With the travel season upon us, many of you may be staying at a hotel for a few days.
I thought I’d offer up my thoughts on extended stay options.
Recently, we took a last minute trip out of town for a few days. It was a trip that we didn’t get to plan for in advance. It was also a trip which we didn’t know how long would last.
Since we didn’t know how long we would be there, I figured this would be a nice hotel to extend our stay if we needed. The hotel ended up being a dump. It was old and run down. It smelled bad, and they weren’t doing a good job of keeping the carpet or other areas clean. Essentially, it was a glorified college dorm.
I’m sure there are plenty of nice Extended Stay Deluxe’s available. They are after all, one of the oldest specialty hotels around. Maybe that was the problem. They need an upgrade after years of extended stays. In case you are wondering, I checked TripAdvisor after we checked out and the warning signs were there. Lesson learned: no matter how short notice, always check the reviews and be willing to pay a bit more for a decent stay.
Anyway, our next move was to a different extended stay brand hotel, the Candlewood Suites. They are an InterContinental property (i.e. Holiday Inn). This place ran us $95 per night. But was a much newer hotel. In fact, I think it was less than a year old. I love new hotels. A lot can go wrong while staying at a hotel, but if the place is new then the odds are stacked in your favor.
Extended stay type hotels aren’t necessarily designed to be be much cheaper a night than a regular hotel. But what they can give you is options in terms of food expenses. The full kitchen allows you to buy groceries and cook your own meals. Leftovers become an option too because of the full size fridge. And they also offer long-term amenities like a reclining chair and clothes washing facility.
The most popular extended stay hotels are:
- InTown Suites
- Extended Stay America
- Homestead Suites
- Candlewood Suites
- TownePlace Suites
- Staybridge Suites
- Homewood Suites
- Residence Inn
Biz-Stay.com has a nice comparison of extended stay hotels that’s worth checking out if you’re considering one of these.
Another option besides these long-term hotels can be a vacation rental (found on Craigslist), or an “entire place” rental on a site like Airbnb.com. I checked both of these options out while we were on our stay, and there wasn’t much for us to choose from.
So, to sum up my thoughts, I would say look at extended stay type hotels as a way to help you save on food costs. Don’t forget to research the review sites, and consider other options like what’s found on house/room share sites.
What do you do when you have to stay somewhere for over a week and you’re not there on “vacation”?