There comes a breaking point in every extended travel journey. Sometimes it’s between cancelled flights and missing luggage. Sometimes the eggs at the breakfast buffet are just not cooked to your liking. And sometimes it’s that dreaded moment when you check into your room in a subpar motel. You hold your breath, knowing full and well that it is going to be bad. And worse yet, accepting that you have no choice but to place your head down amongst this dusty, mildewy mess and get some sort of sleep, whilst simultaneously hanging off the edge of the bed.
Because, ironically, travelling is as much about comfort, feeling accepted and at ‘home’ as it is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.
Coming to the Baymont Inn and Suites in Florida City, long past Miami and really anywhere noteworthy, was where we hit out breaking point. Why must we be so cheap? Can’t we stay somewhere a little bit more upscale, the pampered nomad in both of us thought.
Reviewing the photos, the place doesn’t look so bad. In fact it looks exceptionally clean and put together, which it very much was. But the motel is getting on in years, and sticking a fish tank in the lobby isn’t going to do much for ambience.
It was clear that this is a family business, which is a great thing. The downside to this is that there was no formality, and no sense of the Baymont Inn and Suites brand and protocol. There was no staff uniform and the front desk agent came out in his slippers . This suggests a sloppiness that brings the place down.
But it gets better.
Some redeeming points about the motel. The building is old, but the cleanliness (maintained by more family members) is excellent. They are trying the best with what they have.
The breakfast is the usual American fare which is enough to keep you going, but served on that pesky styrofoam.
The hotels in this area, right on the highway of Florida City, have the drawing attraction of being close (and by close it’s still a good three hours), to the Florida Keys, without having to stay in the Keys and the associated high price tag that comes along with it.
So why stay here, when there are about ten other similar places within a ten mile radius? It is a question I can’t really answer because nothing sets it apart from the thousands of sub par motels that litter the American highways every which way you travel. It is a decent place to rest your head, but you cannot wait to leave. That motivation can be a good or bad thing depending on your itinerary.