One of the most important parts of a good vacation is where you stay. Your accommodations can make or break the vacation. It’s the difference in one of the best vacations you have ever been on and one of the worst vacations you have ever been on. There are people out there that say “I don’t care where we stay, as long as there is a bed” but trust me, it matters.
When Robby and I travel, we often stay somewhere unique to the location that is highly recommended by the local Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). It’s a great way to really get a feel for the personality of the city. If you are on your own though, it is always best to stick with a hotel brand you know. When going to a new city that you have never been to before, you want to make sure you are staying somewhere nice and somewhere you trust. The problem with that is you don’t know whether the hotel is nice and trustworthy unless you or someone you know has stayed there, so what do you do? You tend to go for the higher end hotels because these five star hotels often have high ratings. The problem with that is these hotels can get pretty expensive, especially if you are in a bigger city like Atlanta or New York City.
I get asked quite often what my number one travel tip is and my answer: always stick with a hotel brand you trust. Personally, I am a huge fan of chain hotels because I always know what I am getting. They also tend to be more budget friendly. When Robby and I are traveling on our own, outside of On the Map and with no CVB involvement, we always choose between 3 different hotel brands that we have come to love and trust throughout our travels.
You can find a Marriott hotel anywhere you go. They are responsible for hotels such as Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn, Courtyard, Residence Inn, and many others, including the brand’s name itself, Marriott. They even have resorts that are outstanding. Marriott is great because no matter which of their hotels you stay at, you still get the same great service. When Robby and I took a cross-country trip all the way from our home in North Carolina to Los Angeles, we stayed in a Marriott hotel at every stop. We stayed at everything from Fairfield Inn to Springhill Suites to a huge Marriott high rise in L.A. and ski resort in Vail. They were all wonderful.
2. Hampton Inn & Suites
The Hampton Inn & Suites, which is actually under the Hilton Worldwide brand, is one of our favorites because they pride themselves in being the only hotel that changes the comforter after every guest. Whether or not comforters get changed between guests has been a big topic in the hotel industry for a long time. No hotel is going to admit that they don’t but there are hotels that have been caught not changing them in the past. Just knowing for sure that Hampton Inns do this makes you sleep so much better and feel a lot cleaner. You can also find a Hampton Inn almost anywhere on your journey.
Speaking of Hilton, it’s not just Hampton Inn’s that are nice. Hilton is known for being an upscale brand and Hilton hotels themselves are often in the big cities but they have hotels within their brand you probably see all the time that offer the same friendly service and many of the same amenities as the bigger Hiltons. These include hotels such as the DoubleTree and Hilton Garden Inn among others.