The Space Capsule Shower Stall, The Silo, and The Lie-Flat Seat — No, Not Aboard an Airplane: My First Time Staying at a Sleep Inn

During a recent road trip, I needed to stop off somewhere near Beckley in West Virginia for the night — and I decided on the Sleep Inn Beaver – Beckley hotel property due to its location near where I wanted to go the next morning; and also the less expensive room rates when compared to similar hotel properties within the region.

The Space Capsule Shower Stall, The Silo, and The Lie-Flat Seat — No, Not Aboard an Airplane: My First Time Staying at a Sleep Inn

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I have never stayed at a Sleep Inn hotel property before and thought I would give it a try for the aforementioned reasons. Sleep Inn is a “Rest and Refresh” mid-range brand of the portfolio of the Choice Hotels International, Incorporated lodging company.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The two-story lobby area of the hotel was rather nondescript. After waiting several minutes for the front desk agent to arrive, I was checked into the hotel property.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Because the hotel property is only two stories in height, it is not equipped with an elevator, as the second floor is only accessible via stairs. Guests with mobility issues are strongly encouraged to reserve a room on the ground floor of the hotel property.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Off to the side of the entrance to the hotel property is a nice sitting area, which is furnished with two chairs, a coffee table, a small table, two lamps, a window, and a television mounted on the wall.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Complimentary sugar cookies and hot beverages — including coffee, decaffeinated coffee and hot water for tea and hot chocolate — await guests at the far end of the lobby. Cups, lids, condiments and napkins are also provided.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I was not interested in taking a sugar cookie as I do not care for them — although I will sometimes eat sugar cookies, they are usually too dry, sweet and plain for me — so I cannot comment on it.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Adjacent to the main staircase is a business center with two desks — but equipped with only one computer, monitor and laser printer.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Next to the front desk is a place to dispose of plastic and paper refuse which can be recycled — as well as for regular garbage — and a dispenser of hand sanitizer is mounted on the wall.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Books are available for any guest who wants to relax and read them, as the carousel is located just beyond the far end of the lobby; while a somewhat creepy Santa Claus wearing sunglasses was placed on a landing between floors of the main staircase.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

One can purchase bottled water, bottled soda, a variety of candy, or assorted snacks in one of the two vending machines located in a small vestibule on the ground floor of the hotel property…

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and find out why this specific vending machine was the inspiration for this article called What is Wrong With This Photograph? Part 11.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The Room

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Two double beds awaited me in my room. The bed was reasonably comfortable enough for a good night’s sleep.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The above photograph of this view of the room shows the locking sliding door — not a conventional door — to the bathroom in its closed position. The door on the right is the entrance to the room.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

A night stand with a telephone, an alarm clock, a note pad, a pen, and two lamps with electrical outlets at its base separated the two beds; and a partial wall separates the sink area outside of the bathroom from the bedroom area.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

On the wall above the lamps was where a stink bug was found — but this hotel property was not the only one in West Virginia where at least one stink bug was found in my room. Please refer to this article called Forget Bed Bugs. What’s With the Stink Bugs in Hotel Rooms in West Virginia? for additional details.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The room included a full-length mirror, a small flat-screen television, a small refrigerator, a microwave oven, and supplies for coffee. Noise constantly putted away from the refrigerator, which was otherwise operating normally: putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt putt.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

A coffee maker, an ice bucket, four sealed plastic cups, four sealed paper cups, napkins and three packets of coffee were on the top of a cabinet which housed the refrigerator and microwave oven.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The paper cups are sealed in a way which I had never seen before: two cups are in one twisted plastic wrap. Meanwhile, when I sat in the chair by the desk, I unexpectedly flopped all the way back in a near lie-flat seat position.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Fortunately, I figured out which lever on the chair corrected this function and prevent the “lie-flat seat” position — as well as how to use it. The seat back stayed rigid once this lever was in the proper position.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The chair is by the desk, which had a lamp and a guide to the hotel property on it — and the complimentary Wi-Fi access to the Internet worked well. On the right was an open storage area — no real closet was in the room — which included a folded luggage stand, an iron, hangers, a shelf, and a safe.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The safe was situated on a stationary hollow box which had no other purpose than to support the safe. It had no door or drawers; and it was permanently attached to the wall and floor adjacent to the climate control unit.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and the sliding door to the bathroom is open in the photograph shown above — but what is that curved wall in the center which resembles a silo?

