Limited Service Hotel Brands
I’ll be visiting a sick family member a few states away for the foreseeable future. This individual lives in a midsize metropolitan area, not one known as a vacation destination. Based on the circumstances and limited options, an aspirational stay won’t be happening here. I’m now back in the saddle with more frequent stays at some of the usual, comfortable suspects. Here are my favorite limited service hotel brands.
Holiday Inn Express
I’ll start with one I’m currently writing from. I’ve enjoyed the consistency of HIE for years, from the low maintenance check-in to the functional rooms. I’ve noticed these IHG properties, at least the ones I’ve visited, have kept up with the times through periodic renovations and new locations. Their rooms offer ample workspace, including plenty of handy power options (USB and outlets) in the desk area and bedside. Free, satisfactory coffee’s available 24/7 in my experience. And I must note the key item no other brand in this article offers – HIE’s addictive cinnamon rolls. This hot decadence more than covers for the otherwise-forgettable breakfast fare.
I’ve enjoyed Hampton Inn, another predictable-in-a-good-way option, since my childhood. Their beds are the standout feature for me in this hotel segment, reliably comfy in most all my stays. Hampton also gets high marks for a huge footprint – they’re seemingly everywhere. Are you listening, Hyatt?
Breakfast is meh. The scrambled eggs are somewhat edible, which is a high compliment compared to some others in this category. But on a recent stay, I was egregiously overbreaded. Here were the breakfast options beyond the eggs: waffles, muffins, toast, biscuits, bagels, and cereal bars. I felt full just looking at all of it and opted for none.
Lackluster nourishment notwithstanding, I’ll always consider Hampton an option. Front desk reps have been consistently welcoming and competent. That and a place to crash is all I really need in these situations.
Before kids, my wife and I didn’t focus on Choice Hotels. My, how times have changed. Choice Privileges has probably been my favorite niche travel loyalty program for the last several years. Among other angles, we’ve enjoyed the spacious accommodations of Comfort Suites. I think of these properties as nicer Comfort Inns with bigger rooms. The base room in all Comfort Suites we’ve visited have included a good-sized sitting area beyond the bedroom, often bigger than a Hyatt Place room.
Unfortunately, breakfast is pure anarchy. I feel like I’m in the middle of a Mad Max movie every time I visit. Surely, that’s not unique in this hotel category, but we’ve consistently had this experience at Comfort Inns and Suites. We’re now at the point of skipping the breakfast altogether here.
But the big rooms and certain unique locations keep us coming back. For instance, we enjoyed our distinctive stay at the Chincoteague Island location last spring.
What’s Not On This List
Many chains aren’t included in this article. I can’t possibly mention them all, but I’ll comment on a few I’ve left off for specific reasons. Marriott’s Fairfield Inns have the most uncomfortable beds, across the board – actually, I feel like that’s what we were lying on there. Wyndham’s Wingate properties are tremendously unpredictable. I previously found La Quinta’s quality adequate, but recently, there’s been a downturn at the properties I visited.
I try not to default to “no” with limited service hotel brands. I’m willing to try ones where I don’t have familiarity. I encourage you to share your favorites and why you like them below. I’m still game for an award splurge every now and then. But I’ll inevitably return to limited service hotel brands, most often during travel needs. So, dear reader, which other brands should I consider?
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.