Extended Stay Hotels Guide
Extended stay hotels are the most comfortable kind of lodging for the travelling family. The rooms aren’t simply rooms, but apartments with at least one bedroom, a living room, and a kitchen. There is no need to cook every meal inside your apartment, but having the option to cook for yourself is very handy. Staying in a single hotel or motel room as a family can get very crowded and uncomfortable, so after several weeks of travelling it is lovely to stay somewhere where there is enough space for everyone to be comfortable.
If you are staying in a single destination for a full week, you can stay at a vacation home, which is usually cheaper than renting two motel rooms. There is a wide variety of options: a villa with a private swimming pool, a mountain cottage, a condo, and others. Some vacation home owners agree to renting out for a shorter time frame (4-5 nights), but for many travellers this is not a viable option as they want to stay in each location for only two or three nights, sometimes less. The best option for such families is extended stay hotels. There are rapidly growing extended stay hotel chains all over the US and Canada.
For those interested in vacation home rentals, here are some handy links:
The name ‘Extended Stay’ is misleading, as is it possible to stay at extended stay hotels for shorter periods, even just one or two nights. The central idea behind these hotel chains is to give the guest a comfortable feeling of home away from home. These chains started off as a convenient solution for businessmen who have to remain at a certain destination for a long period of time for work purposes. However, they became a hit with vacationing families thanks to the large living space they provide (The smallest extended stay studio apartments are still 25% larger than a standard hotel room), their fully equipped kitchens and their nice, homelike atmosphere.
Extended Stay hotel chains have communal swimming pools,
workout rooms and sometimes sports fields. Many offer
free or cheap high-speed internet in the apartments, as
well as fax and photocopy services. All chains have coin
Hotel rates vary greatly, depending on the kind of hotel, its rating, its location, and booking date. Usually, the earlier you book, the better the rates. Some hotel chains also offer a reduced rate called ‘Advance Purchase Rate’ which is 25% cheaper than the standard rate. Its disadvantage, however, is that it cannot be altered or cancelled. Most chains offer discounts for members of AAA. Rates also depend on the length of your stay. A longer stay (over a certain number of days) often allows for discounted rates. Many chains also have a weekly rate. Rates include daily cleaning of the apartment.
You can book your stay at any chain through the chain’s website or by phone (and pay by credit card). While booking, it is important to find out when your credit card will be charged and what the cancellation policy is.
Extended Stay Hotel chains:
These three chains all belong to the well-known and well-respected hotel chain Marriott, which has branches all over the world. The greatest advantage of Marriott’s extended stay hotels is the variety in apartment sizes, which go from two-person apartments to ones suitable for five or six people. The best of the three Marriott chains is Residence Inn by Marriott, which has hotels in nearly every single state in the US as well as several in Canada and Mexico. The larger apartments include two bedrooms, a living room (with a couch that opens up into a double bed), a big and fully equipped kitchen, and two lovely bathrooms. Another kind of apartment suitable for five people is the penthouse apartment, which has one bedroom and one bathroom on the top floor, and a big living room (which can double as a bedroom for three, thanks to a bed that opens out of the wall and another that opens out of the couch), a kitchen, and a second bathroom on the lower floor. Lodging in this hotel chain includes free breakfast and a light afternoon meal on weekdays. Each of the chain’s hotels has a workout room, a swimming pool, and a small tennis court.
TownePlace Suites and SpringHill Suites are not quite as classy as Residence Inn, but they are still definitely a good place to stay. The former has hotels in 35 states, each with a swimming pool. Breakfast in this one is usually not included in the price. The latter has hotels in 37 states and offers studio apartments which are both smaller and less expensive. These apartments don’t have a full kitchen, just a small fridge and a microwave. Lodging includes free continental breakfast. All hotels in this chain have a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi and a workout room. Up to six people can stay in the apartments (there are two double beds in the bedroom and a couch that converts to a bed in the living room).
& Both chains offer apartments in a variety of sizes; the largest of which (in Staybridge Suites only) has two bedrooms, a living room (which is also a work area), a fully-equipped kitchen and two bathrooms – an apartment suitable for six people to live in comfortably. Lodging includes continental breakfast every morning, as well as snacks and free drinks every Tuesday between 5:30 and 7:30. All hotels in these two chairs have a workout room, swimming pool, sports courts, a library with computer games and board games which you can rent out and take to your room, and other public rooms.
A chain specialising solely in extended stay. It is one of the largest chains of its kind. This chain offers studio apartments which include a spacious bedroom which doubles as a work area (usually there is some sort of separation between the bedroom and work area parts of the room, however), a fully-equipped kitchen and a bathroom. All apartments are suitable for up to four people. The chain has over 650 hotels nearly everywhere in the US. It is made up of four smaller chains: the largest, with 380 hotels in 43 states, is Extended Stay America. The other three are Homestead Studio Suites Hotels, Crossland Economy Studios, and StudioPLUS. All four use the same booking centre.
Amerisuites Has 230 hotels in 32 US states, especially Texas, Georgia, and Florida. This is one of the oldest hotel chains to specialise in this style of lodging. Its first hotel opened in 1990, but most of its growth happened around 1997. This chain belongs to Prime Hotels & Resorts, along with Wellesley Inn and Suites which also offers suite hotels in several states in the US (primarily in Texas and Florida).
Embassy Suites Hotels A prestigious chain, owned by Hilton. It was the first of its kind; its first hotel opened in 1984. Today it has over 170 hotels in the US and four more in Canada and South America. Its largest hotel has 512 rooms and is located in the Canadian Niagara Falls area. The biggest apartments offered by the chain have one bedroom and a living room and are suitable for five people or less.
Homewood Suites by Hilton:
Another chain belonging to Hilton. It is made up of over 140 hotels and offers studio apartments, one-bedroom apartments and two-bedroom apartments. All apartments have a spacious, fully equipped kitchen. Lodging includes breakfast and a light dinner every Monday to Thursday. This hotel chain has won many customer satisfaction awards.
Belongs to the hotel chain Radisson. This hotel chain prides itself in its warm, homelike atmosphere. Lodging includes free breakfast.
This hotel chain belongs to Motel 6 (which is part of ACCORHOTELS) , the cheapest motel chain in the US. Studio 6 has hotels in 19 states in the US and one in Canada. Each studio apartment has a fully equipped kitchen, a bedroom and a work area. The apartments are suitable for up to four people.
Microtel Inns and Suites:
Another chain which has received much praise for its low prices. It has over 240 hotels in 41 states, all with studio apartments that can house up to four people.