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Author Topic: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?  (Read 7575 times)

hbelkins

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #25 on: September 17, 2016, 07:33:38 PM »

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.

Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I much prefer the exterior corridors to interior ones. And I am totally unconcerned about safety at external-corridor lodging establishments.
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empirestate

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #26 on: September 17, 2016, 09:24:48 PM »

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.

Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I much prefer the exterior corridors to interior ones. And I am totally unconcerned about safety at external-corridor lodging establishments.

I definitely see advantages to that setup as well. One is that when we have the dog with us, she is less likely to bark at people passing by the door, because they are far less likely to need to do so than in an interior corridor setup.

There's also a comfort factor in being able to park within eyeshot of your room.


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corco

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2016, 09:32:07 PM »

Quote
There's also a comfort factor in being able to park within eyeshot of your room.

Yep - from a security standpoint, I actually prefer the motel setup, because I can park outside and be on top of things if somebody breaks into my car or something.

Beyond that, since exterior corridor hotels are typically economy and would be competing with economy interior corridor hotels - I'd rather have exterior corridors from a security standpoint anyway. The doors are stronger, which is better than whatever Super 8 with indoor corridors where either the back door lock is broken or the front desk person is in the backroom playing pokemon or whatever and not paying attention to who is coming in and out of the hotel anyway.

On the general thread, it depends on what I'm trying to do. Lately, I've really been prioritizing being in downtown if I'm in a city that's interesting, which usually requires spending a little bit more to get a decent hotel. On clinching-focused roadtrips, I'll stay in whatever hotel has the best tripadvisor ratings:value ratio. In my experience, that can be anything from an Econo Lodge to a Hilton Garden Inn. I generally avoid ABVI and Motel 6, though on very rare occasions they appear to be the best option. In small towns, I'm very open to non-chains if they are well-reviewed (I tend to bump into scenarios where this appears to be the best option more often in Canada than the US). Really just depends. If I'm going with an economy hotel (which is still ~80% of my room nights), I do prefer outside corridors.

Between work and fun, I'm logging around 35 room nights a year these days, nearly all at unique hotels, and I have yet to have a real issue with any hotel with 4 stars or above on Tripadvisor, so I try to stick with those if at all possible. It helps that I'm not very picky - if the sheets, towels, and bathroom are clean, I can get checked in reasonably efficiently, and there aren't seedy people hanging out everywhere making noise late into the night, I'm a happy camper.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 09:55:45 PM by corco »
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J N Winkler

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2016, 10:23:17 PM »

I don't have a strong preference for external corridors.  However, I prefer to park my car in a location that minimizes the likelihood of casual damage such as door dings, scrapes from adjacent reversing vehicles, and other parking-related mishaps.  In the case of the Super 8 in Sault Ste. Marie, for example, overnight street parking was legal at that time of year while the off-street parking was full of U-Haul panel vans and trailers engaged in cross-country moves, so I simply parked on the street under a streetlight.  Quite often, when I arrive at a motel, I simply park before I even check in rather than stopping the car outside the office, and if I see no better location once I have checked in, I leave the car where it is.

There are some external-corridor motels (even, surprisingly enough, ones with only one story) where the parking stalls are quite narrow.  In cases like this I will often park in a remote corner of the lot, on nearby waste ground if it is available, or even in the street.  At one motel with cramped parking, I made a point of grabbing the empty space next to a van-accessible handicapped parking space, leaving maybe two inches on the handicapped side and two feet on the other side.

In 24 years of driving, I have never had a car broken into while I was on a trip.  However, my current roadtrip vehicle is on its second rear fender apron/bumper cover as a result of a scrape from an adjacent reversing vehicle that occurred when it was just three years old.  I frankly disagree with Toyota's decision back in the nineties to market the Camry with a wider track in North America, but with any car model there is rough to take with the smooth.

Edited to add:

Between work and fun, I'm logging around 35 room nights a year these days, nearly all at unique hotels, and I have yet to have a real issue with any hotel with 4 stars or above on Tripadvisor, so I try to stick with those if at all possible. It helps that I'm not very picky - if the sheets, towels, and bathroom are clean, I can get checked in reasonably efficiently, and there aren't seedy people hanging out everywhere making noise late into the night, I'm a happy camper.

It is worth noting that in many metropolitan areas, the four stars (or filled circles) come at a significantly higher price point.  For example, per a TripAdvisor search I did just now for lodging in metro Minneapolis-St. Paul for this coming Saturday night, the absolute rock-bottom budget motel is the Norwood Inn in Burnsville, where I stayed last May, at $54 per night and two filled circles.  (The reviews will raise your hair--"Not fit for animals"--but the only complaints noted that I personally had were missing bath linens and keycards that needed to be recoded.)  The cheapest option with four circles completely filled is the Best Western Plus Dakota Ridge, at $92 per night.  The cheapest "three-something" option (three circles completely filled, the fourth partially filled) is the Prime Rate Inn, Burnsville, at $67 per night.

I confess that I am not shopping for low ambient noise, which in North America especially is probably the hardest thing to secure once cleanliness is nailed down.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2016, 10:51:34 PM by J N Winkler »
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #29 on: September 17, 2016, 11:04:07 PM »

In 24 years of driving, I have never had a car broken into while I was on a trip.

