We use Motel 6 a lot. Inexpensive, dog friendly, fairly ubiquitous. There have been issues, like the Raton, NM room with no heat because they were going "green" while it snowed outside. Or thin walls while a hoard of drunken party animals roamed like zombies hunting their latest victims. But mostly they've been good to us.
This time "good" was two out of three. Albuquerque off Coors road: great! Lincoln off whatever exit (403?) of I-80, great!
Denver will never be forgotten. Never. Because Denver, despite reservations, didn't happen.
One of the first things I always request is a handicap accessible room. This usually involves a definition of terms: what exactly meets our standards? No stairs? High toilet and wall safety bars? Walk-in or roll-in shower in a "wet room"? There are times we can be a bit flexible. Some mornings we can skip a full immersion shower if everything else works for us, for example.
We arrive at our motel, the one at I-70 and Federal Blvd., and I go stand in line, 4th to be waited on. Not comfy, but I get the need for it. Once at the counter I'm prepared with the necessary cards and confirmation number. Only thing is, the dufus who took the reservation forgot to check the box that says handicap accessible.
Well, let's try to adapt: 1st floor?
But the totally understanding clerk at the desk offers us a room on the 3rd floor. No elevators, of course. She seemed completely surprised when I flatly refused with one word: "Impossible!"
She did offer to check the other two in the chain in Denver, so I waited a bit more. Nope, full up. Something about a big soccer event in town. How much were we willing to spend? She could locate us a room near the airport (fyi an hour back on the rush hour choked freeways we'd already traveled to reach this motel) for a mere $600. Dogs might be extra, of course. I walked out, as coolly as I could under the circumstances.
Hey guys, take a hint: if we're traveling using Motel 6, by what stretch of your idiot imagination might we be willing to consider a $600 room?
We sat in a parking lot on the phone with a Motel 6 national reservation number. They tried to be helpful. For about an hour. We decided we were in shape to keep heading up the road, winding up in Greeley at a Days Inn. The gal on the Motel 6 line claimed she found us - and per her manager's authorization, reserved us - a room there. I asked for the Days Inn phone number so I could call and 1: verify the reservation vs. our needs, and 2: get directions once in town. After about 5 delays and diversions, she finally gave up the number.
We thanked her for all her time and effort.
Might have saved our breath.
Our first chance to stop off the freeway north and call this motel, we got several bits of information. Yes, they had a handicap accessible room. No, they had never in fact been contacted by anybody to make us a reservation. Dogs were OK, at a minor fee of $25, that's per pooch, and the total fee was 3x what we would have paid for the Motel 6 room had they been paying proper attention. Oh, and here were the directions....
The room offered us was lovely, the one the manager reserves for herself when she's not in town. Third floor but with an elevator. Gorgeous sunset view over Rocky Mountain National Park on the horizon. Kitchen facilities with center island and pass-through between that and the hanging cupboards. Padded bench in the bow window with that fabulous view. Sofa and coffee table for the late night reader who can't quite sleep. Had we chosen the expense, it would have been well worth it.
There was a semi-decent breakfast the next morning, including eggs and sausage. Hot would have been a nice touch, but they were no colder, really, than the Cheerios.
And we had miles to go.