View Full Version : Motels

Chuck Gregg
02-17-2009, 7:27 AM
After another bad experience with motels I got to thinking, woodworkers are a pretty fussy group ;) So what is your favorite motel to stay in while traveling?

Ted Calver
02-17-2009, 8:06 AM
Just had a very enjoyable stay at a Hampton Inn in Charlottesville, va. I will give them my travel business. Internet reviews were very helpful.

Pat Germain
02-17-2009, 8:51 AM
Funny, Ted. I was just going to post "Hampton Inn". It's a bit more pricey than many motels. But the cost is worth it to have a clean room, decent service and some free food in the morning.

Down a couple notches would be La Quinta.

Near the bottom would be Days Inn. I stayed in one that was literally crawling with ants. The local management didn't care. I even wrote Days Inn corporate about it and recieved no reply.

Ramada can be inconsistent. I've stayed in some very nice Ramada properties. The wost place I've ever stayed, and I've been to four continents, was a Ramada in Earl, New Jersey. :eek:

Holiday Inn was going downhill for awhile. But I think they've showed much improvement of late.

Best Western is another crapshoot; some nice, some scarey.

Frank Hagan
02-17-2009, 2:11 PM
I'm a Marriott guy, so I usually opt for either a Courtyard Inn, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn or Springhill Suites. I've found that sometimes regular Marriott may have a sale that is less than the Courtyard or even Fairfield, and I love being able to stay in a hotel rather than motel for about the same price. Every now and then there's a Residence Inn that is cheaper. It is nice having a kitchenette available.

The Marriott chain is usually consistent across properties, as are the Hyatt properties. I've had less luck with the Choice Hotels group (Clarion Inn, Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, and Sleep Inn), but they are my third choice.

Brad Wood
02-17-2009, 2:34 PM
La Quinta allows dogs, so they are always a notch up on my list (this could be a drawback for some people though)

roman fedyk
02-17-2009, 2:37 PM
Holiday Inn Express, they have come a long way.....Also Comfort Suites usually are decent and reasonable in price. (I stay approximately 120 nights a year in hotels...........No wonder I can't finish any of my projects.)

Dusty Fuller
02-17-2009, 2:56 PM
My wife and I favor Hampton Inn (she likes the bedding and pillows, I like the breakfast), but we've also had good luck with Holiday Inn Express.


Gene Howe
02-17-2009, 3:03 PM
La Quinta for me. Stayed in one on Rt. 15, just north of San Diego.
Large, clean rooms and great breakfast.:)

Chris Padilla
02-17-2009, 3:08 PM
Super 8 with my money; The Westin using our Starpoints. :D

Actually, Holiday Inn Express is pretty nice...great internet service.

Steve Schlumpf
02-17-2009, 3:14 PM
Another vote for the Hampton Inn. My wife and I don't travel often but when we do we try to stay at the Hampton Inn. Always have had great service, clean rooms and the breakfast sure saves time.

Matt Meiser
02-17-2009, 3:26 PM
Work: Generally either a Courtyard or Hampton because they are pretty consistent in quality. Holiday Inn (regular or express) are very inconsistent in quality in my experience but there are a couple that I stay at where some of my customers are that I know are good. Hilton Garden Inn seems to be in the same class as Courtyard or Hampton but I don't have as much experience with them.

Personal: Not that often since a lot of our vacations are camping. Generally a combination of location, price, and reviews. For example we stayed at the Hyatt on the Chicago River last year at Easter because it had decent reviews, was right in the center of downtown, and we got it for something like $100/night. When we can we use Marriott Rewards points earned from my work travel.

Jim Becker
02-17-2009, 4:25 PM
I pretty much stick to properties that come under my mistress Marri Ott's purview...mostly Courtyard and Fairfield Inn.

Chuck Gregg
02-17-2009, 6:57 PM
Wow great information, looks like I'll be trying a Hampton Inn on the way home. Thanks!

Chris Kennedy
02-17-2009, 8:13 PM
We've had pretty good luck with Marriott Courtyards.

My parents did a massive cross country trip (SF, through the southwest and south, up the Eastern seaboard, across the north through the Midwest into Chicago, and then a straight shot back to the West Coast and down to SF) and swore by Red Roof Inns. One of the major aspects was that they needed a refrigerator for my mother's medication, and every Red Roof either had one in every room, or they asked at the front desk and one was delivered to the room at no charge.



Tom Majewski
02-17-2009, 9:15 PM
For work I've stayed at Hampton Inns from Maine to Georgia. Pleasantly consistant. Out of a hundred or so, I can only think of 2 that were a little "sub-standard" I can't count how many days I've stayed there, but I earned 13 free days this year. Saving them for my cross-country vacation this summer.

