong. Tip: Always verify the time on a hotel’s clock radio – this had the a.m. and p.m. reversed so setting the alarm would not ring in the morning. Anyhow, couldn’t get the clock to work so called for a wakeup and set my Iphone alarm. The sheets also were a bit weathered, and when I woke up I noticed all these spots on them. At first I thought they were bugs, but were just ink or other spots that didn’t launder out. Gives you a bit of a creepy feeling!
Shortly after I got to the job site I was working and right before the site cutover, I got a call from the manager at the Hampton Inn (my phone number is in my Hilton profile) that a pipe had burst in the room next to me and was flooding that room and affecting my room as well. As workers would have to go in my room and cut open the wall in my room, the manager wanted my permission to move my belongings out of the room to another room down the hall. I agreed only because I was in the middle of a cutover and couldn’t leave work. I had left my personal Macbook laptop on the desk and was hoping there was no water damage to it, and fortunately when I went back to the hotel at lunch everything was ok. Still, that didn’t give me a lot of confidence in the hotel, especially when my co-worker told me had issues there as well with the plumbing. Fortunately the new room was ok, and I was only here two nights, but wouldn’t stay here again. I was surprised the manager didn’t comp my room for one night with their satisfaction guarantee, but I didn’t raise a fuss as she did give me a complimentary snack basket.
The last night of this business trip was at the Doubletree Wichita airport, which was very nice. As a Lifetime Hilton Diamond I got upgraded to the executive level which had a private lounge with snacks and inexpensive drinks. I relaxed in the lounge for a bit before having dinner with a couple co-workers. The hotel is located just steps away from the Wichita terminal, and is super convenient for an early departure or late arrival. The Wichita terminal itself is brand new, opening just 3 months ago. Although I never went to the old terminal, most people said it was a dump and is still standing next door to the new terminal. Flying back to Orlando (via Dallas) I got delayed a bit with the Orlando weather, and then had an hour and a half delay with the luggage due to the lightning in the area. I should know better than to check my luggage in the summer, so that leads to Tip 2: Always carry your luggage on the plane in summer when flying to Orlando! The afternoon thunderstorms may close the airport ramp and delay your luggage for longer than you can patiently wait. And so the weekend begins at 8:30pm Friday night . . .