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Old 07-21-2014, 08:36 AM   #21
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We stay at mid and lower prced chains but we have found the lower priced chains to be fine. On our bike trips, we have good experience at what I will refer to the 'Indian' hotels since they all seem to be managed by people from India. These are the old hotels that were once in the center of town until the highway was built. The rooms are typically clean but might still have old fixtures or some paint required. (Some of the TVs might be the first ones placed in the room The people at the desk are typically very friendly and helpful. It is likely however, our experiences make us more flexible when it comes to accommodations.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:00 AM   #22
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We actually found an awesome Super 8 (well, as awesome as Super 8's get) in NJ just west of Manhattan that was under 10 minutes bus ride into Midtown Manhattan. For under $100/nt for a clean room with 2 queen beds, breakfast, and wifi, I can't complain. It was surprisingly clean and well appointed (nicer in many regards than the Four Points by Sheraton we stayed at in the previous night). A/C and fridge worked perfectly (unlike the 4 Points).
We discovered this Super 8 years ago and recommend it often. It is our favorite place to stay in the city. The bus picks you up in front of the hotel. If you are in the city for a late show or dinner you may have to splurge on a taxi back but for what you save in hotel and breakfast prices it is well worth it.

Typically we use hotwire to get our hotels so we usually do chains.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:46 AM   #23
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FUEGO, what is the name of the NJ hotel with the 10 minute ride to Manhattan? Thanks.


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Super 8 North Bergen. Ask for a room in the "renovated" section. It's like a mile from the Lincoln Tunnel.

We actually drove into NYC and parked in Midtown all day on our first day because we had scheduled lunch with DW's coworkers and wanted to visit their trading floor before 1 pm market close (July 3). $9 total for the tunnel toll both ways, and $21 for parking using bestparking.com. For a family of 5, it's the same price as transit.

The Super 8 also has a shuttle that drops off at the Port authority bus terminal (near Times Square). $3. NJ Transit for the same trip is $3.20, and buses run every few minutes on NJ transit (stop is 1 block away from hotel, 2 blocks away on return from NYC). Shuttle drops at the hotel door, but charged for kids so we took the bus. Those NJ transit buses are nice (like intercity buses).

I used a $50 off $200 coupon on Expedia. Otherwise the price would have been a tad over $100/nt incl. tax for 2 queen beds. IIRC, the 1 queen bed rooms are $10 cheaper per night. The non-renovated rooms didn't look quite as nice, but it seemed well maintained overall. And free parking in a lot.
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Old 07-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #24
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We discovered this Super 8 years ago and recommend it often. It is our favorite place to stay in the city. The bus picks you up in front of the hotel. If you are in the city for a late show or dinner you may have to splurge on a taxi back but for what you save in hotel and breakfast prices it is well worth it.

Typically we use hotwire to get our hotels so we usually do chains.
For the price, and being so close to NYC, I'd definitely recommend it to anyone. It was as clean as any chain hotel I've been in. They had a flooding problem, but it was due to the hurricane Arthur that passed through.

The shuttle runs to midnight I think. And NJ transit buses run back to the hotel until midnight (or 11:53 or something). After midnight, NJ transit runs within 4-5 blocks of the hotel. We got to the Port authority bus terminal right at midnight after spending the evening of July 4 watching fireworks over the harbor and lollygagging back to the bus station. We missed the last bus that drops off near the hotel, but found a bus that did drop us off 4-5 blocks away, and the driver even stopped and told us that was as close as he could get, and told us directions back to our destination. Not what you'd expect from surly NYC/NJ'rs!
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Old 07-21-2014, 12:20 PM   #25
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We usually stay in dives or low cost chains. However, on a recent road trip DH and I spent a night in a Hampton Inn. It was great...could get used to this, but our budget is more toward lower cost places.


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Old 07-21-2014, 12:35 PM   #26
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Our overnight travel has been 90% IL to FL. We simply stop at the state's welcome center, and pick up the "green" and ""red" travel coupon books so rarely pay more than $50/night.
Since we're only looking for a place to lay our bodies for the night, clean is the criterion. DW always asks to see the room, so the desk usually picks the room we're least likely to reject.
Vacationing would be a different story.

For a few years, I'd check the online sites for low prices, but always found the "green book" lower.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:39 PM   #27
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I remember a trip to the Florida Keys maybe 15 ago, with a little book in hand that I requested from some tourism board down there, called Superior Small Lodging Guide to Florida. What a great resource! It was the first time I'd ever really looked at sourcing cool (and quite inexpensive, for the time) and funky smaller hotels.

We are dive folks, though when I have points at somewhere or another, we'll happily stay in that version. We stayed at a Days Inn in Bozeman on our cross country trip, and that one night's stay was our sole hotel stay in 4 1/2 weeks. Camped the rest of the time, plus a couple of nights sharing a living room floor in Colorado.

