Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Niagara Falls - Swiss Cottage Inn

The hardest part of this trip was finding a cheap place to stay.  There are dozens of motels along the old Niagara Falls Boulevard, but the reviews on Trip Advisor are terrible.  Stressed is grime, dirt, unchanged linen, surly desk persons and even bed bugs.  I read one from a woman who ended up with a house infestation.  A young man reported that he and a buddy went to supper and came back to find a naked woman in his room.
At first I thought I would not book ahead.  I thought I'd take the Roomsaver coupon book and go from hotel to hotel and look at rooms.  However, I realized I could be there a day doing that as there are so many places.  I did not want to shop for rooms;  I wanted to play poker.
That was when I found this place. And it was a great find!
The strategy for finding it is worth exploring.
Often on Trip Advisor and other such collections of reviews, the bad reviews outnumber the good.  People with complaints are more likely to want to vent them; while folks who have had a fine time are less moved to report it.
However, bad reviews can be the way to find the better places.
 If the bad reviews stress that the place was small and other minor inconveniences, then that writer must have experienced a clean and bug free room.  When small annoyances are reported, real problems must have been nonexistant.
One other tip was a reviewer who said that the Swiss Cottage Inn was full, so he went to the other spot. The second spot is what he vented about.  That told me he goes often and stays at Swiss Cottage Inn.  He must like the Swiss Cottage Inn, because he is a person who complains when he does not like something.
I found good reviews on different boards.
And finally, I booked on booking.com at a great rate and got all three nights for $155 plus tax- f, Sat, Sun.  These were the better rooms too, the slightly larger rooms with a queen bed.  And when I booked there was just one of these rooms left.  That told me it was popular.

I booked knowing I could cancel and kept looking for a few more days, but finally I decided to just go there.
From the first, my conversation with the desk person convinced me it was a good pick.   I told her that the medicine I take reduces my immune system, so a bed bug bite might make me sick.  She said she did not have them and then she said, "I hope you are not bringing them with you."  Her anxiety convinced me.  Many of the reports told of clerks who just brushed off the issue.
My room inspection proved not only the absence of bed bugs, but overall cleanliness.  In Vegas, when I check behind beds and tables, I usually find these places have not been cleaned.  Everything here had been cleaned and the painted walls and ceiling were fresh and without blemish.
The water pressure was good.  Everything drained.  The refrigerator and the microwave worked; I used both for leftovers and to chill my favorite seltzers.  The air conditioner was not noisy.
So the place exceeded my expectations for a small, inexpensive room .  I always wonder why the owners of other places don't avoid all the hassle by keeping their places clean and repaired as this was kept.  These are small motels with small rooms, and they have been around a while.  Some people will be disappointed because they expect the Holiday Inn, but most people know what they are getting and only hope that the owners work hard to make it comfortable and safe.
These owners do that.
While I was there, they were out doing a bit of digging in the daytime to make a mulch area around some trees they had recently planted. One day the trees  will add shade to the pool area.
The weather was so hot I almost swam, but the time in the casino precluded those issues.
I liked it that they had two internet networks, so if one was busy or not strong in signal, I could try the other.  The internet worked great while I was there.  In fact, it was better than it usually is at home.
I also liked the area.  Along this route were plenty of places to eat, including the Mom's place I wrote about.
My bank was there.  A Tops food market  was there if I wanted food for the room.  Everything was handy and the casino was just 4 miles away, an easy journey even early in the morning when I was tired.
Parking was whereever because there were no assigned spots, but I generally parked close to my room.
It was fairly quiet.  If I slept late, I could hear the maids in the late mornings talking or wheeling their carts, or someone would talk outside or on the phone.  Generally that bothers me, but it did not this trip.  I slept fine in the few hours I allowed myself to sleep.

This was my first overnight gambling trip to Niagara Falls.  I'll be back and I'll book this place.

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