AARoads Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

New rules for political content in signatures and user profiles. See this thread for details.

Author Topic: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?  (Read 7923 times)

roadman65

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 9647
  • Location: Orlando, fl
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 10:32:29 PM
Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« on: August 28, 2016, 01:32:10 PM »

I was wondering if any of you have standards when checking into a motel.  I know sometimes when traveling cheap you have to make exceptions, but how far are you willing to go to save money?  Plus how superficial are you when choosing a hotel room?


To me I love Motel 6, although recently the new look removed the carpeting for a wall paper like floor.  However, I would let that throwback not make me get a good night sleep for a decent price being that is all I use the room for when traveling other than bathing in brushing my teeth.  However, a couple of times I did stay at some family owned mom and pops that were not the best looking places on the outside, but inside the rooms were clean and provided a comfortable stay.

Now roach motels I do draw the line on like some of the dives along Broadway in Wichita, or in NJ along US 1 & 9 in Woodbridge TownshipJ I would be hesitant to stay at as well as those in Orlando on OBT between Florida's Turnpike and Lee Road. 

Bottom line I am open, but I have limits.  It don't have to be a normal look outside and not all brand new inside for me to stay at, but if I see some weird things like "Midday Rates" or shady people hanging outside the joint, I may decline.  Also a small place flat like the Desert Inn in Yeehaw Junction, FL (Check GSV) with a bar attached and nothing around for miles, would make me drive another 50 or more miles to flop.

What are your limits?
Logged
Every day is a winding road, you just got to get used to it.

Sheryl Crowe

noelbotevera

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2999
  • Now at a Redbox kiosk near you!

  • Age: 15
  • Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 06:56:30 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 03:54:23 PM »

I stayed at a Motel 6 a month ago just outside Philadelphia, in "King of Prussia"*. There were some people smoking but nothing shady.

Usually I can stay at a place under $125 just as long as it's clean and there's no bed bugs. I'm thinking of trying white noise to help me sleep.

*King of Prussia really isn't a town, it's more a name for a commercial strip.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2016, 03:59:27 PM by noelbotevera »
Logged
Doing things that nobody wants to do since 2004.
I was THE youngest forum member from May 14th, 2015 to September 25th, 2016.

I am the second Alex, since I currently use my father's name...

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13756
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 58
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 05:05:05 PM
    • Millennium Highway
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 04:35:57 PM »

I read Trip Advisor reviews. I also look at photos of potential overnight accommodations. I don't expect five-star reviews of places like Econo Lodge, but I expect basic cleanliness. I also tend to take into account the neighborhood.

I'm partial to old motor court-style motels where you park outside your door. It makes it easier to take your stuff to your room, as I tend to carry a lot of electronics and want to bring them all in for the night.

I don't like paying more than $75 a night for a room, which is why I never stay at a Hampton or any place like that anymore unless I absolutely have to.
Logged

briantroutman

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1958
  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Last Login: Today at 06:48:32 AM
    • briantroutman.com/land
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 05:38:17 PM »

I used to be a frequent Motel 6 guest up until about five years ago. When I first stayed in one around 2000, the experience fulfilled all of the great expectations I had built up over a childhood of admiring Tom Bodett’s witty radio commercials. The motel was simple but clean and purposeful and the staff friendly and efficient.

That enthusiasm slowly diminished over the course of the next decade. Despite my appreciation for the chain’s “live below your means” sensibility, I found myself making more and more excuses for things like soiled sticky carpets, rooms that smelled like armpits, and late night “parties” next door that spilled out into the parking lot.

Late one night after a long day of driving, I checked into a Motel 6 west of Cleveland on the Ohio Turnpike. The room I was given smelled strangely of body odor, had a door that didn’t close properly, filthy carpeting, a blood-stained pillow on the bed, a buildup of crud on the bathroom sink, and dirty towels left in the shower. Though it was after 1 a.m. and I had nowhere else to go, I went straight back to the front desk, returned the keys, and kept driving. That was my “never again” moment.

To me I love Motel 6, although recently the new look removed the carpeting for a wall paper like floor.

