Local hotels vs American Chains

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by sfo1, Jan 8, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Aside from North American business people and those using points, would you rather stay in a local hotel or with a local hotel chain in the country you are visiting. Seems as though North Americans feel more comfortable in North American hotel chains which I find unfortunate. Staying away from thos NA chains is something I always try to do.
     
  2. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    Depends... if it is a highly regarded/rated local hotel or hotel chain then sure. However, if not then I would prefer staying at American or European hotel chains since they give me a more "comfortable" feeling which is what these hotels should be aiming for first of all.
     
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  3. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    The only reason I stay in American hotel chains overseas is when I can get a good deal using points or points+cash. Most of the time, the best deals are with the local chains, NOT with the Marriotts, Hiltons, Hyatts and so on. You're in effect paying additional for familiar brand names- and when you're seen one Sheraton, you've kind of seen 'em all.

    I still chuckle about the time I got into a budget local hotel (Hotel Excelsior) near the Frankfurt Hauptbahnhof at 11 am, dead tired from jet lag and it was no problem to check in early... and my buddy came in the next day in the morning as a Marriott Gold to the fancy Marriott up the street, and had to wait a few hours for HIS room. Decent frühstuck buffet, too.

    And on my recent trip, I scored a decent 3 star local hotel in Hong Kong near the convention centre (the Harbourview) for $100 a night, close to NYE (with commensurate pricing). The last trip, it was Mingle on the Wing for $60 USD a night (a bit tiny, but OMG, $60 within walking distance of most everything?). Good luck finding $60-100 USD rooms in Hong Kong with American chains.

    That being said, I've cashed in 2800 SPG points+$45 for the Westin Macau twice... because that's a good deal. But my general take on American chains tends to be they are best when you are finding value, and it's harder to find good value overseas compared to home.
     
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  4. cennas
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    cennas Gold Member

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    For me, I prefer chains as I do not really like surprises especially when travelling. By choosing to stay in big chain hotels, I have the comfort factor of knowing that I will find consistent standards anywhere in the world.

    However, if the local hotel is highly regarded and/or famous and I can be sure of its quality then I would not hesitate staying there.
     
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  5. sfo1
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    sfo1 Silver Member

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    Strange you should mention the Excellsior in FRA, I am staying there tomorrow night, Monday Jan 9, have been to FRA many times, but my first stay at the Excellsior.
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Sometimes I stay at a local hotel or with a local chain (Accor in France/Europe reminds me a lot of NA chains, with a French touch). It really depends. For example, in Rome I stayed at a small independent hotel in a neighborhood near the Colliseum that had good reviews on TA. The price was right, there were some local restaurants and grocery stores nearby, and the local was awesome. No points. In Berlin, Hamburg and Mainz I burned or earned points at the Hyatt properties, and they certainly didn't feel like North American Hyatts to me.
     
  7. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    If you go to Japan and don't stay in a ryokan (a traditional Japanese guest house) at least part of the time, you will be missing one of life's finer experiences! Comfortable, yes. Quality, usually high. Surprising, yes-- but in a positive way. Consistent, never, but uniqueness is part of their charm.

    Check out a few of the alternatives to the hotel chains here:
    http://www.japaneseguesthouses.com/index.htm
     
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  8. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    At the present stage of my life I generally prefer staying at a nice chain hotel. Having statuses at several chains, just want to enjoy my benefits. On an occasion if FHR deal is better at a local hotel compared a rate I can get at a chain hotel, then I would choose a local property.
     
  9. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Little or no interest in chain hotels of any kind when traveling outside the US.
     
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  10. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    All other things being equal, our default for leisure trips is to stay at a local, non-chain hotel if at all possible. We like to experience a bit of the local flavor and get tired of the same chain hotel that we can see in St Louis or LA. Second choice is a non-US chain, as mentioned upthread an Accor hotel perhaps.

    Of course things aren't always equal. We have a budget of course, so if the local offerings don't fit within our overall trip budget, we may use points or points+cash. Or if the local offerings don't seem appreciably different from the US chains' properties.

    We didn't stay at a ryokan on our trip to Japan last spring but wish we would have - next time we will. Though we did only stay at local Japanese hotels which were fantastic. In fact in 2010 when I had a short stop in Tokyo for work, none of the international chains had a room that fit within per diem. My co-worker decided to eat the difference because he wanted to stay in a familiar chain, and I came in way under per diem at a business hotel...which was also closer to transportation and much more comfortable.
     
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