Is Life at the Holiday Inn Really That Bad?

Kevin Zavitz, Staff Writer

Around 150 students were welcomed to the familiar aroma of a hotel at the beginning of this semester. The Holiday Inn on University blvd. would once again serve as a dormitory for students living “on-campus.”

Even though the Holiday Inn is a mile away from the Robert Morris University campus, it isn’t entirely a burden. In many ways, it actually is a unique place for students to live.

After a year of living in Hamilton Hall, it’s a relief to get away from all the inconveniences of that freshman dorm.

For example, getting to the restroom or shower is a journey down a long, cold hallway filled with random debris. Even before starting off, it was necessary ritual to make sure you had everything you needed. If you were lucky, or happened to shower at weird hours of the day, a stall with warm water was available. This was a constant struggle among 26 residents on a floor.

At the Holiday Inn, that problem doesn’t exist. Only two individuals share a bathroom consisting of a toilet, shower, sink and hairdryer. In addition, their restroom is cleaned weekly by the hard-working housekeepers.

The floors in the freshman dorm hallways and rooms are covered with tiles which are frigid in the winter months. Additionally, they can be annoying when they allow obnoxious voices to echo in the night.

Just a mile up the road, residents can walk barefoot anywhere on soft, vacuumed carpets which drown out the casual corridor conversation and keep the rooms cozy and warm.

Those who had a rough day can relax in the hotel’s hot tub or heated swimming pool. That’s impossible anywhere on campus. If residents wish to stay in shape without the hassle of going all the way to Jefferson Center, they can just walk down to the main floor where a decent-sized fitness center awaits.

When night falls, many students at the Holiday Inn are welcomed with a double-sized bed rather than the small, generic mattresses found in the dorms on campus. Furthermore, there aren’t just bricks separating you from the guy blasting his music next door. Thick, concrete walls offer a peaceful living and studying environment.

Life at the Holiday Inn offers students a chance to escape the mundane and academic feel of the campus. It gives them a chance to easily walk to and see what the boulevard has to offer. For instance, they have the opportunity to still feel the thrill of high school football across the street at Moon Stadium. Many restaurants are close by, several of which offer student discounts for RMU students. Also, with numerous restaurants near, students looking for work who don’t own a car can effortlessly reach their job by foot.

If students don’t wish to go out in the rain or snow for a meal they have options available to them within the building. The hotel is home to the Bridges Restaurant, which offers a pasta buffet three days a week, and the Iron City Grille, an establishment serving burgers, pizza, and other foods. This is more ideal than bracing the elements to get dinner at RoMo’s or the food court.

You need to get to the airport for a certain reason? The Holiday Inn offers a free shuttle upon request. You wish you knew more about the surrounding area? The associates at the front desk are willing to help out.

Yes, there are, of course, some drawbacks of living at the Holiday Inn, such as having to take the shuttle to go to class, eat at the cafeteria, or hang out with friends, but if residents can look past that, they will realize that it really isn’t as horrible as it is made out to be.