That was an improvement, actually (see my above comment about filthy carpets). The “wood effect” flooring was rolled out as part of the chain’s new “Phoenix” prototype for room design. The modern décor package made headlines in industry publications when photos of it were first released around 2008. The trouble is that the deployment of this new design has been haphazard at best—and I’m inclined to blame that on the fact that now, many (if not most) Motel 6 locations are franchised. 20 years ago, every single one was company-owned. Back then, nearly all Motel 6 locations were built specifically for that purpose. Now, a growing number of repurposed fleabag motels and defrocked Holiday Inns are flying the Motel 6 banner.

And that gets at what I perceive to be the problem with the economy lodging segment in general. With the exception of Microtel, almost no one builds a product specifically for this segment anymore. Economy lodging brands have become a dumping ground for aging locations that can no longer meet the standards of mid-level brands. A dishearteningly large list of names (Knights Inn, Red Roof Inn, Sleep Inn, Budgetel, Super 8, Motel 6, etc.) that once offered a well-defined budget lodging product and had terrific customer loyalty are now little more than stall tactics sleazebag owners use to wring a few extra nickels out of a dying property before the wrecking ball finally hits.
Logged

SP Cook

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1984
  • Last Login: Today at 10:13:59 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2016, 06:15:33 PM »

I agree that no one is building new for the economy segment any more. 

Personally, I avoid non-chains.  I am sure there are plenty of great independent places, but unless you do a lot of research beforehand, you just never know what you are going to get and how much they are going to charge.  Other than that, I really don't have a lot of standards.  I try to avoid places with the doors that open to the outside, I would rather have interior hallways.  I avoid places that have a bar or restaurant other than in a separate area of the lobby away from the rooms, or at least ask to be placed away from it.  I do not like hearing the thump thump thump of some band until 4 AM. 

I don't care about a pool.  I will run the treadmill if they have one, but its not a deal breaker.  If I can find out about the TV situation ahead of time (hard to do, but the Hilton family has this info) then a nice flat screen with a good channel allotment is appreciated, but now you can get it all on the tablets anyway these days.  Free Wi-Fi is becoming a standard everywhere.  When I am by myself the free breakfast is no big deal.  Nothing is really free and the value for one person is less than if you have a family.  McDonald's is better.  And, while I do not care for music bars, a nice drinking bar where you can have one or two without having to drive back to the place is OK.
Logged

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10592
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 08:43:32 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2016, 07:10:26 PM »

While I certainly look at the room pictures before booking and consider them a factor, I place far more emphasis on the reviews a place has gotten.

I actually have stayed at a Motel 6 and a Red Roof Inn that had been recently renovated, but it does seems like economy places are just junk.  Sometimes it can be quite hard to find a place that is not only affordable, but has good reviews and is also free of bedbugs (I also look for free cancellation, just in case, but it's not necessary in the US; I will, however, NOT compromise on that with Canada).  I remember trying to find places for the Toronto meet (before ultimately not attending that meet due to inability to find a hotel), and I got the impression that all the "economy" places there were old luxury hotels with persistent bedbug infestations and/or other issues that made them impossible to sell for the rates the rooms were obviously designed for.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Max Rockatansky

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 9899
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Route 9, Sector 26
  • Last Login: Today at 09:28:50 AM
    • Gribblenation
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2016, 07:31:09 PM »

Review scores are usually the most helpful way to evaluate a hotel in addition to photos.  I've been to plenty of hotels that didn't necessarily had modern aesthetics but were well maintained and way nicer than would be expected.  Usually it depends on who owns the hotel...even if it's in a chain, a good business usually rises to the top regardless of aesthetics. 

jwolfer

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2037
  • Age: 49
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Last Login: November 09, 2019, 11:16:34 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2016, 09:10:29 PM »

Paying less than $75 you run into low-life partiers, meth labs and prostitutes. 

I hate paying ~100 for a place to sleep by the interstate, but too many incidents with sketchy motel6ish places.

A lot of times you can find something ok for cheap on Priceline etc
Logged

mariethefoxy

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 325
  • I'm a traveling fox :3

  • Age: 32
  • Location: Long Island
  • Last Login: December 03, 2019, 04:52:03 PM
    • Magic Foxy Artworks
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2016, 02:46:40 AM »

Interior corridors are a must. There are decent properties from Hampton Inn and Fairfield Inn that arent too terrible. Having AAA gives you a discount at most places. The more into the suburbs you are the cheaper the places get.

