The Best Extended Stay Hotel Options

With the travel season upon us, many of you may be staying at an extended stay hotel for a few days. I thought I'd offer up my thoughts on extended stay options.

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.

On the drive down, we booked our first hotel night via‘s deals page using an iPhone. 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. 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.

What is an Extended Stay Hotel?

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.

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 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 a 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

There were no listed deals for staying longer than 7 days.

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.

Best Extended Stay Hotel

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. 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. 

Another option besides these long-term hotels can be a vacation rental (found on Craigslist), or an “entire place” rental on a site like 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”?

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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 this website 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. He uses Personal Capital to track his wealth. All the content on this blog is original and created or edited by PT.


  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.