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During a recent last minute trip over to Kearney to see the annual Sandhill Crane migration in Nebraska, we decided that since everyone recommended the best viewing times to be dusk and dawn, that we would need a place to lay our heads for the night
And that is literally ALL we needed. A place to sleep.
If also heading to Kearney to view the Crane Migration, check out our
- Traveler’s Guide to the Nebraska Sandhill Crane Migration
- Top Tips for Seeing the Sandhill Cranes in Kearney
When I book hotels, I typically have certain criteria to go off of depending on the type of travel we are doing. Is it the whole family (bigger rooms needed). Is this a “splurge” kind of trip? (More luxury please!) or is this a “budget” trip (let’s be honest…this is the usual trip for us! Bare bones and not much else!)
I decided that since we were not going to be IN the hotel room very much, I just needed a place that was clean, had great reviews and was the right price.
I quickly went to booking.com (Click here to get up to $20 off your first hotel stay) to look for hotels in Kearney NE and was happy to see that prices weren’t excuberant for the Kearney Nebraska hotels near I-80 (I HATE when small towns jack up the prices just because they are along a major interstate!)
While I found all the typical chain hotels, like Holiday Inn, Comfort Inn and Hampton Inn (among many others). I landed on Rodeway Inn and Suites. Below is my reasoning for choosing it as well as a quick review on how our stay went as well as if I’d recommend it to future travelers looking for lodging in Kearney Nebraska.
I tend to use Booking.com when looking for hotels now-a-days. It is easy to compare and filter (in this particular search for Kearney Hotels, I chose to filter for only a score of 8+, needed breakfast included and was under $100 a night- when I saw how cheap the prices were, I actually filtered it to under $60/night)
That quickly narrowed down my results and I was able to pick out 3 that all looked like decent choices (Microtel, Super 8 and Econolodge). Aka good prices with great reviews and scores.
After I decided on Rodeway Inn (see the next section on WHY I chose this one), I had a few options of room types and then it was just a few more clicks to book. (If you’ve never used booking.com, sign up here and get $20 off your first booking!)
The final reason why I landed on Rodeway Inn was because on booking.com, I had the option to cancel up until the day of the stay, giving me the flexibility to decide to cancel if I needed.
After reading the reviews, it looked like the hotel itself was sufficient enough for our needs. Nothing fancy, but nothing that would have me saying “ew.” It pretty much lived up to those exact expectations! I decided that for pretty much one of the cheapest, yet best rated hotels, I didn’t need to spend $30 more on not a whole lot of extras.
The Rodeway Inn in Kearney NE isn’t going to be winning any luxury awards anytime soon. In fact, it’s pretty obvious that a facelift wouldn’t hurt the place. The dark carpeting and old furniture have probably been around for awhile, but nothing that was falling apart, dingy or dirty, so oh well. We all look old and tired once in awhile, right?
The location is fantastic if you are looking for a quick roadside stay during a horribly long I-80 roadtrip. It’s just a minute off the interstate with plenty of amenities and places to eat right along the main drag.
It was also a great location for our Sandhill Crane migration viewing. It was only a 15 minute drive to one of the main and favorite viewing bridges at the Kearney State Recreation area and only about 20 minutes to the Audobon Rowe Sanctuary.
Check In and Lobby
If you are looking for a staff that is going to go above and beyond to beckon at your every call, maybe you should look at a hotel that is a bit more upscale. This isn’t to say the staff was unattentive, but you pretty much never saw them (unless you rang for them…even then, they came/ answered quickly).
Again- absolutely nothing to complain about- just don’t expect 5 star service.
The lobby itself is quite small, but still enough room for a few 2 person tables for breakfast. The lobby is right off the first floor rooms, so it isn’t an ideal place to get your group together, but was just fine to read a book, play a round of cards with my hubby or grab a drink from the vending machine.
I was pleasantly surprised with the cleanliness of the room. For such a cheap price, I was worried that that would be a sacrifice, but the bedding smelled freshly laundered and the bathroom had clearly just been cleaned.
To me, cleanliness of a room is my main concern, everything else can just kind of fall into place after that, and that was no exception here.
Bedding Comfort: The bed itself, again, was surprisingly comfortable, allowing for a decent night’s sleep when we knew our alarm would be sounding much too early for the dawn take off of the cranes.
The room was a bit small, but nothing outrageous. In fact, there was still space to have night stands, a small table with two chairs, a dresser with tv and a mini fridge/ microwave. All in all, a GREAT value for the money!
The breakfast, which was open from 6am-9am, was nothing to write home about, but again, nothing to complain about. A typical small continental was provided including boiled eggs, cereals, bagels, muffins, pre-made omelets and even a waffle maker. The coffee was subpar and juices were available.
I saw on other reviews for motels in Kearney NE that during the crane migration, some hotelsl would have extra early breakfast times. While that would have been nice, for the price we paid, I wouldn’t have expected extra accomfdations.
The Takeaway/ Recommendation
I felt like for the CRAZY low price for the nightly rate at the Rodeway Inn in Kearney, the value could not be beat. I honestly don’t think that for the extra $30-$50 you would get TOO much more from other nearby Kearney hotels.
The rooms were clean, the price was right and therefore I would absolutely recommend this budget stay for anyone looking for a quick night’s stay if passing through or looking for a hotels in Kearney NE.
My personal ratings (out of 5)
Value for money: 5