One of the worst hotels I stayed in in recent memory was a Clarion Inn (which is supposedly a high end brand) in West Springfield MA. It was really old and ghetto, and had this random water park pool thing, so all the local Springfielders would stay there, and they had to have security guards walking the hallways. I was soooo glad to get out of there.
Logged

noelbotevera

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2999
  • Now at a Redbox kiosk near you!

  • Age: 15
  • Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 06:56:30 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2016, 07:06:31 AM »

Ditto on corridors.. I only like entering from the front desk instead of some shady side door.

One of my worst experiences was a motel near LaGuardia International Airport. Some shady people were outside, it was noisy, it was old and there was tons of problems with the room. I was also only five at the time, so you can imagine how scary that is.
Logged
Doing things that nobody wants to do since 2004.
I was THE youngest forum member from May 14th, 2015 to September 25th, 2016.

I am the second Alex, since I currently use my father's name...

vdeane

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 10592
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Latham, NY
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 08:43:32 PM
    • New York State Roads
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2016, 12:57:49 PM »

I actually like motels.  Of course, my family used to stay at a nice one on our annual vacations to the 1000 Islands, so I might be biased there, since it brings back memories.  Instead of parking your car in front of your room, you parked your boat in front of your room.  Sadly, the motel has since been replaced with some condos that are way too big for the character of the area.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position of NYSDOT or its affiliates.

Rothman

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 5212
  • Last Login: Today at 09:50:45 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2016, 09:57:20 AM »

I go by TripAdvisor as well.  Last time I stayed in a Motel 6, there were blood specks on the sheets.  Never again.

TripAdvisor's hardly ever led me astray.  There was once when I took my family to Williston, ND when it was really booming, however.  We got there late and when we opened the door to our room, two guys that were squatting jumped up unexpectedly (they were just laying on top of the beds).  We went back downstairs and told the poor 15-year-old manning the desk that there were people in the room.  Poor kid was shaken up as he called his manager to inform him of the intruders.  Kid put us in another room and all was well.
Logged
Please note: All comments here represent my own personal opinion and do not reflect the official position(s) of NYSDOT.

hbelkins

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 13756
  • It is well, it is well, with my soul.

  • Age: 58
  • Location: Kentucky
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 05:05:05 PM
    • Millennium Highway
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2016, 02:06:43 PM »

I have found that a lot of the reviewers on TA tend to be motel/hotel snobs. For instance, the place I usually stay when I go to Frankfort on business gets panned by a lot of folks. Yet I have no issues with it. And when someone gripes that there's not a flat-panel TV in the room, I want to puke. That's hardly something to get your panties in a wad about.
Logged

TravelingBethelite

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 940
  • My way IS the highway.

  • Age: 19
  • Location: MO 740
  • Last Login: December 10, 2019, 04:59:35 PM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 08:42:16 PM »

If it's has a 3.9+ rating on Google and has a coupon in one of those lodging coupon books you pick up at rest areas, I'm game. On my last trip, I stayed at a great "find", the Red Roof Inn Erie for $66 thanks to a coupon. I do prefer indoor corridors, but as long as people aren't shooting heroin and selling sex in the parking lot, I can usually stand. I must echo briantroutman's comments regarding chains. On the same trip, I stayed in a scuzzy Super 8 in Centerville, IN that was clearly once a fairly reputable motor court but picked up the Super 8 brand about 10-15 years while (I assume) it began its decline. Deadbolt didn't even work.  :ded:
Logged
"Life is a highway, and I want to drive it all night long!" -Tom Cochrane
See my photos at: http://bit.ly/1Qi81ws

Now I decide where I go...

2005 Chevrolet Impala

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4157
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 02:59:25 PM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2016, 09:26:20 PM »

I have found that a lot of the reviewers on TA tend to be motel/hotel snobs. For instance, the place I usually stay when I go to Frankfort on business gets panned by a lot of folks. Yet I have no issues with it. And when someone gripes that there's not a flat-panel TV in the room, I want to puke. That's hardly something to get your panties in a wad about.

Yeah, but once you realize this, it's easy enough to discredit the snobs' reviews and just decide based on the reasonable ones. A little "digesting of data" is usually all it takes. My wife and I use Motel 6 regularly; we choose locations with discretion based on reviews and other factors, and have never experienced any of the chain's legendarily poor qualities.

