I often stay at independent hotels or motels, rather than chain hotels, especially on road trips. Not only do I find that I get more value from independent properties, I also experience better service from the workers.
8 great reasons to stay at independent motels
- Save Money. Rates are typically lower at independent properties because, for one reason, chain properties have to subsidize a national marketing budget. I also find that I can negotiate lower rates more at independent properties than hotel chains.
- Comfort. It is often easier to find king size beds at independent properties than at hotel chains. Independent hotels and motels often have larger rooms than nearby chain properties.
- Parking. Independent hotels and motels are usually smaller properties with parking available right outside the room.
- Better Service. The front desk staff at independent properties are usually also the owners. They have a vested and personal interest in customer satisfaction and loyalty. They are friendlier and provide better service, in my experience and opinion, than employees of chain hotels. As small business owners, they have better suggestions for things to do, see, eat, and buy in their area.
- Amenities. Most independent property rooms have a small refrigerator and a microwave. Wi-fi is usually fast and free. Independently owned hotels might have their own mini golf course, swimming pool and/or spa, or other facilities that nearby competing chain properties do not have.
- Uniqueness. Independent properties have more character and charm than chain hotels. You might even stay in a cabin, cottage, or other cool property. A place like the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California has individually decorated and themed rooms. Stay there 100 times and have a different experience each time.
- Location. The location of independent properties favor leisure travelers, especially roadtrippers. Independent properties are usually found on smaller roads, away from major highways and city centers.
- Miscellaneous. Independent properties tend to be quieter because they are generally smaller and do not have interior hallways. They do not have large lobbies that you must walk through to get to your room (see Parking). Owners of independent properties can be more flexible so, for instance, they might have a more pet-friendly policy or allow discounts on longer term stays.
How about you? Have you stayed in independently owned properties? Like or dislike?
See also 8 Great Tips for Choosing a Motel
© 2012, Charles McCool