on March 15, 2010
We stayed at the University Place hotel for the 2010 Big Ten Basketball Tournament on March 12-174, 2010.We got this hotel using Priceline’s name your price option. My husband bid $120 for a downtown hotel in Indianapolis. We spoke with another guest who got the room for $60. I felt like we over paid for this hotel, due to its location (not because of hearing someone got it cheaper.) When we had bid, we had wanted a hotel downtown, not a hotel a mile or so from downtown with a shuttle to downtown. Another guest we spoke with was of the same opinion of me, but when she called Priceline to complain, they were very firm on this hotel being a downtown hotel. We got a room with 2 beds. The view, I suppose would be considered to be a city view, but it is a little far from the city to be an astonishing view. The room was very up to date, with little to no wear that I could see. The beds were awesome. Both my husband and I slept very well (he was even able to sleep into 11 one morning, and he usually wakes up at 6 on the weekends.) The red blankets were some of the most comfortable blankets I’ve ever had -- hotel or home. There is a desk with an office chair. The office chair was one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat on. There were several drawers, one hiding a mini fridge, which was nice for me to put yogurt and cheese in for my breakfast. The lobby was nicely appointed, and had we been with friends, I can imagine taking advantage of the space to spend some time. There was a nice area outside to sit, but as it was rainy and in the forties, we did not take advantage of that. My husband was very hungry on Friday night, and walked most of the hotel looking for a vending machine. He had planned to stop at the front desk to ask, but no one was there. After walking 2 floors and finding nothing, he started to head back to the front desk, to see another guest waiting. The attendant came out after a few minutes and was apparently very rude to the guest who had a question, as if to imply ‘How dare you have a question that I should be expected to answer?’ so my husband just headed up to our room, where there was luckily some beef jerky samples we had gotten earlier at the game. Parking was $15 per day, or $20 valet. Parking is a little tricky. You will pass the hotel’s entrance, and the conference center to find the parking garage on the right after both. We watched several people opt for valet, as they seemed confused by the set up. (I prefer to save my $5 for food or beverages, but that is my personal style.) The valet also served as a concierge for taxis, and they were extremely efficient and professional in helping the guests. Being that the hotel is on the IUPUI campus, they offer a complimentary shuttle until 11pm. The shuttle fits 14 people. Our first ride into town, we fit 16 people, as a couple of wives sat on their husbands laps. Our third ride in, the shuttle driver was able to have people stand, and we got over 25 people on. The shuttle was nice, but provided some inconveniences. After the first basketball session on Friday, we waited approximately 45 minutes for the shuttle to pick us up. I will grant you the fact that it was approaching rush hour, compacted by a sporting event letting out, but to me reflected poor planning on the hotel’s part. After realizing the number of reservations that were in town for the sporting event, I felt like they could have had the shuttle planned to be there 15-30 minutes after the event let out. In all reality, I felt like there should have been at least another shuttle on the route for the weekend. I paid $120 to be downtown. I ended up spending over $20 in cabs (to get home after 11pm) and wasted about 2 ½ to 3 hours waiting for the shuttle. (If you are laughing at this, I understand (why not just take a cab) but sometimes I get stuck on principal. The entire point of wanting a downtown hotel was to avoid cabs. We did not have an opportunity to eat at the restaurant on site, but the prices seemed to be on par with most hotels. Room service prices were what I thought was typical of room service. Having the mini fridge was great for snacks, and had we not had a cooler, would have been nice for beer. (Note, though that it is difficult to buy cold beer in Indiana, so if you want a beer when you get to your room, you want to have at least a small cooler.) Would I stay at University Place again? I don’t know. The hotel and room itself was amazing, and had me missing the Westin’s catalogue that you could order hotel room items for your own house. The pain with the shuttle and the location ate up a lot of my time. I MAY take the hotel again if I could "win" it from Priceline for $60. My husband and I would have to discuss it -- if we paid $60 it would help justify more cab rides. If I had to pay $120 again, no I wouldn’t. I actually think that this experience has changed my opinion on Priceline. I have recommended it to so many people, that now I would be hesitant. I have swayed back and forth on how to rate this hotel, and am going with highly recommend, because the hotel itself is great. And playing the Glad Game, if you’re looking to be near the IUPUI area, this would be a great hotel. Please note that while I am employed by Wyndham Worldwide, this review is in no way a reflection on their opinion.
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