Confession: I Don’t Care What Hotel We Stay In. Here’s Why

This will probably sound like blasphemy to my fellow travel bloggers. I mean, yeah, Joe is 100% into the points and miles thing and I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m crazy for thinking this way, but I feel like I gotta come clean.

I really don’t care what hotel we stay in.

I know, I know. GASP! Clutch the pearls!

I’ve stayed in all different brands of hotels over the years. Holiday Inn Express, Waldorf-Astoria, Hampton Inn, Kimpton, Candlewood Suites, Best Western, Park Hyatt, Hilton Garden Inn, Ramada Inn, Marriott, La Quinta, you name it. I’ve stayed at fancy shmancy ryokans in Japan, a castle in Ireland, hoidy toidy places in San Francisco, London and New York City, and in 1995 I shared a 10′ x 20′ room in Tokyo that came complete with a half-used bar of soap in the soap dish.

And it had a curly hair on it.

And I’ve gotta tell ya – except for the place with the soap, it really didn’t matter to me where I stayed.

Seriously, the way I look at it, a hotel room is there for 4 purposes: to leave my stuff, to sleep, to shower and to change my clothes. That’s it.

Don’t get me wrong – I do have my criteria for hotels:

  • It has to be clean (which is why I’ll never stay at that place in Tokyo again. It does still exist, BTW. I checked)
  • It helps if it’s near where we want to be (this varies based on our access to transportation, what our plans are, etc.)
  • It needs to have a private bathroom (this is rarely an issue but we occasionally find places, especially BnBs, that offer shared bathrooms. Um….no.)

Anything above that is just gravy.

Which isn’t to say that when Joe managed to get us into the Renaissance St. Pancras on points, or the Kimpton Gray in Chicago with a free night certificate, or when we stayed at Dromoland Castle because it was part of our Adventures by Disney trip, I didn’t appreciate and enjoy it.

After all, “free” meant we were saving money and I always like saving money (and yeah, I know that means we had to spend money in the first place, but it’s not money we wouldn’t have spent anyway).

I’ve loved looking at the architecture of the really old places we’ve stayed in.

I’ve enjoyed grabbing a free food/drink when we get back to the hotel, if we’re at a level that offers that amenity (OMG, anybody else adore those turtle jellies at the Club level at the St. Pancras?).

And most of those places are admittedly REALLY COOL!

But middle of the road, “nothing special” places are cheaper to begin with, I can visit old hotels to look at their architecture, and how much does a can of Coke Zero and a snack cost at the local 7-Eleven? But when my main goals are to have a clean place to leave my stuff, and to sleep, shower and change my clothes in, I’m truly just as happy with a Ramada Inn as a Park Hyatt.

Obviously, Your Mileage May Vary. In this particular case, I suspect it does. 😉

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

4 thoughts on “Confession: I Don’t Care What Hotel We Stay In. Here’s Why”

  1. I agree with you. To me, my 2 criteria for a hotel is cleanliness and safety (in terms of location.) The only time I’m picky about my hotel is when I go to a resort for vacation.

  2. Interesting PoV. In real life I have a simple saying: “I am happy to pay double to stay at the Hampton Inn instead of the Motel 6, but I am not willing to pay double to stay at the Marriott instead of the Hampton Inn.” (I’m both a Hilton diamond and a Marriott titanium.)

    Certain minimums are a must. Having done the shared bathroom thing, that is below the minimum for sure. Beyond my minimums, I don’t see the point.

  3. Different strokes for different folks. To me a hotel needs to be better than what I experience at home. For 48-50 weeks a year I am stuck in the same place so when I travel internationally I want to be wowed. 5 star hotels and newly renovated rooms with beautiful decor and design is a must. I don’t jump out of bed and then immediately go to bed when I return. I wake up and relax, hopefully take a bath in a bigger bathroom than at home preferably with stand alone tub, and I return in the afternoon to relax after sight seeing or touring. I like eating room service in beautiful surroundings or bringing back snacks from a bakery or market after eating dinner outside. Having nice views also help.

    That’s why I don’t like Hyatt hotels. Even their 5 star ones are so plain and placid.

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