Welcome to day 30 of 31 Days of Heterotopias: Motels and Hotels, a month of posts about how motels, hotels, and inns function as heterotopias and liminal spaces in society.  (More about heterotopias and liminal spaces.)  Each post will look at these ideas from its own vantage point, which may not obviously connect with the others, and which may mention motels and hotels only peripherally or may focus on them without referencing heterotopia or liminality. I won’t attempt to tie the posts together. They’ll all be listed here, as they are posted.

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exteriormorningFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017

“The man behind the check-in counter gives the impression that he has just axe-murdered the motel’s owner (and family, and family pet) and is going through these procedures of hostelry so as not to arouse suspicion.” ― Paul Quarrington, The Ravine

I mean, how could I not use that sentence in this series. But seriously, the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kennett Square, PA (the Brandywine Valley) is nothing like this! It’s just a clean, simple, normal chain hotel in a medical/corporate park alongside Route 1, perfectly located for visits to Longwood Gardens, exactly two miles away from the hotel. It’s also only about a mile to charming Kennett Square, with shops and restaurants, and about 1.5 miles to Victory Brewing, a brewpub on the outskirts of Kennett Square. Spouse and I have stayed at the Fairfield Inn three times now for six nights total — in Aug 2015, July 2017, and Oct. 2017 — and will use it in the future when we visit the area.

I’m not sure what so appeals, besides primo location and hotel staff who in no way resemble or suggest axe-murderers.

It’s not the Pumpkin Spice coffee.

pumpkinspicecoffeeFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017

It’s not the wacky carpets, although it is kind of fun to try to walk only on the straight lines.
corridorcarpetdesignbFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017

The breakfast is variable, though usually the oatmeal and fruit are good.

partialbreakfastroomFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017

I think it’s really just the combined sense of comfort and anonymity that appeals. The staff is friendly and efficient but non-intrusive. They look up when you walk in and out, so you feel someone is noticing your presence, but their eye contact, body language, and spoken words (if any) don’t suggest they are watching too closely or monitoring your movement. Housekeeping comes at a predictable time. The public space is impersonal but there is coffee and tea and sometimes lime water offered at all hours, as well as candies at the front desk sometimes, and complimentary newspapers on weekdays.

The private space, the rooms, are comfortable, too, with all the basics provided.

viewintoroomFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017
view into room, Oct. 2017
doublebedsFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017
two double beds, Oct. 2017
bedFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA23July2017
one king bed, July 2017

The desk has additional electrical outlets and jacks. There’s a microwave, fridge, and coffee maker. There’s ample drawer and closet space.

bedACmicrowavefridgedeskTVdresserFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017
microwave, fridge, desk and chair, dresser and TV, coffee maker, lighting, Oct. 2017
TVbureautablemicrowavefridgeFairfieldInnKennettSquarePA23July2017
microwave, fridge, desk and chair, dresser and TV, coffee maker, lighting, July 2017

The bathrooms are big enough with capacious counters and lots of space for shampoos and such in the shower.

bathroomFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017
bathroom, Oct. 2017
sinkbathroomFairfieldInnhotelKennettSquarePA12Oct2017
sink, counter space, mirror, Oct. 2017
bathroomtubshowerFairfieldInnKennettSquarePA23July2017
tub/shower, July 2017

The rooms aren’t cheap — from $105-$165 per night depending on what season and nights we stayed — but they’re comparable to other places in the area, and I feel there’s good value for the money (just the location near Longwood alone means we can return to the room and then back to Longwood easily during the day).

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Speaking of Longwood, and since this is a garden blog, a few pics from our visit this month, starting with the almost-futuristic bathrooms in the conservatory:

toiletsinkbConservatoryLongwoodGardens13Oct2017

This is what they look like from outside:

bathroomcurveConservatoryLongwoodGardens13Oct2017

I’ll be doing a longer post on this trip to Longwood soon, but for now, a few teasers:

oldbeechtreeLongwoodGardens13Oct2017
old beech tree, meadow
monarchredadmiralbutterflyredyellowdahliaFlowerWalkLongwoodGardens13Oct2017
monarch and red admiral butterflies on dahlia
beemimicpinkchrysanthemumsbLongwoodGardens13Oct2017
mimic fly on chrysanthemum
yellowroundlanternscorridorlongcConservatoryLongwoodGardens13Oct2017
lanterns in conservatory
dahliashLongwoodGardens13Oct2017
dahlias
HarpageantEasyDoesItFloribundarosepinkorangeLongwoodGardens13Oct2017
‘Easy Does It’ floribunda rose … pink and orange

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Next time I’d like to get to Chanticleer, Mt. Cuba again, and maybe even Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA. Might need a trip to the area just for garden-going. And a few more nights in the cheerfully disinterested Fairfield Inn & Suites.

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One thought on “Almost Certainly Not Axe Murderers

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