Lately it seems the big trendy thing to do is to stay in a boutique hotel; you know, a B&B owned by a mad hatter who’s decorated the place like the 60s is back in style – venues so kitsch that you don’t need an Instagram filter for it to look Instagram-y.
While I do love those one-of-a-kind experiences, at heart I’m still a big fan of chain hotels. Here’s why.
When you stay at a chain hotel, you know what to expect. Right down to the price of the wifi and the availability of free breakfast. While yes, having the same wallpaper and art behind the beds can be a little tiring after awhile, it by far makes up for knowing that it will be clean and they’ll have shampoo, since I always forget.
The photo above is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I like that big chain hotels are easy to find. They have signs, they’re often also signposted on public transit maps or highway signs, and they have a nicely lit sign outside welcoming you. No need to bumble around on a dark sidestreet looking for some strange house.
You give all of your business to one chain. Even better, you signup for credit cards or other points-earning programs for the same chain. You get free hotel nights and free upgrades. Please tell me what’s wrong with this?
Want to know what are the best rates in town? The larger chains are very good at pricing and almost always will have the best prices. This isn’t always true – for example, in towns without a lot of choice or competition – but in general, the chains will have reasonable rates.
Looking for a hotel with a free airport shuttle – and close, for that 5AM flight? Prefer to be steps from the train station? Chains can offer you that. They often have the most convenient, central locations – sometimes almost too convenient.
At a chain, you’ll typically be able to enjoy lots of complimentary extras that smaller hotels can’t offer. That might be a hot tub and swimming pool, or extra TV stations, or perhaps just a full set of toiletries to enjoy. They say the small things count, and depending on what you’re looking for, this could be a big benefit.
Chain hotels: love ’em or hate ’em? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Photo by arenamontanus.
Posted : Thursday, August 2nd, 2012 at 10:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.