Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

My First Stay at a Rodeway Inn Hotel Property — and The Verdict Is…

I needed a place to stay for the night prior to going to Bryce Canyon National Park early the next morning; and not too many lodging options are available nearby — so after doing some research, I decided that the best option would be to stay at the Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon hotel property for the night because of both cost and convenience.

My First Stay at a Rodeway Inn Hotel Property — and The Verdict Is…

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

The huge INN sign that towered above the hotel property — which must not be a standard of Choice Hotels International, Incorporated, of which Rodeway Inn is one of the brands — ensured that no mistake occurred that a guest has arrived.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

I cannot remember when was the last time I saw an illuminated No Vacancy neon sign, which harkened back to what motels used to display decades ago — along with both the Clean Comfortable Rooms and Reasonable Rates signs. It was more nostalgic than cheesy, in my opinion.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

I pulled the rental car — which is shown on the left side of the photograph above — into the icy and snowy parking spot in front of the entrance to the lobby of the hotel property. The sun had set long before my arrival on one of the shortest — and quite chilly — days of the year. I put on my mask and entered the lobby.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

An older man in the office behind the glass windows checked me in to my room, which was on the first floor. The entrance to the lobby from outside is behind the corner on the left in the above photograph. I smelled a faint but strange odor through my mask at this point; and I never could guess what exactly created that odor.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

The small office is on the left in the above photograph of this different view of the lobby. Access to the rooms on both floors of the hotel property is off to the right behind the corner.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

An old couch is available for anyone who wants to sit and wait in the lobby area.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Once I received my key card — which is the type that you pushed down into a slot on the door — I then proceeded to the door to my room.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photographs ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

I walked into the room and passed the bathroom. The “closet” of the room consisted of a rack with no fewer than ten hangers; and a chair was positioned underneath. I am not sure how someone is supposed to sit there if a long coat or dress was hanging in the “closet.”

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

The bed on which I slept was actually clean and reasonably comfortable. I had no issues with it. In fact, the entire room was clean — even though no indication was given that special attention was paid to cleaning it as a result of the current 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Among the items which were included in the room were a dresser, a mirror, a floor lamp, a waste receptacle, an old-fashioned ice bucket with a plastic bag and plastic cups which were sealed in plastic wrap, a flat-screen television, a remote control which was not wrapped in plastic or otherwise protected, a microwave oven, and a small refrigerator. The door of the refrigerator was too low and not so easy to open, as it rubbed against the carpet when using it.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

A small table with a chair was in a corner — as well as a lamp on the table, and a coffee machine. I used the table as a desk for my laptop computer; and I used the electrical outlet underneath the table.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

On the greenish-blue tray along with the coffee machine were packets of coffee, sugar, artificial sweetener, powdered creamer, stirring straws, and paper cups wrapped in plastic.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

I could not figure out how to activate the climate control system — which was underneath the window in the cold room — as no button I touched did anything…

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

…until I figured out that I had to first press the large button on the plug of the climate control unit. Once I did that, the control panel of the climate control unit was activated. The cold room heated up within minutes.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Although it is not exactly the most elegant setup I had ever seen during my years of traveling all over the world, the room was equipped with a Wi-Fi signal — and its speed was more than adequate and rather acceptable, as I was able to get work done.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Let us take a trip back to the 1980s: if you are nostalgic, simply take a look at the nightstand and the telephone and alarm clock radio which rested on its surface. The drawer contained not only a Holy Bible which was placed by the Gideons, but also — get this — an actual telephone book! I cannot remember the last time I saw a telephone book in a hotel room.

The Bathroom

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photographs ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Much of the bathroom also looked like it had never emerged from the 1980s; but it was mostly clean and functional — including a hair dryer on the wall. Amenities included two tubes of shampoo and two small round bars of soap from some company with no name recognition.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Yes, the bathroom was mostly clean — except for on the wall around the top of the shower area, which appeared to be signs of brownish-orange mildew. I decided to skip taking a shower that evening.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

On the wall of the bathroom next to the shower curtain was a metal silhouette of two bucks out in the woods near a cabin. It should have looked nice in theory; but I thought it cheapened the room.

The View From the Room

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

As the hotel property was not near any significant mountain, not much of a view was seen from the room.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
Photograph ©2020 by Brian Cohen.