In less, ahem, touristed parts of the world, you have to be prepared for hotels to look anything like a regular hotel room. We always send in a couple of firm negotiators to take a look at the rooms, check out the showers, and talk price with the proprietors. Inevitably, we have been pretty lucky, or maybe just so tired we overlooked the sketchier elements.

I think that chain hotels took away a lot of the charm of road trips in the USA. I know that we have a lot better recollection of our nights at little state and county campgrounds and parks than if we'd spent every night in anonymous and identical hotel rooms. Instead, we can remember the park with the Bald Eagle nests, or the one with the Mennonite family next door, or the hot springs just a short walk away from our tents.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:04 PM   #28
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For me, not only is it chains, but specific chains.

My favorite by far is Hampton Inn. Nice breakfast, decent clean rooms, and the price is good. If I can't find that where I want to be, then Holiday Inn Express is next on the list.

In both cases, I will check Tripadvisor.com before booking for any bad stories. In both cases, I will do a bed bug check before even bringing luggage into the room, and even if I see nothing, I will not put the luggage on the beds, and all items within are sealed in large ziplock bags. When I get home, all clothes, whether worn or not, are washed and HOT DRIED. Outside of luggage is wiped with an alcohol-based cleaner OR dried with a hair drier or both.

Reason -- daughter brought bed bugs home from a high school track and field overnight trip two springs ago. Had to pay $1900+ to have the whole house heated to make sure they were all gone. Did the trick, but I don't want to go through that again.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:28 PM   #29
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If we're on the road and only want to get where we're going the chain hotels are plentiful and adequate. No specific brand, I just check to sure it has clean decent beds, hot water, coffee and ice machines.

When we travel for pleasure we rarely stay in chain hotels. While that does occasionally lead to some unexpected surprises, we have mostly great experiences and wonderful memories.
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Old 07-21-2014, 03:58 PM   #30
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We don't like surprises, so we've pretty much standardized on Marriott Courtyard when we're on the road. If ones not available, Hampton or Holiday Inn Express are OK.

Decent prices and a pretty consistent level of cleanliness and showers with decent water pressure.

My one great pet peeve is noisy A/C. Especially those room units that cycle on and off all night long.
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:17 PM   #31
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Fifty years ago Holiday Inn ran an add "Never a surprise at Holiday Inn' We bought in and have use HI, for the most part since. Now days we use HI Express, and true to form we have never been surprised. Well a couple of times. Twice service better than expected and once in Keystone S.D. worse but still OK.

We have had a couple of noise A/C's but for the most part clean rooms and good beds!
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:18 PM   #32
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I prefer boutique hotels or funky B&B's but sometimes a chain hotel will do . We have had great stays at boutique hotels that we got on Hotwire for great prices . Plus there nothing better than a funky B&B in Key West .
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:21 PM   #33
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dumb question, but what are Dives ?
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:27 PM   #34
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dumb question, but what are Dives ?
The kind of place where the passenger in your car takes one look and says "keep driving"
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:29 PM   #35
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dumb question, but what are Dives ?

That's not dumb. A dive is a low-class place where you just want to dive into something that resembles a bed (it can also refer to a bar). Another term is "flop house". That's where you go if you mess up ER plans.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:20 PM   #36
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There's also this Dive:

http://youtu.be/AulfHyY60rY
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:11 PM   #37
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On our frequent road trips we prefer holiday inn express bit if the room is over 100/night we'll shop around to comparable chains such as Hampton Inn.

At our destination, we like either a VRBO condo/house, B&B or similar place with character, if possible and in budget. If not, then an Embassy Suites level chain.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:27 PM   #38
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I prefer chains as I usually am traveling with either 2 or 4 gkids. A certain level of cleanliness, wifi, a pool and free breakfasts are must haves for us.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:29 PM   #39
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As I usually travel with either 2 or 4 gkids the following are must haves: cleanliness, wifi, a pool and free breakfast so I prefer chains.
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Old 07-21-2014, 06:37 PM   #40
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Our overnight travel has been 90% IL to FL. We simply stop at the state's welcome center, and pick up the "green" and ""red" travel coupon books so rarely pay more than $50/night.
Since we're only looking for a place to lay our bodies for the night, clean is the criterion. DW always asks to see the room, so the desk usually picks the room we're least likely to reject.
Vacationing would be a different story.

For a few years, I'd check the online sites for low prices, but always found the "green book" lower.
Thats us! Never know where we will be when we get tired of driving. We like to see the price before walking in, so the coupon book is essential.


If we get way far away from the interstate, then we will do mom and pop outfits because the chains tend to be more than 100 often. But the coupons usually are 59 to 79, depending a lot on location.
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