Fairfield Inn Hailey
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

7 Reasons Why Mid-Range Hotels Are The Best Value

Get the most in lodging for your money.

Many options are available when choosing a place to stay while traveling, which range from bare-bones basic to the ultimate in luxury. Each lodging option has trade-offs, though; and selecting one which fits your criteria can be daunting and confusing. Although not perfect, consider 7 reasons why mid-range hotels are the best value.

7 Reasons Why Mid-Range Hotels Are The Best Value

Fairfield Inn Hailey
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

Examples of mid-range hotel brands include but are not limited to:

  • Hampton Inn & Suites
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites
  • Hyatt Place
  • Comfort Inn
  • La Quinta

The reasons why hotel properties of the aforementioned brands are the best value include:

Fairfield Inn Hailey
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.
  1. Breakfast, which usually includes one or two hot items, and an assortment of juices, fruit, pastries, breads, yogurt, tea, coffee, toppings, condiments, and other items.
  2. Free items in travel sizes, which usually includes toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, comb, and other items. Simply ask for what you need at the front desk. Why pay usurious prices for toiletries in travel-sized containers?
  3. Amenities. In addition to soap, shampoo, conditioner, tissues, and other amenities, an increasing number of mid-range hotel properties currently include microwave ovens and miniature refrigerators in rooms, which can potentially decrease the cost of dining. Access to the Internet via Wi-Fi is included as well; and speeds range from respectable to excellent.
  4. Comfort. Beds and other furnishings in rooms have steadily improved over the years. Climate control systems have arguably improved as well. Towels have also improved.
  5. Convenience. Mid-range hotel properties can be found in the center of a city; adjacent to the off-ramp of a highway; or near an airport — often with a shuttle service at no extra charge. Many mid-range hotel properties offer free parking.
  6. Consistency. Guests know what to expect at mid-range hotel properties and are usually not unpleasantly surprised — though some people might consider consistency as boring and unexciting.
  7. Price. The room rate includes the aforementioned reasons as to why mid-range hotel properties are usually the best value. Room rates can range from less than $70.00 per night to as much as $400.00 per night, depending on a variety of factors; but they usually range between $90.00 per night and $150.00 per night.

Final Boarding Call

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ogden
Photograph ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

Budget hotel and motel properties offer the absolute basic items for a decent overnight stay — but their lack of certain options and conveniences may not always justify their arguably lowest prices, which therefore potentially diminishes their value.

Luxury hotel and resort properties may be in ideal locations and offer services and amenities that are designed to ensure that a stay is opulent and memorable in a positive way — but they can be significantly more expensive. Worse is that some luxury hotel and resort properties may offer only little more than what mid-range hotel properties include, which may not justify spending more money when staying at them.

Mid-range hotel properties are certainly not perfect; and they do not appeal to everyone — but they have significantly improved overall in recent years; they have become more stylish and comfortable; and they do seem to offer the best value of other lodging options.

Just watch out for any sneaky fees which might be added on — such as a Parking Recapture Fee

All photographs ©2023 by Brian Cohen.

  1. Let’s not forget a primary reason why the budget options have become less appealing: CRIME. Both on property and in the vicinity. Which makes an eighth reason for mid-range hotels: SAFETY.

    We’ve all had great experiences at the locally owned roadside motor lodge that is clean, comfortable, inexpensive, safe, and quiet. Sportsman’s Lodge in Alpine, AZ and Ray’s Den in Independence, CA are two places that come to mind which I would heartily recommend. But those places are few and far between and getting fewer, thanks to the complete inversion of values in this country that completely disincentivizes and actively attacks their continued existence.

    The reality of most budget hotels these days is essentially SRO/LTR/section 8 housing. Governments started using these places to house homeless, illegal migrants, drug rehab, etc even before COVID and massively expanded it during and after COVID. The landlords, especially the franchisees in the chains, welcomed it because it is all the benefit without any long-term maintenance responsibility. Just let it go to hell and depreciate, and pocket the tax benefits on the way down.

    The problem is that a lot of these places still try to operate with one foot in both worlds, especially in crowded/high demand/high cost areas. So after check-in, get ready to meet (and hear, and smell the cannabis from) your new neighbors! Oh, and your vehicle, well, you won’t mind parking it next to the open air chop shop and drive thru drug market around back, right? Only the most valiant independent operator, such as the Sandia Peak Inn in ABQ, can thread the needle and run a decent place for tourists while renting to long-termers and being surrounded by what is essentially the ghetto. Even Sandia Peak, I would argue, is losing the battle, as it was great for many years but declined a little bit more each year until I last stayed about 4 years ago. COVID and defund the police may have been the coup de grace, just judging by the latest reviews.

    La Quinta has some egregious properties that always surprise people who are used to staying in their brand new ones. The La Quinta Inn Ventura, CA is particularly notorious, easily the highest concentration of criminals, drugs, and long term stay people I have ever had the pleasure of staying around for a night to remember in 2020 (multiple fire alarms, check; booming hoopties rolling through the parking lot at all hours, check; cannabis odor everywhere, including the lobby, check; parking lot drug deals, check; staff who you wouldn’t count on calling 911 if you were lying in a pool of your own blood two feet in front of them; check). Likewise the La Quinta Inn Fort Stockton, TX can be an experience for the bucket list. And I had “good rooms” (i.e., not completely falling apart and trashed) on the top floor at these places.

    My point is you really have to do your research now on the budget places or it becomes a personal safety issue. And the country is too far gone for any hope of these types of places ever getting back to how they were in the Route 66 days.

  2. WOW that’s an extreme position “IA” is taking, yes if you use the bottom of hotels crime abounds however one must look at crime inane around those prime hotels Marriott/Hilton/Hyatt etc. Look no further than San Francisco/Seattle/San Diego/Chicago as a whole on and on.

    Having said all this I recently attended a family reunion which I found myself staying at a Holiday Inn Express Suites, yes it was a newer property but I was impressed. Apparently the “express” line has gone through a refresh and it’s working. Brian your spot on, many mid level hotels are just fine and you’re saving money.

    Keep the post coming Brian

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