Summary

The room rate for my stay of one night was $40.49; and including all taxes and fees, the final total came out to $46.02. The rate does not include a complimentary breakfast, as the hotel property has no restaurant or dining facility.

I was prepared to poke fun about my stay — I really was — but instead, I was rather pleasantly surprised: access to the rooms was from an indoor hallway and not directly from the frigid outside, which was only three degrees Fahrenheit when I checked out of the hotel property. The room itself was clean; the bed was comfortable enough that I slept well through the night; and the room contained amenities which are typically not found at the price point which I paid — including a microwave oven and a small refrigerator.

The overall ambiance of the hotel property may not win any design awards — but as a friend of mine likes to say, “All hotel rooms look alike when your eyelids are closed.” This is especially true when the bed is reasonably comfortable.

The Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon is conveniently located just west of Red Canyon; and slightly greater than 20 minutes west of Bryce Canyon National Park — all of which are off of scenic Utah State Highway 12. If your destination is either Red Canyon or Bryce Canyon National Park, I must say that I recommend staying at this hotel property — it served its purpose well, which was a place for me to get a good rest for the night — but keep in mind that not many dining options abound: the nearest McDonald’s restaurant is approximately one hour away by car, if that gives any indication; and the nearest town is Panguitch, which offers few entertainment and dining options as well.

I even earned points for my stay. If you are not a member of the Choice Privileges Rewards frequent guest loyalty program, you can join as a member now at no cost to you.

By the way: the ambient outside temperature actually dipped to one single degree Fahrenheit only minutes after driving away from the hotel property east towards Bryce Canyon National Park.

Rodeway Inn Bryce Canyon
3090 Utah State Highway 12
Panguitch, Utah 84759
1-435-676-8886

All photographs ©2020 by Brian Cohen.


 

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  1. Worth noting that Choice uses the “Roadway Inn” brand for properties that have either lost their brand affiliation by not complying with standards or would not qualify for another brand in their portfolio. It’s the “not Sleep Inn” worthy brand.

  2. So you left Atlanta for the Balmy Utah winter? Seems like a decent stay. Problem is, how consistently can you find a good-cheap hotel. There is nothing worse than that pulling in after dark and having a bad experience that forces you to check out and find another hotel. This stay seems to be good though.

    1. Despite my research, Nathan, I believe I was simply lucky with the stay.

      Yes, I left Atlanta for the balmy Utah not-yet-winter, as winter solstice occurred yesterday and I have already returned. This article is part of a series which I intend to continue to unveil…

  3. Rodeway Inns tend to be older and a bit shabby though the shabbiness varies a lot. They are on par with Choice Hotel’s Econolodge, maybe 0.05 stars higher. Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn are less rundown and approach Holiday Inn Express standards, sometimes a tad better. However, Comfort Inn and Sleep Inn tend to be a little more expensive but cheaper than Hilton Garden Inn.

    The Sleep Inn near JFK is more on par with Rodeway Inn, though. Not too nice but not scary.

    When traveling, I sometimes stay at a Choice Hotel branded hotel. If on a business expense account, almost never unless the location is perfect.

    I once stayed at a Sleep Inn in Jamaica, NY where the maid forgot to remove a bra from the room. I threw it in the hallway to make someone think that a woman was so horny that they started removing clothes even before getting inside the room.

  4. Nice review. Seems like a good stay at a great price. I’ve stayed at many a choice hotel, including Rodeway Inn and Econolodge. I find there to be wide variability in the experience at these brands, as well as with Quality Inn. I don’t know the corporate standard that must be met, but Over the years I have seen many a Quality Inn downgraded to either Rodeway or Econolodge brands.

  5. I also agree this is a nice review, esp. as someone who is used to the Hilton/Hyatt/Marriott hotels.

    I am more impressed that as a travel blogger you actually stayed at a hotel that is not swanky or generally unappealing by most other travel bloggers. Big kudos for you for actually being open to staying and reviewing any hotel.

    Meanwhile – one thing I wanted to mention from one of your posts earlier this year.. you’re right: this Covid stuff is *not* to be feared, and the mainstream media has a good chunk of America, if not the world, convinced that Covid will make you end up like a zombie. It’s ironic these so-called travelers are all for lockdowns when in reality it’s this attitude that might take down leisure traveling for good.

    Anyways, keep up the good work.

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