Why the Hotel Room Matters When Traveling on Vacation

 

When I was younger, it was ingrained into my mind that the hotel room doesn’t matter when traveling. Yes, I’ve stayed at Motel 6’s, Rodeway Inn’s, HoJo’s and Econo Lodges. I mean, why would I spend so much money on a hotel room when I won’t spend much time in the room anyway?

Fast forward to today when I spend a lot of time in the hotel room thanks to hotel loyalty programs and the benefits of elite status that provides free room upgrades. Most of my vacations have been memorable because of the hotel room and the extravagant suite upgrades. Throughout my frequent flyer career, I’ve held top tier status with Hyatt, Starwood, Hilton, Marriott, and Priority Club.

So why does the hotel room matter?

It can make or break your vacation. Your vacations are memories and you don’t want to bring back that image of remembering that cramped room with little to no amenities.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get an extravagant room. That’s where travel hacking and the exploitation of hotel loyalty programs come into play.

You also don’t have much leverage in terms of compensation when you book a non-chain hotel and don’t hold some form of elite status.

There are times when booking an expensive hotel or redeeming a large amount of points for a hotel room doesn’t make sense.

A recent example of mine was staying in Bogota for five nights. My flight arrived at midnight, so I booked a cheap hotel for my first night in the historic city-center of downtown Bogota. I booked the Ambar hotel for $29 which was a single room with a bath. It was in a sketchy area, but I wasn’t going to arrive at the hotel until shortly after 1am. I intended to only sleep for a few hours before grabbing breakfast at 6am and heading out to explore before heading to my next hotel.

Do you care about your hotel room?

 

About the Author

Points Summary
My name is and I write the Points Summary travel blog.

8 Comments on "Why the Hotel Room Matters When Traveling on Vacation"

  1. Most of the time, my travel schedule means I’m only in the room to sleep (or maybe freshen up before dinner), so in those cases the room does not matter. Every once in a while, I’ll know I have additional downtime in the room and so I’ll try to pick somewhere with a few extra amenities.

  2. While I agree that a hotel matters, I think it’s a bit sad that “Most of my vacations have been memorable because of the hotel room and the extravagant suite upgrades.”

    For me, at least, the joy if travel comes from immersing myself in a new, unique, and hopefully amazing new place — not how nice the hotel room might be, although having a nice room in a well-located area is unequivocally a good thing.

  3. If it’s a beach resort, I think the hotel can make or break the trip because you are staying put and using the facilities more. If it’s a city based trip, I think the hotel is less important than the location because we only go back there at night and pass out from exhaustion.

  4. ” I spend a lot of time in the hotel room thanks to hotel loyalty programs and the benefits of elite status that provides free room upgrades. Most of my vacations have been memorable because of the hotel room and the extravagant suite upgrades. ”

    That’s depressing in so many ways; I cannot even begin to wrap my head around it.

    If the goal of travel is an awesome hotel room then why go around the world to get that. There are plenty of great rooms nearby, too. Shutting yourself up in a hotel blocks you off from the local culture and the local people. That’s not at all why I travel.

    And, believe it or not, some of our best travel stories are from hotels we had which were downright awful. They didn’t ruin the trip at all, however. They’re just part of the adventure.

  5. No offense to those that value a high end suite, but I can not see how a hotel room can make or break a vacation, aside from absolutely miserable sleeping conditions. As long as it’s safe, clean, and comfortable. When our family travels, we are never in the hotel room. I don’t care how much status I have, my purpose is to get out and explore what is outside of the hotel room, lot lavish in a pool and eat some of the overpriced snacks.

  6. Couldn’t disagree more. I hope for a bed of some sort and a shower–preferably with hot water. Other than that, it’s just a place to sleep. I travel so I can spend the least amount of time in the hotel and instead get out and explore and see something new.

  7. Spent 116 nights in hotels (primarily internationally) last year. Totally agree with Jamison. I spend plenty of time out and about at new destinations but the hotel really can make or break a trip.

  8. Hotel location is the most important thing. I will pay a premium to be at a convenient location and to avoid wasting time shuttling to and from destinations due to staying in the outskirts. As long as there are no roaches and the room is clean and comfortable I don’t care if it is a Motel 6 or a Hilton. But with travel hacking and points programs, you can often get a Holiday Inn Express for less than the total cost of a Rodeway Inn or no tell.

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