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Extended-stay Hotel Wears its Name Well for This Traveler;
No Soap. No Shampoo. Bring your Own

Richard Mize Column
By Richard Mize, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma CityMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

April 3--TULSA -- My wife, an experienced, savvy and spoiled business traveler, would never stoop as low as an extended-stay hotel.

Dolores considers it stooping, not me. But hey, extended-stay hotels are not for everybody.

You get just what you pay for, no more, no less. Awhile back, I did anyway.

No more at the Value Place at 3415 S Sheridan, meant one roll of bathroom tissue for the week -- no more. (Bring extra.)

In the bathroom, it meant a basic tub with shower, a plain sink with a plain mirror, a wire shelf over the toilet -- and no more. No soap. No shampoo. (Bring your own.)

For a closet, it meant no closet but a longer wire shelf with a hanging rod, right there in the "living area" -- no more. (Who needs a closet?)

For an "entertainment center," it meant a TV -- granted, with expanded cable -- on a small chest of drawers, no more. (Eh, so?)

But the place, a studio, also had no less than a full-size refrigerator with freezer, kitchen sink, microwave oven, an electric stovetop with two burners and high-speed Internet, but not wireless, all of which I used regularly.

The bed was just a bed. The place had one small table with two chairs and another chair by the bed -- OK, not cushy.

Want a coffee pot? Bring one, or buy one at check-in for $29. Need dishes, pots and pans? Bring 'em, or buy theirs for $49. Need more than two thin bath towels and two washcloths for the week? Bring 'em.

Rooms are cleaned between guests, of course, or every other Tuesday. Some business travelers, and others for whom week-at-a-time renting makes sense, live for weeks at a time in these places.

At first, it struck me as a cross between a junior college dorm, circa 1982, and a minimum-security prison -- but not a bad thing!

Dorm room because the walls are thin and sometimes you can hear somebody in the next room. "Minimum-security" because of cameras monitored by management and the electronic key you have to have to get inside the building, day or night, or into the laundry or into your room, which is either a studio, a studio with sofa sleeper or a double.

By the end of the week -- $220.60, counting taxes, which comes to $31.50 a night -- I realized the general quality of the place was pretty much what a Motel 6 or Holiday Inn was when I was a kid, before everybody got so picky.

Bottom line: Barring some catastrophe at my house in Edmond, I'll never need the three Value Place hotels in Oklahoma City or the one in Norman. But the next time I need to spend a week in Tulsa, for $31.50 a night, I'll head back to 3415 S Sheridan.


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