I'm a simple cheap guy. Sometimes clients would get me a room 5 star hotel in mid-city. I didn't like them because a bottle of water was $6, internet was $20/night, a sandwich and one beer at the hotel bar was $30. Plus, when you drive a TV production truck, there was absolutly nowhere to park the beast.

The good part is I just quit that job and don't have to travel anymore.

Mike Henderson
02-17-2009, 10:38 PM
Tom's comment about a five star hotel reminds me of the joke:

"What's the difference between a four star hotel and a five star hotel?"

Answer: "At the four star hotel, they smile at you."


Ron Dunn
02-18-2009, 1:56 AM
No matter where you go try using Tripadvisor (www.tripadvisor.com) to read hotel reviews in that area. You won't always agree with the review, but I've had consistently good results using Tripadvisor.

Bob Rufener
02-18-2009, 9:10 AM
We usually wind up at a Super 8. Most of our experiences have been quite positive. I have found that, unless you go to more high end hotels or motels, the condition and cleanliness of the rooms is different based on the management.

Wherever we go, it sure is nice that many of them offer a fairly decent breakfast selection. It sure saves time and money in the morning.

John Shuk
02-18-2009, 9:42 AM
Work: Generally either a Courtyard or Hampton because they are pretty consistent in quality. Holiday Inn (regular or express) are very inconsistent in quality in my experience but there are a couple that I stay at where some of my customers are that I know are good. Hilton Garden Inn seems to be in the same class as Courtyard or Hampton but I don't have as much experience with them.

I was speaking to a GM of a Holiday Inn property and he tells me that in the next few months there will be big changes at Holiday Inns around the country.
If individual owners do not meet new standards they will not be keeping the franchise. There will be new signage which should indicate the updates to the property have been made.

Matt Meiser
02-18-2009, 10:09 AM
That's good to know John. I've stayed at a Holiday Inn in Frisco, TX several times in the past year that is outstanding (especially at our customer's rate!) but I always remember the one in Midland, MI that I stayed at 2 years ago that hadn't been remodeled since the Brady Bunch visited. I also have stayed at two Express locations in the greater Columbus, OH area. One is on par with Courtyard/Hampton, the other was a complete dump. Whenever I get the surveys from a HI stay, I send them back and tell them exactly that, so it sounds like I'm not the only one and they are starting to listen.

Brent Leonard
02-18-2009, 12:13 PM
Doubletree is my room of choice when travelling for work.

I am a Hilton Diamond VIP card holder. Fortunate for us, we use my benefits at the Hilton chains for personal travel too.

Gaylord resorts is also a favorite of ours when we are somewhere they have one.

Bob Childress
02-18-2009, 1:22 PM
+1 for any Marriott property. Fairfield, Courtyard, Residence Inn. Most always up to standard.

Chris Krysinski
02-18-2009, 2:16 PM
Hampton Inns are pretty cozy and they offer "free wifi" although you're probably still paying for it. Marriott is a 2nd favorite but no free wifi. Westin has the best breakfast buffet by far, you won't find a better brunch; but again wifi not standard. All three were comfortable and clean during my experiences.

Ken Garlock
02-18-2009, 2:25 PM
La Quinta allows dogs, so they are always a notch up on my list (this could be a drawback for some people though)

Another vote for La Quinta. We stayed at two different ones in Oregon, and the service was outstanding. The people at the desk could not do enough for you.:cool: Some of the guests had dogs, but they were very well behaved(the dogs that is.)

Rod Goodin
02-18-2009, 3:06 PM
I vote for Hilton, normally choose Embassy Suites can not beat the breakfast and not to mention the drinks at night.

Jim Becker
02-18-2009, 9:43 PM
Ken, I recently stayed at a La Quinta in the Phoenix area and it was quite nice. My only complaint was that there was no lobby computer to print boarding passes...I had to have the desk attendant do that for me which meant waiting in line.

Matt Meiser
02-18-2009, 10:39 PM
no lobby computer to print boarding passes

Here in Detroit with Northworst, we can do some kind of new e-boarding pass thing where you just show them the information on your phone. Not sure how it works since they can't highlight and scribble on your screen, nor can you carry it with you through the metal detector to show that person (and you know how upset that person gets if you don't have your boarding pass ready!) Hopefully this will become universal, solving the hotel printer problem.

Brian Elfert
02-19-2009, 1:44 PM
I generally stay at one of the cheap places like Motel 6 even though they mostly suck. I generally am too cheap to pay more for a hotel.

