Like many people, my hotel stays came to a screeching halt mid-March thanks to Covid-19. A week ago, my husband, son and I were to be in India. As a silver-lining, I was able to take my dad to his 90 year-old twin sisters’ birthday party in northern Kentucky, instead. Social distancing found us checking into a two queen bed room at the Hilton Cincinnati Airport.
The Hilton Cincinnati Airport Hotel is actually in Florence, Kentucky in the midst of plenty of shopping and eating possibilities. I chose this hotel for its handicapped accessible room. Although, I had a few other hotels in mind, getting one with a handicapped accessible shower was a bit tricky. All were booked. Still, I was pleased that the Hilton fit our needs. The decor of artwork and photographs give a nod to Kentucky’s horse racing love and location near Turfway Park. Turfway Park is one of Kentucky’s Thoroughbred horse race tracks.
The furniture and the color scheme is modern and hip without feeling too corporate. Warm gold and earth tones predominate.
As we checked in, I was curious to see how COVID-19 has changed up hotel stay travel. At first, the only noticeable difference was the reception desk. There was a plexiglass barrier to help with social distancing between the hotel staff and the patrons. Staff were wearing masks. Also, a bottle of hand-sanitizer was on a long table with a bowl for room key turn in and another for pens with a sign saying they’d been sanitized. Because this hotel is a transit hub for airline pilots and crew, there was a clipboard with a sign in sheet to minimize contact with staff.
After the hotel check-in, all seemed the same except that there were only a few guests to be seen, although in regular times, I imagine more bustle. This Hilton was created as an area conference space. Two large TVS on two opposite walls of one of the large common areas were on with no one watching them. No one was sitting in any of the lovely chairs or settled into one of the couches at night. I did see one person sitting there in the morning when I went down to get complimentary coffee near the reception desk. The hotel’s restaurant/bar area is still closed.
I did use a computer and a printer in the business area located between the check-in area and the elevators. There wasn’t hand sanitizer or wipes anywhere near the computer area that I noticed– or by the elevator. I used my own.
For a hotel with handicapped accessible rooms, I was glad my dad was able to walk as far as he can. The elevators are not close to either of the hotel’s main doors. Our room, thankfully, was close to the elevators which helped.
Our room was pristine. Clean, comfortable and the amenities we needed. I actually used the iron and the ironing board. The two-cup coffee maker and hairdryer were also used. So was the luggage rack I found folded up in the closet. I wasn’t sure if I should put the hair dryer and the iron away or leave them out so that the staff would know they were used. I left them out. At checkout, I did ask the staff about cleaning protocol. The hotel cleaning staff, cleans everything in the room. If the iron and hairdryer were put away, they would have been cleaned anyway.
Rooms are equipped with a large flat screen TV and plenty of lighting and places to plug in devices that one person can sleep and another can stay up without creating a disturbance. The bathroom with its marble sink and small bottles of shampoo, lotion, and conditioner, and small bar of soap were a familiar, welcome and great to see. Yes, it’s great to stay at a hotel.
For a first hotel stay in the time of COVID this Hilton was a fine foray into overnight travel. It was comfortable, I felt I could stay here with my dad without worries, and the staff was friendly and helpful. We were given an extension time for checkout beyond what I asked for. I do wish the front doors were closer to the elevator, and that there was half and half instead of Coffee Mate.
Still, it’s great to travel, and I did wear a mask outside of our room. So did my dad.
Post and photos by Jamie Rhein