While distance from Salt Lake City figured most prominently in my decision making as to which national park in Utah we should visit, the fact that we could use Marriott points to stay also was an added bonus. So when I came across the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Moab, which is the town nearest to Arches National Park, my mind was quickly made up. We were able to stay for free at a lovely hotel that was only a couple of years old for a nominal amount of Marriott Rewards points (being a category 3, it only took 30,000 points for the two nights versus in major cities, you’re spending more points on just one night). Not to mention, as it’s located in a small town (i.e. not New York City) out of pocket rates were still quite reasonable.
When I read that the Fairfield Inn was the closest point of lodging to Arches’ entrance, it was no lie. Roughly a minute or so after you leave the hotel’s parking lot, you are at the turnoff for the park’s entrance. But the park itself is massive and so views from the hotel are of the park’s spectacular red rock formations. It was also only about a 10 minute drive to Moab (going the opposite direction from the park). Downtown Moab was cute and charming in terms of the many independently owned businesses (eateries and retail stores), but I’m definitely glad I didn’t stay right in that area. Staying at the Fairfield, you really felt that much closer to the park (literally and figuratively). So location wise, you cannot get any better.
In terms of look and feel, it’s a chain hotel. There wasn’t anything special or distinctive about it but being new, everything looked and smelled nice (have you ever looked down at the carpeting in hotel hallways and noticed how grungy it looks?). The guest rooms did have multiple photographs of areas inside Arches that were just beautiful. Our room looked out over the parking lot and Highway 191, but on the other side of 191 is Arches so it’s not a bad view at all. There was also a small dormitory size fridge (sans alcohol bottles) in the room along with a coffee maker, and microwave.
As is customary at Fairfield Inns, a complimentary breakfast is included with your stay but being complimentary, I recommend sticking to the “packaged” stuff (cereal, yogurts, and fruit). The items in the hot buffet plates were mediocre (eggs, sausage) but I don’t think anyone expects a gourmet breakfast at a setup like this. On our second morning I was anxious to try out a place in town for breakfast, so we only partook one day.
One of the best parts about the hotel was the outdoor pool and hot tub. Even though it was early March with temperatures only in the low 60s, both pool and hot tub were heated, which meant we were able to don our swimsuits and take advantage. My only regret is that between spending the bulk of our day at Arches and then needing to shower before our dinner reservations at the Desert Bistro, we didn’t have more time to enjoy the outdoor swimming facilities because they were simply awesome.
Another kudo to the hotel was its housekeeping service. I’ve seen plenty of hotels not start housekeeping on the weekend until mid-late morning. We left the hotel on a Sunday around 9 AM and the housekeeping carts were already lining the hallways. Compared to our other recent hotel stay in Columbus, where we returned to our room at 4:30 PM on a Saturday and it was still not done, this was terrific.
There is a small pantry onsite at the hotel where you can purchase small microwavable meals and snacks, along with various drinks and sundry items (toothpaste, sunblock, Tylenol, etc).
The only slight negative I have of the Fairfield (and really it’s nothing on their part) is that it’s hard to see the hotel at night in the dark if you’re coming back from downtown Moab. Being its the desert and away from the downtown, there aren’t streetlights so it was a bit disconcerting when needing to make the sudden left hand turn into the hotel’s parking lot. For anyone who drives, all it takes is one turn hitting something to cause damage to your car.
Any hotel where the bill is $0 is always going to (hopefully) get a great review but honestly, this was one of the best hotels I’ve stayed at in a while. Simple yet lovely, comfortable and familiar. And a location that can’t be beat.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Moab
1863 N Hwy 191 | Moab, UT | 84532