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Hotel Chain Recommendations
Old 04-26-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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Hotel Chain Recommendations

In the near future my DW and I plan on increasing our travel in the US. I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation on a hotel chain that offers a good combination of reasonable rates, multiple locations across the country and an attractive rewards programs for free stays that you have found.
Our past preference when on the road has been to stay at Hampton Inns, but I have been disappointed with Hiltons rewards structure.
A plus would be if they also allowed a small pet.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flsail
In the near future my DW and I plan on increasing our travel in the US. I was wondering if anyone has a recommendation on a hotel chain that offers a good combination of reasonable rates, multiple locations across the country and an attractive rewards programs for free stays that you have found.
Our past preference when on the road has been to stay at Hampton Inns, but I have been disappointed with Hiltons rewards structure.
A plus would be if they also allowed a small pet.
My #1 favorite is Drury Inns & Suites Www.druryhotels.com. We stay with them very chance we have when traveling. Every Drury we've been to has been very clean, comfortable, and very friendly staff. It is an American owner & operated chain based in Missouri, and they oversee all of there hotels and staff. They are also very pet friendly! There is a free hot breakfast, AND free "5:30 Kickback Menu" at supper time....salad bar, baked potato bar, and hot food items that vary from day to day. They also have a pretty decent rewards program as well.

I also like some of the BestWestern hotels, but I read all of the reviews on TripAdvisor.com about each one I'm thinking about because there are really BW's and really bad ones as well. And their rewards program is nice too. Amenities and 'pet friendliness' varies widely.

We've just started staying occasionally at Fairfield Inn by Marriott, and they've been very nice as well.

Happy trails!!!
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:22 AM   #3
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Oh, and one more thing on Drury's, is that each guest receives coupons for 3 free adult beverages each evening your there. Soda, coffee, and popcorn are free and available until 9p.m.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:24 AM   #4
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Hampton Inn has been my go-to hotel, though I don't worry about the rewards that much.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:28 AM   #5
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I used to prefer Hampton Inn as well but have found their facilities and amenities a bit "long in the tooth" recently. I've never tried Drury but based on the recommendation above I may try that next time we travel.

I think Hilton's reward program is better than Marriott's, but those are the only two I am familiar with.

If you are looking for a larger room, we enjoy Springhill Suites and TownePlace Suites (I think both are Marriott).

Happy travels!
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:06 PM   #6
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Can add our vote for Fairfield Inn/Suites. Always have good luck with them, especially as most seem to be relatively new builds and therefore the fit/finish/upkeep is better. We find that lacking sometimes at Hamptons which can be older in certain locations.
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:56 PM   #7
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I tend to go with Hampton Inns for the consistency, as well s fairly comfortable beds. But I also always check TripAdvisor.com for each individual city since there is so much margin of error. I just recently went to Melbounre FL, and checking TripAdvisor pointed me to a Days Inn where I stayed for 3 nights at $59 per, which was about half of what Hampton would have been. it was highly rated on TA, and when I stayed there it was clean and comfortable. My only other stay in a Days Inn had been miserable, so TA is more important than the chain, IMO. But if you want the points Hampton/Hilton works pretty well.
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Old 04-26-2012, 01:23 PM   #8
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I have chosen marriott rewards for my frequent busines travels. However, it varies a lot from hotel to hotel. I tend to like Residence Inns the best because they are like little apartments complete with full kitchens (I get very tired of restaurant meals). For Merkins, Chase offers a Marriott branded credit card that gives you instant silver status, 50k points up front and oddles of points for every night you spend at a marriott.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #9
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For any dates that are locked in, I find that Priceline will get me a nice 3 or 3 1/2 star hotel for the price of a 2 star. You need to bid to get the best deals.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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This is like asking (as in a post a short while back) for one's favorite cruise line. There are many good ones, and the deciding factor is such an individual preference. But since you asked ( and I do a fair amount of recreational and business travel), I always go to a Marriott. Depending on availability and length of stay, that means either Marriott, Courtyard, Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn or Residence Inn. I've never been disappointed.
Many years ago I started with Marriott because of their Marriott rewards loyalty program, which I think is still excellent. But my primary reason for loyalty to Marriott is my satisfaction with them every stay.
Marriott also has a TownPlace Suites division, but I haven't stayed in one of those.
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Old 04-26-2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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Be aware that some (most?) of the rewards expire. I was a loyal member of Wyndam (formally Triprewards) rewards, but when I was close to getting a free night's stay, had my points expire on me.
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Old 04-26-2012, 03:04 PM   #12
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Another Hampton Inn fan here. I use HiltonHonors for free rooms, though it won't be often now that I'm not traveling on business. I always liked the predictable convenience of a decent breakfast, at least some fitness equipment, wifi and decent rooms (though some are a little older now). When I have time to research for better deals I do, but when not I usually just find a HI near my destination.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #13
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We prefer motels with ground floor rooms where you can park your car in front of your room. Fortunately, these are usually the older, low cost motels and may or may not be part of major chains. AAA's website has a good listing of this type of motel.

Breakfast is our favorite meal. Very, very few motels have free breakfasts that are up to our standards, although we check every morning. We usually eat breakfast elsewhere.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:59 PM   #14
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I use Marriott which I have been happy with. I used Marriott when I traveled on business and also belonged to a beach club that was a Marriott property. I just had so many points that I stuck with them. I have their credit card now as well. It is free the first year but they charge for subsequent years, however, I have called customer relations and they have waived the card fees so far.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:06 PM   #15
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I usually stay at Motel 6. There are 1100+ of them, usually about the cheapest in any area, and most allow a small dog. As you would you expect from the price, not a lot of amenities.

They do not have a rewards program that I know of, however.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:38 AM   #16
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Priority Club (Holiday Inn chain) has one of the best hotel rewards program in the industry, IMO. Points never expire and there are lots of bonus, promotions, etc to help you earn free nights faster. Redemption is occassionally at very low points, free upgrades for their loyal customers, etc. We have redeemed a lot of free nights. I love their Staybridge Suites (free BF, free weekday evening reception and full kitchen). Holiday Inn express and their other brands are good and clean too.Marriott has decent brands too and their rewards program is not bad (esp their quarterly promotions where you earn a free night after 2 stays). Same with Hilton Honors.
Wyndham Rewards (Days Inn, Travelodge, Super 8, etc) has the cheapest room rates for decent clean rooms with BF (typically) but it takes long to get free nights and their points expire.
This is based on the 250+ nights we stayed in hotels in the past 2 years!
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:59 AM   #17
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I also use Marriott. The rates are not the cheapest but I have never been disappointed with their services.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:25 AM   #18
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Hampton Inn here as well. Seeing how many here use them confirms our choice as we picked them from random. We have been quite happy with their consistency.

We talked to one manager and she said the older hotels have to be revamped by the end of the year.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:32 AM   #19
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I've been happy with my default choice of Hampton Inns (using the HHonors reward program) for years, and have used many free nights with the program.

Although nearly all Hamptons are decent, there is definitely a spectrum, with some being terrific and some being just OK. I usually check the "amenities" entry on the hotel's listing to see if there is a microwave and refrigerator in the room. If so, it's probably at the upper end of the Hampton spectrum.
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Old 04-27-2012, 11:06 AM   #20
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As Goonie mentioned, tripadvisor.com is a good source because most chains have varying quality from city to city. We tend to end up in these fairly often as they have good value:
Best Western - have a rewards card
Holiday Inn Express - have a rewards card
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