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Old 08-05-2008, 08:38 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
Hey, FD - has winter already started up there? Cabin fever? Take a weekend ice fishing, it'll do you good .
Isn't it still cheese making season?

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Old 08-05-2008, 08:40 AM   #22
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When I think of "hotel" I think of a place that also has a restaurant, room service, someone to carry your bags to your room, a ballroom or a place you could have a wedding reception. Usually found within a city, usually a lot more expensive.

(Okay, that'll teach me to take my sweet time composing a reply while the thread goes up and down and around me!)

Let me just say that children are VERY contagious to parents and money....

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Old 08-05-2008, 09:16 AM   #23
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Last year I spent 120 nights away on businees and/or vacation. I always considered that to be a hotel it had to have a lobby- Motel is by defintion a Motor Hotel- coined to describe the older motels where you could bypass the lobby and park next to your room.

The distinction has been blurred over the years, with the introduction of limited service hotels- Hampton, HI Express, Hilton Garden, Marriott Coutyard,etc. These are the ones I usually stay on business- I'm not a big breakfast guy, and can roll my own bags up to my room. Usually only there one or two nights, don't usually meet with clients at the hotel anyway. If I do, I'll get a meeting room at a Courtyard or full service hotel. Like a lot of others here, I prefer a property with a lobby- it does limit access somewhat- the "by the hour trade" usually is doing business somewhere with outside entrances.

I haven't paid for many vacation hotels for quite some time- I am working through hundreds of thousands of frequent traveler points, but I have noticed that the Choice Hotels- Quality Inn, Clarion, EconoLodge have come a long way in the last few years. The Best Westerns are too inconsistent from property to property for me.

Motel 6's are fine for a quick nights sleep- I used them when we moved- they seem to be much better in smaller towns, but I avoid them in larger cities because of the issues Sarah mentioned.

...and I forgot to have kids.
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:14 AM   #24
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I just finished a two week trip through Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. I stayed in motels the entire way. If anything, I would echo the OP about Comfort Inns -- best for the price in a lot of smaller towns. I stayed at one indepently owned motel based on recommendations and it turned out to be clean without any redeeming values -- but then all the motels in that small town were of the same quality.

For chains, one would have to look at the mid-priced motels in the chain for comfort and value.

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Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
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Old 08-05-2008, 10:19 AM   #25
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Ten years ago we loved LaQuintas for trip to the south, then they started going downhill, now they seem to have started going back up. We usually find Hampton Inns along our routes now.
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Old 08-05-2008, 01:06 PM   #26
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Most of our trips are for mini vacations so I try to find unique properties . We stayed at a few boutique hotels especially the Kimpton ones that we really like and in Key West or St. Augustine it's always a B&B.
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:39 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
Ten years ago we loved LaQuintas for trip to the south, then they started going downhill, now they seem to have started going back up. We usually find Hampton Inns along our routes now.
The 'affordable' chains seem to cycle through phases something like this:
1. New build, or acquire and remodel to chain specs.
2. Coast for 10-15 years or so, steadily declining
3. Major remodel
4. Go to phase 2.

Properties in the first 5 to 7 years of phase 2 are usually pretty good. Seems like if we catch a property that is in the last half of phase 2 we might look for a different chain that is currently close to the beginning of phase 2.
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Old 09-26-2008, 11:53 AM   #28
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I've got a ton of Marriott points saved up, so we generally stay at their lower-rung places when we travel. I've stayed in a lot of Fairfield Inns (the cheapest of the Marriot line--a motel) and have never been disappointed--clean rooms, always hot coffee available in the lobby, and a very modest but clean breakfast areas (make your own waffles, there are hardboiled eggs, cereal, etc).

If I'm paying, Motel 6 is about the cheapest place you can find a dependably clean and serviceable room. Yes, stay out of the big cities.

If we're taking the pooch, IIRC Red Roof Inn has the most accommodating dog policies. If you are allergic to dogs, that's probably important info, too.

If you are on a tight budget and willing to roll the dice, the Highway Exit Guides and similar publications available at rest stops, cheap restaurants, and convenience stores along the major highways offer great deals. Lots of coupons for budget lodging, all arranged by exit number.

When I was young my dad used the AAA guides to choose hotels during our trips. I don't know if they are a reliable source of info regarding the cleanliness/desirability of non-chain motels.
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:44 PM   #29
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I went to one hotel; After I killed my 17th spider we left. There were big ones, small ones. Some wolf spiders, some I didn't recognize.
Um, this is one that we need to point out to T-Al, I mean, I know he's trying to spend less time on the internet, but that is just hilarious, Marquette.
You mean 'cause I'd like a place that comes with free in-room entertainment?
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:08 PM   #30
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I like motels as i dont have to walk so far carrying all the luggage.On a recent 5wk trip i got to like the Super 8 chain as they were consistant in quality and i got to hate Best Western for really bad sevice.On the whole trip i never saw one of these infamous bed bugs.
"Second star to the right and straight on till morning"
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:43 PM   #31
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Since retirement, we usually drive to someplace warmer in late winter (That's March, in Minnesota), using motels on the way out and back. Lately we've been using Choice Hotels mostly because of widespread properties, generous points, and periodic 2'fers (stay twice, get one free) or currently 3'fers. We use Tripadvisor to weed out the losers, and vary where we stay by up to 50 miles, depending on what sounds good.
We use an internet home/condo rental service (see Cyberrentals) to find a place at our chosen destination, usually much cheaper than staying in hotel/motels.
Last winter we stayed out by T'Al in Cotati, CA in a very nice 2br house with super landscaping, quail, turkeys, etc. Did the barrel tasting tour in the Sonoma valley, visited beaches, and enjoyed spring (temporarily), all for about $100/day.
The winter before, we went to Minn Twins spring training in Ft. Myers with another couple, and rented a new 3 br condo much cheaper than staying in motels at that time of year.

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