As for aesthetics, I'm rarely in a position where I can take them into account when choosing lodging, but they indisputably make a difference (for better or ill).


iPhone
Logged

LM117

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2287
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Danville, VA 👎
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 09:32:51 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 10:19:01 AM »

low-life partiers, meth labs and prostitutes.

You just described most of the crackhouses motels in Goldsboro, NC.
Logged
“I don’t know whether to wind my ass or scratch my watch!” - Jim Cornette

GeorgeCurios

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Baltimore
  • Last Login: September 27, 2016, 12:14:08 PM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2016, 01:28:55 PM »

I've had some pretty bad experiences on cheap motels but that was because i didn't have a choice but normally I stay on places with good reviews or hotels that other people had recommended to me.  :spin: 
Logged

LM117

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 2287
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Danville, VA 👎
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 09:32:51 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2016, 09:14:47 AM »

There used to be a Royal Inn off of I-95 in Selma, NC that was below $70 a night. It wasn't spotless, but it wasn't trashy either and there no issues with crime, at least not when I stayed there those few times. The Royal Inn closed a few years ago and is now an Econo Lodge. I read that it was renovated during the changeover.

However, I stayed at the Days Inn in Wilson, NC on Tarboro Street that was roughly $76 a night and it'll be a cold day in hell if I stay there again. I stayed there twice, in 2013 and last year. The building isn't in good shape. The concrete is crumbling, especially on the outside stairs leading to the 2nd floor, which is where I ended up both times. Rebar is exposed on the underside of those stairs. The rooms weren't the best, but the worst of it is that the motel tends to draw a rough crowd. I could barely sleep there due to the racket. Last time, two women next door to me spent the whole night slamming shit and cussing each other out. When I checked out, I told the guy at the desk what was going on. Judging by his reaction, it's apparently S.O.P. there.

Logged
“I don’t know whether to wind my ass or scratch my watch!” - Jim Cornette

jeffandnicole

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 10403
  • Age: 45
  • Location: South Jersey
  • Last Login: Today at 10:42:59 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #18 on: September 03, 2016, 09:41:23 AM »

I usually don't go for these type of motels. Of I'm not staying in something not considered a hotel or a rental property, I tend to just sleep in my car at a rest stop overnight.

I stayed at a Motel 6 a month ago just outside Philadelphia, in "King of Prussia"*. There were some people smoking but nothing shady.

Usually I can stay at a place under $125 just as long as it's clean and there's no bed bugs. I'm thinking of trying white noise to help me sleep.

*King of Prussia really isn't a town, it's more a name for a commercial strip.

It's a census designated area, which is basically a town but without its own government. KoP has a population of about 19k and is the primary name used by the USPS for this area of Upper Merion Twp., which itself doesn't have a zip code. Most people know it for the mall, but it's actually a very large area with numerous residential and commercial districts.
Logged

nexus73

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 1833
  • Age: 64
  • Location: Coos Bay OR
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 11:32:56 PM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2016, 01:34:19 PM »

For appearances, I would say the Safari Inn in Burbank CA is a real winner with it's Googie-style sign.  Since what trips I take are just in the West these days, the Big Expensive Chains get avoided but there are no problems since anything that looks real sketchy gets avoided.  Most cities I go to are ones I have been to before so the lay of the land is known.

For a very unique motel, try the Itty Bitty Inn in North Bend OR.  It really is itty and bitty as well as nicely decorated! 

Rick
Logged
US 101 is THE backbone of the Pacific coast from Bandon OR to Willets CA.  Industry, tourism and local traffic would be gone or severely crippled without it being in functioning condition in BOTH states.

empirestate

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 4157
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 02:59:25 PM
    • Empire State Roads
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2016, 01:41:51 PM »

I stayed at a Motel 6 a month ago just outside Philadelphia, in "King of Prussia"*. There were some people smoking but nothing shady.

Usually I can stay at a place under $125 just as long as it's clean and there's no bed bugs. I'm thinking of trying white noise to help me sleep.

*King of Prussia really isn't a town, it's more a name for a commercial strip.

It's a census designated area, which is basically a town but without its own government. KoP has a population of about 19k and is the primary name used by the USPS for this area of Upper Merion Twp., which itself doesn't have a zip code. Most people know it for the mall, but it's actually a very large area with numerous residential and commercial districts.

