Written by Armchairadventurer on 16 Oct, 2006
I recently decide to stay at and review the La Quinta Inn & Suites of Belgrade, MT. Belgrade is not really much of an attraction in and of itself, but it’s about 8 miles from Bozeman, MT. Bozeman, MT is a little college…Read More
I recently decide to stay at and review the La Quinta Inn & Suites of Belgrade, MT. Belgrade is not really much of an attraction in and of itself, but it’s about 8 miles from Bozeman, MT. Bozeman, MT is a little college town nestled in the heart of the Gallatin Valley. The small town is situated at the base of the Bridger Mountains surrounded by rich farmland, the Spanish Peaks and the BearTooths. It is seething with history and art and like all fascinating and cute little towns in the beautiful western united states it is horrible expensive. I wanted to explore less expensive alternatives to exploring the beautiful Gallatin Valley.
The average room rate even on discount websites for the Bozeman area is $115. Calling the local motels, hotels and B&B’s directly makes the average more like $160, for your most basic and stripped down rooms. About 8 miles from Bozeman and still in the heart of the Gallatin Valley is an industrious little town called Belgrade. It does not have the quaint and charming appeal of Bozeman and doesn’t boast the same quality of accommodations, but it still has basically everything you need and keeps you within a comfortable range of all the fun and wonderful things that Bozeman has to offer.
After a quick review of the accommodations available in Belgrade I chose La Quinta Inn & Suites for its compromise between price and quality. Using Expedia I booked a double non-smoking room for a grand total of $80.22. If I had booked my room directly with La Quinta it would have $129.00 plus tax. Next I contacted the hotel 30 minutes later to confirm they had received my reservation. They had not. At this point I was not concerned, but 4 hours later they still had not received my reservation. I had to call Expedia directly. After waiting on hold for five minutes I reached an operator whose English was so poor that neither of us could understand each other. I was forced to hang up and call back. After waiting on hold for another four minutes I was connected to another operator with heavily accented English, however we could still communicate effectively. I had the operator dial the hotel directly to make sure they had all of my reservation information so I could check in to my room. I waited for almost 20 minutes on the phone, the operator eventually came back and told me that I would have no problem checking in to my room.
La Quinta Inn & Suites of Belgrade, MT is set back off Jack Rabbit Lane and is right behind a small casino and to the left of truck stop the over all ambiance outside is a little depressing. This is not the Montana most people come to visit, however if you lift your eyes to the horizon you see the magnificent Bridger Mountains, Gallatin Range, Spanish Peaks. The establishment itself is newer so it looks very attractive but a little out of place surrounded by dingy and depilated businesses, dusty parking lots and big rigs.
When I went to check in to the motel, they still were not expecting me, but were extremely eager to find a way to accommodate me. The front desk supervisor made a call to Expedia and then checked me in, apologizing for the inconvenience. It’s amazing what good and compassionate customer service can do to smooth over an irritable situation. The lobby was pleasantly appointed in a ranch theme with pine trim and big comfy furniture. The clerk told me about the continental breakfast and pointed out the pool and fitness room. I was given my keys and made my way down the elevator and to my room.
When I arrived at my room, I was dismayed to discover the maid in it cleaning; she was sweet and profusely apologetic that the room wasn’t ready. She said she would be done in about 5 minutes or so, rather than make a fuss at the desk. I set down my bags in the room and went down the hall to sit on the steps and wait patiently. The hallway and the stairwell of the hotel were clean and neat, however the carpet in the elevator was in desperate need of a shampoo and the stainless steal paneling in it could have used a cleaning since it was smeared with fingerprints. Finally the maid was done with my room and I was able to settle in.
The room itself was of a comfortable size, immaculately clean, decorated in a typical hotel style. The pine furniture was comfortable and so was the bed. The room came with a coffee maker, ironing board, mini fridge and a microwave. The TV, remote, lights and AC all worked. The bathroom was stocked and spotless; the water was hot and had plenty of pressure. The towels weren’t as soft as I would have liked but they sufficed. Little touches, such as a laundry bag, artfully folded wash cloths a basket with your basic shower needs, and a nicely packaged local directory gave the ordinary room a nice welcoming feel.
Later that evening I took my son to the pool. The pool area was clean and the large windows gave a nice view of the mountains and the "Big Sky" the area is known for. The pool itself was in need of being repainted, but seemed clean and was comfortably warm. The hot tub however was covered with thick foam and made me more than a little afraid to get in it. The sauna was spotless; however the exercise room while clean seemed cramped. The equipment didn’t seem to be in the best shape and was all shoved together. The wallpaper boarder along the top of the wall had been thumb tacked up and was falling down in places making the room feel tacky and hastily thrown together.
Next I poked my head into their business center. There were two computers placed on a wrap around counter top. The room felt sterile and bare, while it was adequate for ones basic needs it was not very homey or inviting.
Upon returning to my room I tested both keys and found that one of them did not work. Since I only needed one key at the time, I chose not to talk with the front desk about it.
I slept fairly well, the room was quite and the bed comfortable, but in the early morning hours I was awakened by my bed sheet popping off because it was not quite big enough for the mattress. This was a little annoying, but I got up fixed the bed and went back to sleep.
I had set the alarm in the room, but it did not go off, luckily I had also set the alarm on my phone. I went up to the lobby to check out their continental breakfast. The area was well stocked and clean. They had an assortment of fruit, cereals (both hot and cold), fruit juice, coffee, tea, milk, baked goods, and a waffle iron.
Check out was simple and expedient. I simply phoned the desk to let them know I was leaving and left the keys in the room.
I would have to rate my entire experience a 6 on a scale of 1-10. The problems and issues I had were troublesome, but the wonderful customer service I received from the staff left me with a favorable impression of the establishment. While I saved $50 booking the room through Expedia it is debatable weather or not it was worth the problems I encountered. Despite the minor set backs and problems I would say the room was worth the rate I paid.
If you are in the Gallatin Valley area and in need of a cheap but clean and comfortable alternative to the outrageous lodging prices of the area, the La Quinta Inn & Suites of Belgrade may be an option. Booking on a discount service such as Expedia will certainly save you money, but be sure to confirm your reservation directly with the hotel you’ve booked and you’ll also want to carry a print out of your reservation confirmation with you. This will help to minimize headache and confusion at your check in. I’m C. A. Casey, one of the four Arm Chair Adventurers, and I hope you find "The Review" of my travel experience useful.