Who stays in a budget hotel these days?…Back to Forum
Anonymous28 Aug 2009
I’m constantly reading reports on this site about new hotels openings for expensive chains like W, Ritz-Carlton and Mandarin Oriental. Do all business travellers work for companies that are able to shell out for their representatives to stay in such prestigious establishments? Personally I seem to be stuck in an Ibis most of the time, so I would like to know where I’m going wrong…28 Aug 2009
Greetings from my corner suite on the 26th floor of the superb Intercontinental San Francisco, as the sun rises over the Bay Bridge and flags across the city’s rooftops stand at half mast..
Having a good corporate travel agent and/or squirrelling out the best deals on line personally tends to ensure I can stay in a nicer property than might otherwise be the case.
Having status with a particular chain also helps; as a Platinum Royal Ambassador, the invitation only level for Priority Club hotels, I get free ‘net access, Club access, free movie, early check in and late check out, free water and an arrival amenity (in this case fruit), a guaranteed room upgrade and a central location.
Plus I get a great night’s sleep.
All this makes it sensible to “spend” a little more on the room rate to “save” on the peripherals which become increasingly expensive across a trip.
It is not always cost effective stay in what might appear to be a “cheap” property.28 Aug 2009
Vintage Krug says: “Having status with a particular chain also helps; as a Platinum Royal Ambassador, the invitation only level for Priority Club hotels, I get free ‘net access, Club access, free movie, early check in and late check out, free water and an arrival amentity (in this case fruit), a guaranteed room upgrade and a central location.”
Well if you think you have all of that for free why not work out how many nights you have stayed (and therefore how much you have spent) and then tell me just how “free” your water is.
I like to stay in good quality budget brands such as Mecure or Premier Inn and I really don’t think the “extras” you are getting make your night more comfortable then mine. Once asleep you are asleep. it doesn’t matter where you are.28 Aug 2009
Actually, just to further prove my point, this stay was entirely free using the (now finished) http://www.getafreenight.com promotion.
All I needed to do was stay two nights in any ICHG property. In my case that included one in a Holiday Inn Express *gasp* which I used as I arrived late and left early for an appointment.
When I just need a bed for the night, then a less expensive property fits the bill. But where I will be staying longer, meeting clients and actually using the facilities of the hotel, then it is worth staying in a nicer property.
Right now, there are great loyalty promotions and pricing bargains; it’s actually a great time to trade up!28 Aug 2009
I would say Who really stays in a luxury five star hotel these days?
It’s true to stay long term perhaps – but I still believe you (or your company) has spent thousands for that “free” room. If you do have the loyalty points, of course, now is the time to use them.
The budget brands have really raised the bar in recent years, there’s not much lacking – as far as i can see its the space that is the difference (and the price) between them and most high-end hotels. There are also the hybrids – limited service and apartments thrown into the mix. I don’t think it is the end for budget conscious folk. I think it is just the beginning.28 Aug 2009
Nope, not thousands.
HIEx cost was £39.50 and the other property was a Crowne Plaza at about £69 in UK currency, both of those rates were themselves corporate discount rates, I received a room upgrade, lounge access and free breakfast at the CP in question, the HIEx gave me free parking and included continental breakfast. Both stays I would have made anyway.
Both nights also counted towards my qualifying Ambassador status for next year.
So, I spent about about £120 to get a hotel room worth about $275/£180 entirely for free.
A bargain in anyone’s book.28 Aug 2009
In some cases it does depend on what you want to acheive, level of comfort, location, or whatever. There will always be those that can afford five star all the time, or a bit in between.
To say that cheap or budget is as good as top class is a bit unfair as they cater for budgets and comfort depending on what you want. There are some good deals out there. I don’t dislike Ibis as a brand of hotel, although I don’t like the attitude that you might run off without paying, which I have had even with Accor cards.
This week I stayed at the Sofitel at Heathrow T5, five star (I think) very nice, not cheap but not expensive. I could have saved money if I had stayed in the Ibis at Heathrow but, with an 0650 flight and a long day ahead the extra time in bed was well worth any additional price.
As they say needs must, I could not leave Edinburgh until mid evening and needed to be on the south coast by mid morning the next day. Used the overnight sleeper between Edinburgh and Euston, not quite the Ibis and nowhere near the Sofitel, but comfortable and served the purpose for what I needed28 Aug 2009
I think it is well worth paying the extra to travel or stay in comfort. Often, apparently expensive hotels offer so many deals and extras that by the time you’ve finished and done a proper like for like comparison, including the amount you’d spend on extras (breakfast, phone calls, champagne etc.), they can offer good value for money as well as more comfort.
One tip I have is that it is often easier to get extras than a discount – for example, it costs the hotel nothing to give you an upgrade if the room would have gone unsold, often asking nicely will get you a better room in the same category even if not a higher category room.
There are budget hotels and budget hotels. In the UK, some budget chains (City Inn, Ibis for example) have some very good properties for as little as £50 ish a night that are clean, modern and comfortable with all the bits such as free wifi and 24-7 room service as well as good staff.29 Aug 2009
I agree Travelforus.
Most regular travellers will use a combination of hotel types appropriate to their needs in a particular situation.
I have heard excellent things about City Inn and Premier Inn from colleagues, though have never stayed in one personally.
If your requirement is for a UK based, non-international chain offering acceptable, basic accommodation at the lowest possible cost with few facilities then those chains are probably ideal.
If you stay often enough in a hotel to benefit from corporate discounts, then the actual cost differential between a basic chain and a higher end property can be very marginal.
When you add in the international component, elite tiers and points then that margin narrows even further.
When you stay as much in hotels as I do, having the option of Room Service, a gym, maybe a pool and decent quality ingredients in the food becomes a significant issue and that is reflected in the Travel Policy, and therefore my choice of hotel.29 Aug 2009