It's what's known in PA terms as a "village"—elsewhere called a hamlet or unincorporated place. The original locus of the place was the King of Prussia Inn, which still stands, albeit on a relocated site. It now encompasses the administrative center of Upper Merion township, although that's a bit removed from the locality's original "pin point" (on US 202 at Gulph Road).
Logged

Super Mateo

  • *
  • Online Online

  • Posts: 284
  • Location: Tinley Park, IL
  • Last Login: Today at 10:41:41 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2016, 06:26:25 PM »

I stayed at the Super 8 in Maysville, KY back in May.  Here's what I look for:

-Was the room clean, quiet, and comfortable to sleep in? Yes.
-Was I able to access the Internet on my laptop through the Wifi? Yes.

Everything else is nice, but isn't necessary for me.  I don't care if there's a pool or free breakfast.  The hotel was quite inexpensive and didn't have any shady people hanging around.  Perhaps the fact that Maysville is nowhere close to ANY Interstate (looking at the maps, the closest is I-64 about an hour away) has something to do with that.
Logged

J N Winkler

  • *
  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 6427
  • Location: Wichita, Kansas/Oxford, Great Britain
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 11:19:26 PM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2016, 12:12:31 PM »

In recent years my hotel/motel lodging budget has been about $50 per night, and I have booked the majority of my nights away online through Booking.com.  I usually succeed in adhering to this price point except on holiday weekends, in the vicinity of major metropolitan areas like Chicago, or (occasionally) no-notice arrivals in strange cities where I have failed to explore the lodging options online.  I often find myself staying in many motels that are clearly doing a stint in independent ownership while (as Briantroutman puts it) awaiting the wrecking ball, but I have never had any problems with lumpy mattresses, unclean laundry, bedbugs, cigarette burns, etc.  The furniture is often mismatched and uncomfortable, and the walls tend to be covered with heavy textured plasticized paper that is designed to cover up gouges and small holes and to be easy to wipe clean with a wet cloth, but these do not bother me since I feel I am failing to take advantage of the opportunities for experiential enrichment inherent in travel if I use the motel as anything but a place to rest my head, shower, and possibly update a travel journal.

The last time I allowed myself to be ambushed by high motel prices, I was at a Super 8 in Sault Ste. Marie (Canadian side) where I paid US$92 because I had my phone in airplane mode and so had no easy way to identify lower-cost options.  In retrospect I would have been much better off if I had paid $2 for Canadian roaming that day; for a little over half that cost I could have stayed in a much more characterful hotel in downtown Sault that was also much closer to the International Bridge.  I did recognize that the bedding, towels, furniture, and wall finishes in the room were of much higher standard than in the $50/night bracket, but the utility I get out of these things (while on the road) is much less than is the case for other affluent middle-class travelers.

In the past (early noughties), I stayed in hot-pillow motels, motels that had visible cigarette burns in the bedding, motels with visible and olfactory evidence of past occupants' sexual activity, etc., but this was at a time when it was not nearly as easy to identify budget accommodation online as it is now, and it was necessary to rely on broad-brush strategies (e.g., "find the bypassed city routing of a current or former US highway") that let the really sketchy establishments into the picture.  I suspect the increasing use of online booking has had a ratcheting upward effect on amenity standards in the budget sector, because a motel is more likely to find customers if it is discoverable online, but grossly unfavorable reviews (as opposed to penny-ante stuff like "Disappointing," "Interior looked cheap," "Clerk was surly," etc.) on booking sites tends to scare off drive-up business that has the ability to check reviews on a smartphone before stepping into the office to book.