The Bathroom

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The aforementioned — and quite bizarre — curved wall which resembles a silo is for the shower area of the bathroom…

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and the rounded corners of the glass door at the entrance of the shower stall resembles a space capsule upon first impression. Why reserve adjoining rooms when you can leave the annoying family members downstairs whom you do not adore and take the space capsule shower stall pneumatic tube up the silo to your own room?!?

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The curved wall on the right of the space capsule shower extends into the bedroom area in order to afford more room inside of the shower stall.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The sink area is outside of the bathroom and has no privacy — other than the aforementioned partial wall on the left side and the full wall and sliding door on the right side to the bathroom, which includes the space capsule shower stall, toilet, towel rack, and an ample amount of assorted towels.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

In addition to an electric hair dryer mounted on the wall, the “peaceful sandalwood” line of amenities by Zenses includes a bar of soap with essential oils; conditioner, shampoo and lotion. Another bar of soap is in the space capsule…

…er…I mean shower stall. Why do I keep stalling on that one?!?

Just know that the soap has a strong scent; so if you are sensitive to strong scents — I am not sensitive — you may want to bring your own soap.

The View

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The only part of the view from the room of the remainder of the hotel property and its parking lot which is worth mentioning…

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…is the small gazebo — but as bad as it is, this is still not the worst view I have ever had from a hotel room.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Breakfast

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

As printed on the signs outside of the room where a complimentary breakfast is served every morning from 6:00 until 10:00, shirts and shoes are required in the breakfast room.

That seems to be an odd place for shirts and shoes to be stored — I would have chosen a laundry room — but okay.

I wonder what would happen if a guest arrived for breakfast without pants and underwear…

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The breakfast room is nothing special. In fact, the ambiance in it was slightly depressing.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

All of the items offered for breakfast are at two areas in the breakfast room, with the majority of them on the far end…

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and the remainder of the items — including hot beverages such as coffee and tea, two types of dry cold cereal in bulk dispensers, packets of instant hot cereal, bananas, apples, sugar and other sweeteners, creamer, and disposable bowls and cutlery — are located on the other side of the breakfast room.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The latter part of the breakfast area is where the tip jar — which inspired this article called Should Tip Jars Be in Buffet Breakfast Areas of Hotel Properties? — is located.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Hot items included sausage patties, limp strips of wrinkled bacon, scrambled eggs, and potatoes with red peppers.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

This crock pot contained hot grits.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Assorted jams, jellies, ketchup, and honey accompanied the biscuits, doughnuts, pastries and slices of white bread.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Next to the toaster and waffle iron — with which you can create your own waffles — is a refrigerator containing assorted flavors of yogurt, hard boiled eggs which were already peeled, and individual containers of butter and cream cheese.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I am not sure why, but the waffle just did not taste as good as at the breakfast buffets of comparable hotel properties. I still ate it. The orange juice barely resembled orange juice. I did not like it.

Sleep Inn Beaver - Beckley

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Warning: Watch Out For This Deceptively Worthless Fee Sneaking Onto Your Hotel Bill

I do not always have a chance to review my folio when checking out of a hotel property because I am pressed for time; so when I returned from a recent trip to review my receipts and folios, one total caught my attention, as it was slightly more expensive than I expected.

I was quoted an American Automobile Association rate of $62.10 for my stay at the Sleep Inn Beaver – Beckley hotel property, with an estimated total of $69.55, which sounded good to me.

However, when I reviewed the receipt, I noticed that the total cost of my stay was $71.15 and wondered why the total cost of my stay increased…

Sleep Inn folio

Click on the image for an enlarged view. Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and there was the cutlet — er…I mean culprit — which is outlined in red in the photograph of the folio, which is shown above: a charge of $1.50 for what is identified as Safe w/ltd Warranty was added to the bill.

I immediately called the hotel property in question and asked the person who answered the telephone what exactly is the charge of $1.50 for Safe w/ltd Warranty.

