My daughter is considering one of the area universities, and I stayed at this hotel on a college visit. I experienced some highs and a one notable low.
The low - I had a very poor check-in experience at this hotel. To summarize, I arrived early, at 11AM. I didn't expect my room to be ready, but approached the front desk to ask. They suggested that I check back at about 2. They did not offer to phone or text me when the room was ready. They did not offer to hold my bags or let me use the pool area. I left the hotel, went to lunch, did some shopping. I phoned the hotel at 2. They told me that it would be about another 30-40 min. Again, no offer to phone or text when room was ready. I returned to the hotel 20 minutes later, at 2:30 and was told "another 40 minutes". No offer to phone or text when room was ready. I returned at 3:15 and the room was ready. If it had not been, I'd have been extremely disappointed.
I travel a lot. I arrive early to hotels a lot. I know that a person is lucky if a room is ready early. I also know that typically, staff offer to hold bags, use amenities, offers to phone/text when room is ready. I know that quite often, when a person arrives early, that guest's room prep is prioritized. Clearly, my room was not prioritized. What a bummer. If, at 11:00, I was told that there was no chance that my room would be ready until check-in time at 3:00 (actually later, at 3:15), I might have planned activities including visiting the museum at the riverfront or going to a movie at the theater nearby. Instead, I went to lunch, went to the mall, phoned, was given a 30 min timeframe, went to Pier 1, returned to the hotel, was sorry, another 40 min, and went to Target. Good thing there was plenty of shopping nearby. Absolute waste of a day. By 3:15 I was pretty salty about the over-promise and under-deliver situation.
Now, to the highs - room was very clean and quite roomy. Beds were comfortable. The pool area was exceptional. My younger daughter loved it. The pool is in a large atrium with rooms opening right to the pool, or to a hallway above the pool with access very quick, down a short flight of stairs. Included in the pool area is a large patio section with tables and chairs, ping pong, and pool tables. There is a small game room with air hocket. Very nice for families. Not very nice if you're looking for a place to nap in the afternoon, as the pool noise is unavoidable. But if you're looking at this hotel, you're probably not looking for a quiet out-of-the-way hotel. One very noticeable plus for me, is that neither the property nor the room reeked of chlorine - at all. Yes, some pool smell, but it's a huge room with a huge atrium. None of the horrid chlorine smell.
Champps sports bar/restaurant is attached to the hotel through the lobby. Even on a quite packed Saturday night with lots of big college football games, dinner service was quick and excellent. Breakfast was included with the stay, and a buffett was set up at Champps. Nice breakfast, with great variety from cereal and yogurt to biscuits and gravy, bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes, etc.
Location - the location can not be beat if you're visiting one of the area colleges. Very easy in-out, everything is close. Granted, there are some hotels nearby, but this one is very quick off and on the highway.
One very high high in regard to service, which will be the one thing that could keep me coming back after the poor check-in experience - I am an early riser. As such, I often sit around reading in hotel common areas until my family wakes up. I arrived in the lobby at 4:30AM. Coffee is not out at that hour - anywhere. After reading for a couple of minutes, I saw the front desk staff a man whose name I did not get. I asked him when coffee might be available. He said "I usually put it out at about 5, but I saw you come down, and I put a fresh pot on. It's almost ready." About 2 minutes later he called over to me to let me know that coffee was ready and he directed me to the coffee area. He could have waited until 5 to make the coffee as usual. He could have waited until I asked for coffee. But this man saw a service opportunity and took it -making coffee before I even asked for it. Congrats to the gentleman working early on the morning of Sunday Nov 12 - nice job and thank you!!!!
And so - I booked this hotel despite being a Hilton member (Hampton virtually next door) because of the pool and activity area as well as the attached sport bar/restaurant. At time of check in, I said I'd never book there again. After the great early-morning customer service experience, I changed my mind. I would book there again. And probably will, as my daughter is highly likely to be going to the college she visited. less
Mike G, Front Desk Lead at Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center, responded to this review
We appreciate you taking time out of your day to complete a review, and what a great review it was, of the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center after your recent stay with us. Although your check-in experience was not all that efficient and not a great first impression at all, we are very happy to hear our staff and facilities were able to make a better impression on you during the remainder of your stay and that you would book again to stay with us. Please keep in mind we do offer discounts for parents visiting their children at the local college/universities, so be sure to ask when you book your next stay directly with us.
Front Desk Lead