Hotel Amenities and Airbnb Comfort: Best Extended Stay Hotels

best extended stay hotels

Several years ago 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 or even know exactly how long we would be gone.

On the drive down, we booked our first hotel night via Hotels.com‘s deals page. Our main concern was price and location. We paid $80 for a non-smoking King at an Extended Stay Deluxe.

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 to. 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.

Extended stay hotels give you the convenience and amenities of a hotel and the and extra space of an Airbnb. As with choosing any lodging, be sure to read the reviews but I’ve had good experiences with Candlewood Suites.

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.

What is an Extended Stay Hotel?

An extended stay hotel is the marrying of a hotel and a vacation rental. It gives you the booking convenience and a limited number of amenities that a hotel would offer, while being more like a home, and potentially more cost-effective the longer you stay.

Extended stay hotels are upgrading and expanding faster than any other hospitality sector. They are luring travelers from Airbnb by providing the best of both worlds: a comfortable, spacious, home-like accommodation with hotel convenience, amenities and safety.

Amenities

 Extended Stay HotelHotelAirbnb
Housekeeping✅ (extra fee)
Pool
Fitness Center Access
Room Service
Concierge
Hassle-free Booking
Safety/Security
Wifi
TV
Free Laundry
Gathering/Sitting Area
"Local" Experience

Why Choose an Extended Stay Hotel?

As detailed above, it ticks all the boxes for hotel amenities as well as living space. Another factor is the price. While it’s not designed to be that much cheaper than the regular hotel rate, there are discounts for staying longer than 7 days.

They also attract a lot of Airbnb weary travelers, who have had bad experiences with owners canceling their reservations last minute, leaving them in the lurch for where to stay. Extended stay hotels have the same reservation security that a hotel does, making the process much more streamlined.

Speaking of vacation rental homes, the majority of them have the landlord living in the house as well, whether renting out a room, the basement or an over-the-garage type suite. A great thing about extended stay hotels is that your area is yours. Many of them are like self-contained apartments with hotel-style offerings.

This is convenient for people who are traveling for:

  • an extended holiday
  • business
  • medical treatments

It’s also great for people:

  • who live a flexible, travel-focused lifestyle
  • have food allergies, or eat a strict diet
  • are traveling with a large family or group

One really great time to choose an extended stay hotel is on a Disney vacation with a larger group. When we traveled to Orlando with family, renting an extended stay hotel rather than staying on-site saved us thousands of dollars, gave us a comfortable home to come back to, allowed us to cook our own meals, while still providing a pool and hotel amenities. We also had a shuttle to and from the parks included in our price.

Extended Stay Hotel Brands

The most popular extended stay hotels are:

  • InTown Suites
  • Extended Stay America
  • Homestead Suites
  • Candlewood Suites
  • TownePlace Suites
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Homewood Suites
  • Residence Inn
  • Quality Inn
  • Element by Weston
  • Hawthorn Extended Stay
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton

Biz-Stay.com has a nice comparison of extended stay hotels that’s worth checking out if you’re considering one of these.

How Much Does Extended Stay Cost?

As noted above, the average price isn’t meant to be much cheaper than a regular hotel, and there is a wide variance in price, depending on condition. In looking through many listings, I found four levels, and a price range for each.

  • Economy: $50-$100 per night
  • Midpriced: $75-$150 per night
  • Midpriced Plus: $130+ per night
  • Upscale: $254+ per night

While there aren’t any prices for extending your stay beyond 7 days, many extended stay hotels offer weekly and monthly rates, so if you plan to stay longer, inquire about their long-term rates.

Are Extended Stay Hotels Pet Friendly?

As with all hotels, it’s best to call ahead and check (or check the website, it’s usually listed). All of the hotels I checked out were pet-friendly, usually up to 2 pets, and with a pet fee. This ranged from $25 per night to a $75 flat fee. Some hotels refunded this if there was no pet damage upon checkout.

I’ve found that extended stay hotels are more likely to be pet friendly, as they know that people are seeking to stay with them on a longer-term basis.

Disadvantages of Using Extended Stay Hotels

As I mentioned in my first story, the first one we came across had the warning signs, and I ignored them. While they are working to upgrade, there are still a lot of seedy-type extended stay hotels that fit the stereotype I’m sure you originally pictured. You really need to do your homework with them, check reviews and pictures. If they don’t have an online presence, steer clear. Typically with extended stay, you get what you pay for. If you see one advertising rates of $90 per week, it’s not the place you want to be.

Another downside is that they’re sometimes more expensive than their Airbnb counterpart. Though that has been steadily changing, with extended stay hotels coming down in price, and Airbnb’s going up, you do have to have the budget to stay.

Best Extended Stay Hotel

I really like Candlewood Suites. While there are a few great brands that are consistently ranked in the top ten across the country, like Quality Inn and Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites came away as the best quality, at the best price. Travelocity has a great tool to find the highest-rated, and best-reviewed extended stay hotels. You can search your destination, compare rates and amenities, and read user reviews.

Another option besides these long-term hotels can be a vacation rental which you’ll find on sites like Airbnb.com and VRBO.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”?

Best Extended Stay Hotels

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About Philip Taylor, CPA

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, blogger, podcaster, husband, and father of three. PT is also the founder and CEO of the personal finance industry conference and trade show, FinCon.

He created Part-Time Money® back in 2007 to share his advice on money, hold himself accountable (while paying off over $75k in debt), and to meet others passionate about moving toward financial independence.

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  1. The mattress runners would tell you to book at alternating hotels and move each day to rack up the stays count. For example, I know people that spend a weekend in Los Angeles and book each night at a different hotel each night that the company owns. If you can achieve say 50 stays in one year, you can receive free upgrades and extra perks with future stays.

    Have you considered Starwood properties? They have an AmEx that you can use points to stay, or cash & points. Depending on your location, you can find hotel stays as cheap as $30.

    • Philip Taylor says

      @SunWKim If it’s just me then I might consider it. But I’m lugging around pack n plays and other baby accessories. We’re staying put. Good tip though.