“That is for the use of the safe in your room,” she replied.

“I never gave consent for adding that fee to my bill,” I said, “nor did I use the safe at all anytime during my stay.”

“Sir, that additional fee is clearly stated on what you signed when you checked in. You could have simply said that you do not wish to pay it.”

“That’s deceptive,” I bluntly replied, not recalling seeing any verbiage of that kind — not that it matters, because that is not something which is typically found on the agreement when checking into a hotel or resort property.

I was then put on hold while she checked a guest into the hotel property — at 12:40 in the afternoon.

While I was on hold, I checked the confirmation message which I received via e-mail message, which is shown below in its entirety with the exception of any personally sensitive information…

Sleep Inn folio

Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: Choice Hotels.

…and although plenty of space was provided for advertising such items as renting a car, no indication was given anywhere within the confirmation message of any fee for use of a safe during my stay.

I even started going through the booking process of a mock reservation…

Sleep Inn Reservation

Source: Choice Hotels.

…and although a fee of $15.00 per night per pet was indicated under the section of Hotel Alerts, once again was there no sign of a fee for the privilege of using the safe.

I clicked on the question mark next to where the estimated taxes and fees are included on the potential reservation…

Sleep Inn Reservation

Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: Choice Hotels.

…and the only information which was there was sales tax of 12 percent.

Even elsewhere in the potential reservation…

Sleep Inn Reservation

Click on the image for an enlarged view. Source: Choice Hotels.

…was there no indication of any charge for usage of a safe.

After being put on hold, she agreed to remove the charge from the folio — and although I was appreciative that the charge was easily removed, I should not have had to take the time and effort to call the hotel property in the first place to resolve this issue in my favor.

Also, keep in mind that a safe in a hotel room is not the most secure place to store your valuables.

By the way, I have no idea about the details of the limited warranty. Perhaps the safe itself was under a limited warranty?

Worse, nowhere in the booking process was there any indication that guests would be charged a fee of $1.50 for use of the safe — whether or not you actually do use it — and my confirmation via e-mail message of my reservation has the total estimated charges at $1.50 less than my final bill; and nowhere in that e-mail message was the possibility that I would be charged that fee.

Even though guests can decline on paying that fee for the safe at any time during the stay, the agent behind the front desk still should have verbally disclosed it during the process of checking in a guest. Despite the option of the guest to be able to remove the charge from the folio, I maintain that sneaking a fee onto a bill is deceptive at best.

This fee for usage of a safe was not disclosed at all until the guest physically arrives at the hotel property — and ideally should be required to be disclosed at some point during the reservation booking process even though it is not technically considered mandatory.

Wait: Hotel Charges Use of Safe Plus Tax — But Not Responsible For Valuables?!??

You might have noticed that the math did not quite add up when I was charged $1.50 for use of a safe — with limited warranty — in addition to my room rate and tax when I stayed at the Sleep Inn Beaver – Beckley hotel property in West Virginia.

The initial estimated total for the room when I reserved it was $69.55…

Sleep Inn folio

Click on the image for an enlarged view. Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but when I checked out of the hotel property, the total cost for the room was $71.15.

The difference of $1.60 is due to the sales tax of nine cents which was added to the bill. I suppose it was rounded up to ten cents…

Sleep Inn folio

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but when I received the revised folio for my stay, I was refunded a total of $1.59 instead of $1.60 for the fee plus tax.

If the hotel property really needs that penny, they can keep it.

However, what I found as an ironic twist is that I was being charged for the use of a safe “with limited warranty” — whatever that means…

Sleep Inn folio

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but look at the bottom left corner of the folio, which states in capital letters “NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR VALUABLES” above where the guest is to sign in agreement.

Huh?!?

So Who Cares About $1.60, Anyway?

A guest may see the folio upon checking out and say, “That charge is only $1.60 more. That is nothing. Who cares? I’ll just let it go.”

Let us say that this hotel property has an average occupancy rate of 50 rooms per night. At $1.50 per room per night for the fee of usage of the safe, that totals $75.00 per night of extra income for the hotel property, which becomes $27,375.00 for the year.