The last trip I went on I used Priceline to bid on hotels and was able to get a Holiday Inn Express one night for $41 plus tax. The room was pristine except for dust on the bathroom vent.

If it is in your budget I would definitely stay at a Holiday Inn Express.

Michael Weber
02-19-2009, 8:00 PM
Any family run funky 50's style when my wife and I travel together. Just slightly adventurous, you have to step outside your comfort zone just a little. It makes for special memories, mostly good. The owners dog that fetched thrown rocks from underwater. Not sure how he found them underwater but he did. Sitting right beside the St. Lawrence River in Quebec, in metal lawn chairs behind our room which was tilting slightly to port (or maybe it was starboard). Staying a short walk from Padington Station in London, or across the street from the train station in Amesterdam.
Sorry, the topic made me nostalgic.

Frank Hagan
02-26-2009, 4:55 PM
Interesting list of TripAdvisor's top ten dirtiest hotels in America ... and three are Days Inn:


Cliff Rohrabacher
02-27-2009, 8:57 AM
The W the Hilton and the Hyatt

Rod Sheridan
02-27-2009, 9:09 AM
Marriot or Delta...........Rod.

Larry Edgerton
02-28-2009, 7:47 AM
I hate chains, and I seldom travel on the expressways anyway. I have never had a memorable experiance at a chain, they are characterless boxes plopped on the landscape with no regard to their surroundings with no intention other than to return a profit on a 10 year timetable at which point they will be sold and become the next "Curry Motel".

I look for the kind of places that you want to stay another day, and although they are hard to find, the search is half of the fun.

My most recent favorite is a motel at the intersection of 64 & 84 in Charma NM. Awesome place with a southwest character and the rooms all have a personal touch, and the owners are the nicest people you could hope to meet in your travels.

I have a favorite somewhere in Vermont or New Hampshire on a lake up in the mountians where I read books for several days, still can't find it again though I have tried for years.....

There is a place on the ocean in Nova Scotia that I wanted to move to, and the people in Nova Scotia are the best in the world as far as I can tell, but not so many chains, thank god.

Then there is a small Motel in Lincoln Montana that was so nice I thought of buying it, but then I remembered that everyone wants to stay in chains out of fear of ........

I have not found chains to be any better or any worse than owner ran affairs, but I have yet to find a chain with memorable character, and that is what I seek when I travel, memories....

Thomas Pender
02-28-2009, 10:58 AM
One of the things I like about my current job is that I do not have to travel unless I choose to. But, for years I traveled 30 or more times per year and stayed in every kind of hotel you could imagine. I would not necessarily stay in the same kind for business or on my own, but:

Business: Embassy Suites, most Hiltons, and Marriots (the one in Manhatten Beach CA is super terrific as the Long Wharf in Boston. Doubletrees vary and I hate W's. When I go to Nevada, the Casino hotels are all fine, but smokers are a bane. In DC the Marriot Wardman Park is the gold standard (next to the Mandarin Oriental, but who can afford that), but the Holiday Inn Captial Hill is really kind of nice. In New York the Hilton Mid Town is the most convenient and my favorite - walking distance to everything.

For staying on my own: Holiday Inn Express - really decent with good breakfast, as are many of the cheaper Marriots, Hampton Inns, and new Holiday Inns (I put my mother up in these). La Quinta's vary too much, but if you are in Kileen, you may have little choice. Also do not forget Bed and Breakfasts - I stay in one in Venice, Florida (Horse and Chaise) that is super that I backed into because I could not stay in the hotel I liked. Look in the travel magazines, for example in Luray, VA is the Mimslyn Inn - a real gem.

Heck, it is an adventure, but the bigger chains do tend to comply with quality standards. Read what Consumer Reports says.

Mark Elmer
03-01-2009, 1:09 AM
Hi all,

With my work I travel a lot by car and spend many nights in motels and hotels. (Depending on the size of the city or town) I find that since I go to the same places again and again I have become a creature of habit. If you stay at the same places again and again they get to know you and you find it easier to make reservations and often you get some small upgrades as a prefered customer.

So in one place it's a Best Western that has proven to be clean and quiet and in another place it's a Holiday Inn for the same reason.

One real important thing anymore is reliable internet service.

I am also a big believer in the rewards programs that they offer. I pretty much paid for my planer that I got at the Borg with gift cards earned by staying at Best Westerns. Sadly they have less gift card options now then in the past. :(

Paul Williams 53072
03-01-2009, 1:32 AM
I feel you can't go wrong with a sheraton, hilton or marriot. However from my business travels holiday inn is about everywhere. Although I might add that many a holiday inn have become quite "dodgy".