Having spent thousands of nights on the road in my career, I’d thought I had tried virtually every hotel/motel chain in existence, but apparently I missed one, “Country Hearth Inn & Suites.”
Not sure where it started, but their website boast sez: “Country Hearth Inn & Suites lodging system consists of over 100 properties and thousands of rooms in the United States, Canada, and India. The brand features a bed and breakfast feel with the convenience of modern, well-appointed rooms and suite accommodations, complimentary breakfast, and free local calls.”
Is “free local calls” even a draw anymore? For that matter, why do they have phones in motel rooms at all?
Rolling down I-55, I booked a room at the Sikeston outlet of Country Hearth, pre-booked only because it was holiday travel time, and I knew I wanted to spend the night there cause I planned on eating at Lambert’s Cafe. In any case, booking online, I actually paid MORE than the locally advertised rate. Doh!
Franchise motels are a risky business, both for the operator and franchisor. The upsides for the operator include brand name awareness, reservations system, and probably back-end technology. The downside for the franchisor is having a lack of quality control.
I would have been happier with the accommodations if I paid the locally advertised rate, instead of 25% more. At the rate I did pay, I know I could have found a cleaner, more comfortable room nearby.
And this is going to sound terribly politically incorrect, but it’s a simple fact for this motel – that the entire property smelled like curry. Not all that appealing. The complimentary breakfast was pretty skimpy as well.
With the value priced franchises – it’s always gonna be a crap shoot if it’s a miserable, ok, or great experience. Depends entirely on the operator.
Country Hearth Motel Review