That is a sizeable chunk of extra change for the hotel property — even if it is reduced to $10,000.00 per year due to fewer guests or refusal to pay the fee from more than half of the guests.

Meanwhile, the extra share for the government of roughly ten cents per room per night for the fee is as much as $1,642.50 in taxes per year, which is not bad at all.

So wait a minute: I was being charged for the use of a safe “with limited warranty” — whatever that means — which I did not use at all; but the hotel property is not responsible for valuables? Is protecting valuables the sole purpose of a safe? Am I missing something here?!?

Summary

If you are looking for a place to stay in the Beckley area of West Virginia, the Sleep Inn Beaver – Beckley hotel property will serve its purpose for a reasonable room rate. Just ensure that you let the person behind the front desk know that you are unwilling to pay the $1.50 fee plus tax for use of the safe and to not add it to your folio.

Despite the issues and quite bizarre features — such as the space capsule shower stall and silo — I recommend staying at this hotel property, which is conveniently located off of Interstate 64 and Raleigh County Memorial Airport and not far east from Interstate 77, which is also the West Virginia Turnpike. The room is well appointed for the price point and is suitable for a reasonably comfortable short stay — but I would not consider staying at this hotel property for a week or more.

Sleep Inn Beaver – Beckley
1124 Airport Road
Beaver, West Virginia 25813
304-933-6132
304-255-0151 Fax

Finally, the Sleep Inn Beaver – Beckley hotel property was the inspiration for past articles which were posted here at The Gate — including:

All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.


 

Please note that I receive compensation for affiliate links posted at The Gate effective as of Sunday, January 1, 2017. You are not required to use these affiliate links; but if you do use them, your support of The Gate is greatly appreciated — and using affiliate links will not cost you any extra time or money.

10 thoughts on “The Space Capsule Shower Stall, The Silo, and The Lie-Flat Seat — No, Not Aboard an Airplane: My First Time Staying at a Sleep Inn”

  1. colleen says:

    Brian, FGS your room cost less than $70.

    This is a ridiculous review.

    I could perhaps accept if you were posting 2 reviews, but maybe not. Your $1.50 safe charge should be separate post (wasn’t it already?). Stop kicking a dead horse.

    Criticizing the extensive breakfast components at a $70 breakfast-included room is absurd. Especially because you’ve already admitted you’re so, so picky of an eater. For us peons this was perfectly acceptable.

    I’ve never been so disappointed by one of your posts.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Wow, colleen.

      Please accept my apologies for disappointing you.

  2. Danny says:

    It is your blog, post whatever you want. I liked it.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you, Danny. I appreciate it.

  3. NB_ga says:

    Thanks for the thorough review. It is refreshing to have such a detailed description of a more moderately priced lodging option.

    Despite a very reasonable room rate…a prospective guest would likely want to be aware of stink bugs and unnecessary added charges, as well as a contortionist desk chair, a space capsule silo shower with strongly-scented bath products, or a less than tasty breakfast buffet.

    It pleases me to have a full explanation of the property in order to make a booking decision. How delightful that your summary concludes that a short-term stay is reasonable despite some bizarre attributes.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for your comments pertaining to the aforementioned article, NB_ga.

  4. BillyBobby says:

    I view it as a low end hotel with a low rate. I wouldn’t expect much more than what you showed and what they offered. I would consider staying there with very low expectations.
    I would NOT accept the safe charge. I tend to make time for check out in a hotel like this (low end) assuming that they are going to pad the bill. Yeah it is cynical of me but I do it. I also would have called them deceptive though perhaps with words more blunt.

    Yup, I did confirm. It says Brian Cohen at the top of the page 😉

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I did not view it as a low-end hotel, BillyBobby, because…

      …well…EconoLodge and Rodeway Inn, which are also Choice Hotels properties.

      I could have been a guest at one of either not far from the Sleep Inn for a room rate which was $20.00 less expensive; but neither appealed to me…

  5. Boraxo says:

    Great post. Personally I would recommend filing a fraud claim with the BBB, FTC and the WV state attorney general. Failure to disclose charges is a deceptive business practice and borderline fraud.

  6. Daniel patrick Mcgarity says:

    Good review, I would stay there.

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