Motel 6, now that they have removed the carpeting and swapped over to laminate flooring. Yes, I end up carrying my own pillow. Yes, the 6 in Dumas, TX is an overpriced pit. Most of the rest of them have been pretty good. I used to prefer Super 8 and Days Inn, but 6 tends to be a better value for me now.
We recently stayed at an Aloft (Ballantyne, Charlotte, NC) and it may be my new favorite hotel brand; very nice and very pet friendly. Aloft is a Marriott brand.
We also stayed at a Red Roof (rather meh, but they take pets) and a Quality Inn & Suites (similar, tho a lot less meh). I’d have preferred other things (see last comment below) but late planning left me with few options that were dog friendly. Previous stays at Red Roof Inns have been better than just meh, tho much of the recent mehness may be due to the pandemic more than anything else.
In the past, albeit several years back, I liked Radisson and Best Western tho these choices were more about being close to something and/or part of a group.
Having said this, when able to plan far enough in advance with time for research, I try to opt for something unique, especially when dogless. My experience with small inns and B&Bs has always been very good to great.
@baqui63 Another Aloft fan. They’re a “niche hotel” brand with not your traditional roadside or highrise properties. I think they’re a European brand (Dutch?), so their “style” might be properties that are “familar” to European travelers, in terms of style and general aesthetics.
Also had good experiences with 4 Corners (Radisson, maybe?) in multiple cities in the US and Europe.
I always thought of all hotels being the same until I traveled on my own. I’ve never been to any of the hotels listed in the poll, but there was one hotel chain that I visited once and it was by far my favorite:
Back when I use to go to San Diego Comic Con, I went to the Ramada Gaslamp twice. The second time wasn’t all that good (phone didn’t work, elevator didn’t work) so I looked for another hotel and there it was: The Courtyard Marriott in Downtown San Diego. You probably won’t see another hotel like this one because it was originally not a hotel at all.
And knowing that made me feel secure. Staff was great. Food was good. Super clean building; it was kind of like a museum seeing some of the vintage images of when the building was a bank. They even turned the giant vault into a conference room:
The following year I went to the Westin which is also owned by Marriott. Also very nice, but not as good as the Courtyard Marriott. I’ve been keeping the limited membership points that I have alive just in case I have the itch to visit Marriott again.
Hyatt, because the rooms are nice, the free breakfast is good, and I can transfer my chase points to them 1:1. I normally get a room for 4 people for what equates to $50 worth of points, which is probably about what I would spend on breakfast anyways.
90% of the time I’m just looking for a bed to fall into for a few hours while I’m on my way somewhere else. Motel 6 is definitely the cheapest acceptable way to get that and they are friggin everywhere
My grandparents preferred the Ramada chain, when they were alive. But they called it Ramanda (ruh MON duh). The only other thing that they both always mispronounced was Nintendo, which they dropped the middle end of (nigh TEND doh).
It was as if the Ramada stole an N from Nintendo. (It’s likely that that sentence has never been written nor said before!)
i don’t travel so i rarely stay in hotels. as long as the room is cold, the bathroom is clean, the bed isn’t lumpy, and there’s tv, i’m good. we live in MA, and stayed in a couple little inns down in gloucester for weekend getaways a couple times, and that was very enjoyable. the rooms are very no frills and not particularly updated, but they’re very clean and charming and the view is the atlantic ocean which you can literally walk right out the back door of your room to and that can’t be beat. incredible sunrises and sunsets.
as for regular chains, i prefer something more low key like a best western. just let me easily walk from my room to my car. i don’t like a lot of rigmarole, elevators, lots of people/staff, and there is nothing more awkward/annoying than having to deal with a valet when you’re a decidedly un-fancy and not-rich person. much like when i’m shopping, i just want to be left alone unless i really need something. i don’t even like housekeeping coming while i’m there. the only thing that i didn’t like about the last best western we stayed at was the water pressure in the shower was the worst i had ever seen anywhere. it was literally like three or four individual streams of water and that was it.
I understand the Motel 6 and Super 8 approach: most of the time when on vacation you are out doing something, so the hotel (motel) is just a place to sleep and shower. No need to overpay. But those chains are so inconsistent, I just don’t chance it any more.
Marriott seems to be the most consistent. I have stayed at better individual hotels and at a cheaper rate, but as a brand, it is pretty predictable.
Mostly, whatever mid-scale hotel the company pays for.
But I’m also partial to Drury brand of hotels. They haven’t yet gotten absorbed into one of the major conglomerates so they still have some care for customers, and I feel like they’re frequently under-rated.
Maybe not as cheap as a Motel 6, but very much on par with a Fairfield or Hampton, with added bonus that many of the properties have (or at least used to, pre-covid) free weeknight “happy hour” drinks and light snack buffet that can totally work as a dinner when you’re a cheap-ass and really don’t want to leave the hotel