I like Marriott Hotels. From Fairfield Inns to Courtyard to the JW Marriott, they’ve normally got a product in my price range in most every town I’ll ever need to stay.

I spent this week in Roanoke, Virginia on a new project that I’ve recently been assigned to. Unfortunately, none of the Marriott properties in the area were available at what my employer will pay. You, dear reader (and taxpayer), are my employer as I work for the United States Government. As a result, I had to look at alternative properties. Hilton or Starwood are my second choices, and neither had rooms available at what we fondly call the government rate. It’s $69 dollars a night in Roanoke for those keeping score. By the way, does anyone know where one can find a room for $69 dollars anymore? But I digress….

I was able to find a room at the Wyndham Roanoke Airport for the government rate, so I booked it. Wyndham does have a frequent stay program called “By Request” which I signed up for prior to booking the room. You don’t collect “hotel points” but you do get 500 miles deposited to your frequent flyer program of choice. They also have a feature where you sign up for your preferred welcome beverage and snack. I thought to myself, “yeah right.”

I checked in at 1pm Monday just to drop off my bag, and ahead of some meetings in the afternoon. The hotel staff was very pleasant and friendly, and they didn’t seem forced to act that way. Probably a by-product of the area of the country they are from more than anything else, but I don’t have a large sample of other Wyndham experiences to compare to, so I can’t say for sure. After returning from my meeting, I was shocked to find that the “By Request” welcome beverage and snack were actually waiting for me in my room along with a note from the Manager! So score one for Wyndham.

Throughout my 4 night stay, every employee whom I passed in the hallway said hello, good morning, etc. The hotel itself was showing it’s age, but was certainly in acceptable condition. No fancy beds like Starwood, and the new Marriott beds, but the room was large and plenty comfortable. Better yet, as a “By Request” member, you receive free internet services. (Not such a help this week with no laptop, but certainly an incentive to consider Wyndham when I can)

All in all, a productive week at a decent hotel. While Marriott remains my number one choice for hotels, Wyndham has certainly moved onto my list of alternatives when no Marriott property is available.