Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Four Nights in a Grain Silo

I never had any aspirations to sleep in a grain silo before, but when I learned that this is exactly what I'd be doing in Akron, Ohio, I began to get excited by the prospect.

It could be that I spend too much time in what seems to be an endless chain of hotels that, more or less, all feel the same that caused the novelty of a novelty hotel to be such a draw. I will admit that I'm also drawn to any sort of historical building, so the thought of staying in one is intrinsically attractive.

This sort of excitement was similar to that which I experianced in anticipation of my vist at the Treehouse Hotel in Oregon so, knowing how well that turned out (see: Road Trip to the Treehouse Hotel) I held back too much excitement untilI arrived. Fortunately, my caution was misplaced this time.

The Quaker Square Inn is situated within the old grain silos and associated factory buildings of the Quaker Oats company. After this architectural icon of industry was retired from its original use, it was repurposed as a hotel and student housing for the nearby University of Akron. Today the first three floors make up the hotel while the remaining floors are student housing.

Normally a hotel that also has student housing doesn't work, but it works well here for two reasons: respectful students and thick walls. These silos were built to last, and they are nearly 8 inches thick. That gives you 16 inches of solid material between you and the next room which assures that sounds of nocturnal activities remain within the rooms from which they originate.

The only weak points from an acoustical standpoint are the windows and doors. In my 4 night visit, I was only disturbed once by a drunk college student which is pretty good considering the situation.

To answer the two questions that you are most likely wondering about: yes, the rooms are round and no, the beds are not round. The rooms are however slightly quirky. For example, the toilet paper holder was just slightly out of reach for someone with average length arms who is sitting upon the toilet. This is due to the fact that the room is round, but fortunately there was a box of tissues within easy reach.

Another quirk had to do with the floor layout. Since a collection of round rooms is not conducive to a sensible floor layout, it is no surprise that finding your room can be a challenge. This is one time in which a room near the elevator is an asset rather than a liability.

These quirks add up to an interesting hotel experience. The morning breakfast includes the expected Quaker Oats, which ties into the theme that continues through the use of ample Quaker Oats memorabilia which is placed in the lobby and breakfast area.

If my travels take me back to this area, I wouldn't think twice about staying here again.

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  1. I always get excited when entering a hotel room wondering what it would be like THIS time. The craziest place we stayed was in Lancaster PA in refurbished train cars. Very funny!

  2. hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day!