As is the case elsewhere in the real estate sector, the three most important factors when looking for accommodation are location, location, and location.  While my hotel/motel budget is $50 per night, I put hotels and motels in the same basket as campgrounds, hostels with dormitory accommodation, bedrooms in private houses found through Airbnb, etc. and I go for whichever has the commanding advantage in cost in a given area.  In Duluth this meant staying in a campground on a rainy weekend night because a tent site was $32 while motels (aiming at Twin Cities weekenders) were $150 or so.  In Marquette, Michigan, I stopped at an Econolodge with an almost-empty parking lot just to explore how stratospherically unreasonable the rates were ($129/night), before I went to the city campground where I pitched my tent for $27 with electric.  On the other hand, if a given area has motels for under $50, I am not going to search hard for campgrounds just to eke out a further $20-$30 for the day.  (I estimate that camping costs me about one and a half to two hours in time compared to staying in a motel, because on arrival I have to pitch the tent, inflate the air mattress, and lay out the sleeping bag and pillows, while on departure I have to fold up the sleeping bag, deflate the air mattress, collapse and pack the tent, and load the trunk; in addition to the time required for these tasks, there is also much lost time and motion dealing with my toiletries in a shower hut rather than an enclosed attached bathroom.  Rain adds greatly to the time and comfort penalties.  My tent is waterproof with a rain cape, but also does not breathe that well, so besides having to have plastic grocery sacks handy to keep my wet footwear from soiling the tent floor, I have to endure the smell of my own sweaty feet.  And when I pack up the tent, I have to take pains to dewater it as much as possible so it doesn't mildew in the bag.)
Logged
"It is necessary to spend a hundred lire now to save a thousand lire later."--Piero Puricelli, explaining the need for a first-class road system to Benito Mussolini

Tom958

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 754
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Lawrenceville, GA
  • Last Login: December 11, 2019, 10:04:42 PM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #23 on: September 17, 2016, 01:35:32 PM »

I have my limits, but to a considerable extent, a degree of funkiness is part of the adventure (I should add that I'm usually staying for a week at a time for a job, not overnighting on trips). Here's the place I've been staying in while working in Clemson, SC. In low light it looks like something out of a Dr. Suess book ("They're even asleep at the Zweiback Motel/And people don't usually sleep there too well), but it's been renovated so recently that it's still literally shiny new in the daytime. It was built in three phases, and I believe-- and the manager didn't contest-- that every room is different. In one, I was looking for the fridge for my beer and... it was under the cooktop. Cooktop? Whatever. Oh, and one room has a jacuzzi, though there's no extra change if I don't use it. It has passable WiFi, and if I'd prefer to entertain myself by drinking beer outside with people I don't know, that's an option, too. Oh, and it's $65 a night.

Then there's this place, near the Little Rock airport. The cool thing about it was that it was a hub for drivers of pilot trucks for the escort of giant wind turbines into the windy Great Plains. There were a lot of people there in my general age bracket who knew and liked to hang out with each other, with most doors literally always open. I enjoyed it, but I had to advise my office that it'd be too proletarian for the guy who'd be joining me later. He ended up across the road at the Holiday Inn Express.
Logged

kphoger

  • *
  • Offline Offline

  • Posts: 11050
  • Location: Wichita, KS
  • Last Login: Today at 10:23:41 AM
Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #24 on: September 17, 2016, 02:56:45 PM »

Motel 6 is the only chain about which I let the aesthetics drive my decision.  That's because it's been my experience that newer, nicer-looking ones have more comfortable and quieter accommodations, while older, run-down ones have harder mattresses and thinner walls.  For all other motels and hotels, I read online reviews and go from there.

My criteria in general have very little to do with how an establishment looks, either from the outside or on the inside.  I want a comfortable mattress and thick walls.

Some of the best in those regards have been mom-and-pop motels that look entirely seedy from the outside but ended up being excellent.  The Woods Motel in Donnellson, Iowa, jumps out in my mind for this.  I see its reviews over the last ten years or so have gotten a lot worse but, back when I stayed there in 2005 or so, it was one of the best motels I'd ever been in, even though it really made us cringe when we drove up.  Another pleasant surprise was the Relax Inn in Dilley, Texas.  It's mainly a long-term stay for oil workers and doesn't even have a paved parking lot, but we had an excellent stay there in 2009.

Some of the worst have been brand-name hotels, especially when it comes to hearing your neighbors.  The really nice-looking Comfort Inn & Suites in Chillicothe, Missouri, jumps out in my mind for this.  It was the only hotel in town with reviews that didn't include mentions of odors, bugs, or drug deals, but I ended up with a terrible night's sleep because I could hear it every time anyone else on the floor closed their door—which was a LOT, since we were there during hunting season and people like to leave at 4 or 5 AM for that.

In general, I prefer true motels, at which I can walk things right from my car to my room without worrying about carts and elevators.
Logged
Keep right except to pass.  Yes.  You.

 


Opinions expressed here on belong solely to the poster and do not represent or reflect the opinions or beliefs of AARoads, its creators and/or associates.