OK... I was apprehensive at first. All the more so driving at night on the backroads once I got off the Supersonic Slab (80 MPH speed limit in South Dakota in an era when 80 mph in VA gets you the Crossbar Hotel!) and driving through the darkened croplands that put bread and cereal on our tables and who knows how many overseas! Plus, I was using a GPS I'd bought just the day before and was still getting used to. But, stopping at a rest stop in Iowa where I got into the WiFi for research and made my reservation using the BW 1-800 number, the operator told me this was one of their top-rated.
OK... yes, you'll drive seemingly forever through those fields. At night, watch out for wildlife and livestock. The motel (which is truly what it is) sort of sneaks up on you when you approach at night. While others report signs on the way from the Interstate, I didn't see any. But, I was more focused on driving safely than anything else.
I got there late at night. Much later than planned. But, “Jim” welcomed me like it was no problem at all even though he admitted that he'd stayed up late. Once the “business” part was done, we started chatting and soon we were like old friends. The one thing he told me about that surprised me was the A/C unit (Samsung, I believe) being remote controlled. I had never encountered anything like that in all my travels. So, I actually paid attention. Unusual for an engineer, right?
Well, looking at the place as I pulled in, I was left a bit underwhelmed. It looked like something out of the 1950's or 1960's. And, it probably is. But, inside the room... it was 2016! A real HDTV on the wall, modern furniture, a good bed, a modern bathroom. The WiFi did what I needed it to. I tried the A/C just to see if it worked. It did. But, I had to use the heat in the morning as it did get chilly. The room was extremely clean and quiet. Parking was a bit tight with seemingly a lot of motorcycles and their caravan support vehicles. But, I was still able to park not too far from my room.
I cannot comment on evening dining here as I arrived long after everything in Canisota had closed for the night and was content to eat a “loose meats” sandwich I'd bought in Iowa that afternoon as a late supper.
Now, as for the breakfast, it is everything others have said. And, more. I guess it must be that the place is in the agricultural heartland of America. But, they served real food (including fresh fruit) that didn't seem either “institutional” or “industrial” like you find at too many chain hotels and motels. What really got me was the woman running the place, who was obviously busy with the Sturgis motorcycle crowd staying over while enroute, asking me “Is that all you're going to eat” as I left the breakfast area! She was honestly offended at the light breakfast I had. And, she thought something was wrong. I explained that the breakfast was great. It's just that I have a light appetite.
OK... now the check-out experience was unlike any I'd seen in the last half-century. “Just leave your keys on the table in your room when you're ready to leave”, is what Jim said. And, I did. Felt really weird. And, as I was leaving, I saw “Jim” working with one of the housekeepers and wished him a good day. He greeted e by name and said for me to have a good day as well and to drive safe. And, yes, it seemed like I drove forever among amber waves of grain to get back to I-90.
Summation... this is one of the toughest reviews from my 2016 cross-country trip. I rarely give 5-star ratings. It was tough because this place and the people (not just “Jim” and the woman running the breakfast, but the housekeepers who said "good morning" as I was going to/from my room to load my car) all being so friendly... and the room being so clean and perfect! All I can say is, if your itinerary allows a stop here, do it! There are few places I've stayed at with the quality people and accomodations of the U-Bar. But, most of them charge many times what the U-Bar does. That's the only caution I can give you about staying here. This place will spoil you for just about every other place you might ever stay. less