Living in a hotel is not at all like “Eloise”

I’ve always been a fan of the literary character Eloise. Not only does she live in the most fabulous city in the world, New York, she also lives in a hotel. Who doesn’t like a hotel? Room service, housekeeping, premium cable channels, bell service, cute little toiletries… I’m a big fan.

If we had moved into the Charlotte Ritz-Carlton, I would feel differently, but at $429 a night (that’s the cheap room!), that just wasn’t going to happen. As I mentioned earlier, we had a hard time finding a place that would take 3 dogs but Jason finally did.

We lived at the Home-Towne Suites in Kannapolis for 28 nights while waiting for our house to close. At first I thought the Kannapolis location would be a huge drag but it actually was just fine. It was only 10 minutes or so to Jason’s work, and he could avoid all the traffic if need be. There were lots of restaurants nearby, and Carolina Mall (plus a drive through Starbucks) were just over the freeway from us. My commute into Charlotte wasn’t bad at all! I tried to hit on the “off” times but even when I had to get there early for some reason, I never ran into much issue with traffic.

The hotel itself had interior hallways, which we really wanted for safety reasons. Right after my accident, I called and asked for a handicap accessible room, which they had. This put us on the main floor with a big bathroom (with rails) and easy to get to kitchen counters. We did technically lose space compared to the standard room but it was worth it.

Most of the guests were temporary workers or families staying for weeks at a time like us. The place was deserted during the day and often during the weekend as well. We never had any issues with excessive noise and the other guests we encountered were very friendly. They don’t have a pool but do have some grassy area out back along with a pavilion and grill for guests to use. On the one day we attempted to leave the dogs, the management was super nice and understanding when they resorted to calling us about the barking. The only real issue we had was with our toilet constantly breaking…

When you stay for a long period of time, you get a great discount on the rate but you also get abbreviated housekeeping. We got a true cleaning once a week and a quick cleaning once a week. They also don’t have 24 hour front desk service. Around 10pm, they go home and lock all the doors to room key access only. There is also no room service, cute toiletries, or bell service but there is premium cable channels! 🙂

This was our room:



Yep, that’s it. SMALL.

My amazing sister in law Laura, who helped us transition after my surgery, got smart and bought a few things to make our 28 night stay better. She bought a shelf to go beside the couch; we could use it for storage and as a drink holder. She also bought a rolling plastic storage thingy to go in the bathroom to hold our stuff. Storage space was severely lacking so we also ended up storing a bunch of stuff in our cars and also at our pastor’s house.

I honestly think the dogs loved staying there. Winston, who longs to be laying on a bed all the time, cherished living in a room with a bed. Lucy loved getting to snuggle with Jason all the time:


Living in a hotel with dogs is a HUGE challenge. If you find yourself in that place, here are a few tips we found that worked:

– leave the TV on just about all the time, with substantial enough volume to drown out noises. When I wasn’t back at work yet, I would flip it on when Jason left and just went back to sleep with it on. Otherwise, any little noise from people getting ready for work set them off on barking. And when one barks…

– get yourself a water bottle! A squirt when they bark got them to stop. This is also what they use at their doggie daycare to stop bad behavior.

– going in and out of the side door for potty breaks and walks was key. The dogs quickly thought they owned the place and would bark at anyone in the “lobby” so we avoided the main entrance.

– invest in a cheap baby gate. For the first two nights, all three slept with us and while they slept great, neither one of us slept a wink! The two who never sleep in the bed with us got banished to the bathroom where they slept on a comforter – happily, I might add! Lucy usually sleeps in a crate but the crate would have taken up too much precious floor space.

– bring lots of treats for good behavior

– there isn’t room for much active play but Nylabones and Bully Sticks got lots of attention

– keep the sheer curtain shut on the window. Lucy quickly learned she could sit on the bed and see out into the parking lot… which meant constant barking and growling. Just closing the sheer, and not the whole curtain, blurred it enough for her to not make out people/dogs/squirrels anymore.

– go ahead and look into doggie daycare options that are nearby just in case your dog acts like ours did. It’s better doing it that way than scrambling when you’re desperate. **Note: there were lots of other dogs who stayed all day, without their owners, and did fine. Ours are just “special”

– pick up some carpet cleaner for pet stains, just in case. Never know!

– find the nearest off leash dog park and make the effort to visit it. Before they started at doggie day care, they were chomping at the bit to run and play fetch. It’s a complete pain to do the dog park, especially in the heat, but a necessary part of dog ownership when in a hotel.

– always have your vet paperwork with you showing their vaccines. Plus make sure they have up to date rabies tags. Doggie day care requires it, as does dog parks, plus you just never know what can happen. Don’t pack it in a box and leave it behind.

All in all, the hotel was an affordable choice and worked out just fine for us. I certainly don’t want to live in a hotel again anytime soon… unless it’s The Plaza.


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