My husband is an attorney, who specializes in adoptions. Every year the Florida Adoption Council holds an annual seminar. This year I accompanied him, hoping to get some rest and relaxation while he attended the meetings. But sadly, things did not turn out like I had planned.
From the moment I entered the lobby at the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel, I sensed something was not right, (and so did my husband.) The carpet was a nauseating, large optical illusion design that literally made me dizzy. The furniture in the lobby area was "modern cubicle" with absolutely no warmth or coziness. It felt like a bad dream!
The front entrance was nowhere near the area we were allowed to park in, and it was one of those deals where if you wanted a luggage cart, you had to have a bell hop in attendance. We put a good deal of our belongings on the bell hop's cart, but as you know-there is always more to be brought in. For us, it was ice chests, snacks, an extra blanket, my pillow, tape player, etc. The front desk clerk couldn't really tell us where an entrance was, that was anywhere close to our room, but suggested that there was a conference center entrance from the parking lot. (A terrible design flaw.)
After walking the length of a football field to get to the main lobby elevators from the parking lot, lugging all our remaining necessary belongings, we were almost too exhausted to push the button. Once we arrived on our floor, we took another exhausting hike down a long corridor to our room. With high hopes, I looked forward to getting to the beautiful, relaxing room.
What can I say? If the lobby was cold...the rooms were frigid!!! No warmth, no "home away from home" feel. I felt like I had landed on an alien planet! The lamps were those new, harsh, compact florescent (almost intensity) lights. First they were a pale pink, and once they warmed up, they gave the room an eerie hospital lobby feel-(cold and sterile.) They cast a horrible glare, and I actually preferred the dark most of the time. There were cards everywhere with suggestions about how to save the planet, (and yes, that is important), but all I wanted was a decent writing and reading lamp!
There was a desk, and a very strange looking chair. It was a cross between an electric chair, and an adult high chair. The bed had all the pillows lined up horizontally, like some weird spaceship lounge. The TV reception was horrible, with very few channels. There was no refrigerator or microwave, which meant I had to live out of an ice cooler for the next 3 days. I had no desire to eat $12.00 breakfasts, or $20.00 lunches from room service, so I made sandwiches in my room.
Was there anything good about the motel? Yes-it had blackout drapes! How I wish more motels had those! Even though it was an indoor room, where the hall doors were slamming constantly, my window overlooked a roof, so there was no parking lot noise.
So, I was able to sleep fairly well...until the alarm clock went off at 6:00 a.m. (and I hadn't set it.) My bad, for not checking it before I went to sleep. I recovered from that, and went back to sleep, only to be awakened again by a fire alarm. Feeling my way through the dark, I headed toward the door, but it stopped as abruptly as it had started, and I could hear no sign that there was trouble. So once again, I tried to sleep, and finally did for a long time. Ahhh...Everything was really nice, until the chain on my toilet came loose, and it wouldn't flush. (But hubby fixed that.)
I won't bore you with how I got lost in my rental car, and somehow ended up in the bad section of town- (apparently the wrong side of the river.) The rental car lady had warned me about that. I had to call my husband and his friend (out of their board meeting dinner) to rescue me, and to save me from near death on the busy expressway. (But that's another story entirely.)
The conference rooms were nice (according to my husband), and the meals were okay. (I wouldn't know-as I ate out of my ice chest the whole trip.) I made hot soup immediately when I got home, as I had not had a hot meal since leaving. I could have gone to the cafe, but it wasn't open for the evening meal anyway. I was stranded at the hotel, because I did not have much experience driving on busy expressways, and was sure I would be killed if I kept trying. (I live in a small NW Florida town.)
Before we could finish checking out of our room on Saturday, (and well before check out time) they decoded our room keys, so that we couldn't get back in to get the rest of our things, without having a new key card made. Why they would do this so early (before check out time) I have no idea.
But I will say that I was very, very glad to get home. (I need a vacation from my vacation!) Bottom line: If you want sweet dreams, instead of nightmares, then stay away from the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel.