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First impression was not good

I’ve been staying at the Hilton Akron Fairlawn Hotel and Suites in Akron, Ohio, while consulting with Smucker’s.

I was told that it’s the hotel where Lebron James held his NBA draft party back in 2003. Apparently, he lived less than a mile from the hotel.

When I checked in, I was handed a piece of paper. I assumed it contained information on the hotel amenities, but when I looked at it later to see if the gym was open later in the evening, I was greeted with a guest conduct policy.

It’s intense.

There are eight items listed on the conduct policy:

  1. No smoking.
    This seems fairly obvious, given that it’s 2023, but the policy goes on to warn that a $250 fee will be charged to your room if you are found smoking in the room or stairwells (stairwells!) and will be asked to vacate the premises. So it’s apparently not 2023 in Akron, Ohio, at least at this particular hotel, because people are still smoking in stairwells.
  2. No excessive noise after 9:00 PM.
    It goes on to explain at length why this rule is important for the comfort of all guests. A reasonable rule, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen it stated in hotel literature before.
  3. Room occupancy limits.
    The policy states that only two people may occupy a “king bedded room” and four people for a “two-needed room,” and that rule applies at all times. In other words, don’t invite guests (even friends who have their own room in the hotel) to hang out in your room for even a second. Room occupancy – even in the middle of the day – is directly tied to the number of people who can comfortably fit in the bed or beds. Not the room itself.
  4. No parties are allowed in guest rooms at any time. The guidelines define a party as “Anything above the occupancy limit per suite is defined as a party.”
    It’s smart to offer a definition of a party, but this one seems a little silly. I’ve been to many parties in my day, and they have never been defined by the number of people in a room. Also, if I was a member of a throuple, we apparently could not stay in a room with a king-sized bed without our occupancy officially being declared a party. You’d like to think that throuples are always having a party of sorts, but honestly, the arrangement sounds too complicated to be much fun to me.
  5. No pool parties are permitted.
    On the heels of the no-party rule is another no-party rule. Interestingly, there is no definition of a pool party other than that the pool is for registered guests only, and food and drink are not permitted at the pool. But this was the moment when I started to think that this hotel has issues with excessive partying of its guests. I was three-quarters of the way down the paper and had yet to find information on the hours of the gym, check-out times, or housekeeping, but I knew a lot about parties, occupancy rates, and smoking.
  6. Alcoholic beverages must be served by the hotel. “Guests may not bring in their own alcohol for the purpose of entertaining others.”
    Lots of questions here, specifically around the idea that the consumption of alcohol is predicated on its purpose. If we’re drinking whiskey as a form of entertainment, it’s not permitted. If we’re drowning our sorrows in whiskey, then I think we can drink all I want. Also, who am I entertaining with this alcohol since I can’t have parties and can’t exceed strict occupancy limits? Also, if the Hilton is the only legal supplier of alcohol on the premise, why state the conditions upon which I can drink my own alcohol at all since I wasn’t supposed to bring it into the hotel?
  7. Chaperones are required to be present with all children under the age of 18 throughout the premise at all times.
    So if your 17-year-old daughter wants to exercise in the gym, she cannot do so unless you join her. Want to send your 12-year-old son to the shop just off the lobby to buy some candy? Not without an adult. Your teenage twins want to take a swim before dinner? You’d better be accompanying them, and don’t you dare bring an iced tea to the pool while you watch them swim. In short, don’t bring your kids to this hotel unless you plan on chaining yourself to them at all times.

This brought me to the bottom of the page. I had yet to find the hours of the gym, but I was pretty convinced that the Hilton Karom Fairlawn Hotel & Suites has had serious problems in the past with parties, alcohol, and general mayhem, which might not be the first thing you want your guests to know about upon entering your establishment.

Maybe don’t lead with your aggressive conduct policy. It didn’t exactly leave me with a sense of comfort or assurance that I would be getting a good night’s sleep.

I flipped the page over to find the hours of operation for the restaurant and lounge, information on daily housekeeping (there is none), and nothing more.

The desk clerk handed me a single sheet of paper when I arrived containing a conduct policy and restaurant hours.

Talk about making a good first impression.

I eventually found the hours of the gym posted on the door of the gym, which is the second best place to post those hours, and the bed was exceedingly comfortable, so I got two excellent nights of sleep.

My stay at the Hilton in Akron, Ohio, turned out just fine, which was not what they led me to expect when I arrived.