Same experiences here.  I've had damage to the car a few miles from the house in parking lots.  The closest to 'damage' I had on the road was when I went to an Eagles/Vikings game in Minneapolis and someone used their finger to write 'Fuck You' on my dirty car (Jersey plates so they knew what I was doing there.  And the Eagles won.  Hahaha.  It wiped right off...)

I prefer hotels with inner corridors.  I'll park my car at the closest door to my room, which often is a back corridor entrance with key-card access.  I do the normal safety precautions, making sure everything is hidden from view if I'm leaving anything in the car.
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briantroutman

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #30 on: September 18, 2016, 12:58:01 AM »

I have my limits, but to a considerable extent, a degree of funkiness is part of the adventure...

Marriott ran an ad campaign for Fairfield Inn some years ago: Traveling’s an adventure. Where you stay...shouldn’t be.

I quite agree. When I’m traveling, I’ll go out of my way to find off-the-beaten-path sights, meet the natives, and try regional cuisine at local restaurants. But all that stops at the bedroom door (or rather, the hotel's front door). I want a hotel to be familiar sanctuary in a strange place and an insulation from what I’m visiting (including relatives, as the case may be—I don’t stay with people).



As to the interior/exterior corridors issue, the decision has largely been made for me. Since women have unilaterally decided that exterior corridors are unsafe at any speed, every respectable chain has dutifully dumped whatever exterior corridor properties still lingered on their rolls. So what may have been a perfectly splendid exterior-corridor Holiday Inn in the ’90s has since had its franchise revoked and first became a Days Inn, then an America’s Best Value Inn, and now is the unbranded “Thruway Motor Lodge”. And it’s attracting the type of people who rent a motel room either by the hour or by the month.

And yet, part of me wants to like exterior corridors, particularly for a Motel 6. In a perfect world where every Motel 6 is as neat as a pin and attracts a pleasant crowd of sober, hardworking people who merely want to save money on their lodging expenses, I’d almost rather the Motel 6 have exterior corridors. Interior corridors in a budget motel typically feel cheap, dark, and depressing, while at least an exterior room door opens up to a sunny day and the hum of the adjacent Interstate. Sadly, this is most definitely not a perfect world.

But even in a perfect world, I’d like to be able to open my room window or leave the drapes open, neither of which I’d do at an exterior corridor property—considering the fishbowl level of privacy I’d have.

For those of you who claim a security benefit to exterior corridors, I have to ask what scenario you’re envisioning where being within earshot of your car—which, by the way, you can do with most interior corridor layouts—would somehow save the day.

Assuming that the sound is enough to awaken you, by the time you hear anything (breaking glass, metal on metal impact), it’s too late; the damage has been done. Sure, maybe you’ll be able to catch part of a license plate if you bolt to the window as fast as you can. Or if it’s an amiable drunk bro who accidentally crunched your fender while parking his band’s van, you might be able to hold him until the police arrive. (Of course a bro who thinks nothing of driving drunk, stays at a cheap motels, and drives a broken down van is probably uninsured and penniless anyway.) But otherwise, you’re probably dealing with a local hood who’ll either take a shot at you or run. You’re going to run after him guns blazing at 2 a.m.?
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D-Dey65

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #31 on: September 18, 2016, 10:31:50 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.
Selma, you say? Back in June I stayed in an even cheaper motel in Smithfield, specifically the Village Motor Lodge. It cost me $43 and change, and though it looked pretty run down and I was disappointed with the lack of internet service which I've had in places like the Econo Lodge in Gold Rock, it wasn't the fleabag you might think it was. The place looks like it was made when I-95 was being built. It was mid-century modern, but not as playful or sci-fi as Googie architecture. It had an accompanying restaurant that looks like it was closed over 25 years ago. I had to walk from there to the Sheets across I-95, and I was surprised at how risky it was to walk along US BUS 70 over I-95. Just in case anybody is interested, in the wooded embankment along the southeast corner of that bridge, there's a pile of road signs still on their poles. If I had an empty pickup truck instead of a sedan, I would've snagged them, even if it meant driving them to the nearest NCDOT shop or Johnston County DPW Garage.

There was also an America's Best Value Inn that looked like a former Howard Johnson's hotel right next to it.


« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 10:48:34 AM by D-Dey65 »
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J N Winkler

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #32 on: September 18, 2016, 10:32:52 AM »

And yet, part of me wants to like exterior corridors, particularly for a Motel 6. In a perfect world where every Motel 6 is as neat as a pin and attracts a pleasant crowd of sober, hardworking people who merely want to save money on their lodging expenses, I’d almost rather the Motel 6 have exterior corridors. Interior corridors in a budget motel typically feel cheap, dark, and depressing, while at least an exterior room door opens up to a sunny day and the hum of the adjacent Interstate. Sadly, this is most definitely not a perfect world.

But even in a perfect world, I’d like to be able to open my room window or leave the drapes open, neither of which I’d do at an exterior corridor property—considering the fishbowl level of privacy I’d have.

For me, other factors come into play with the net result that I don't have a strong preference for either type of property.  The convenience of parking right outside my door at a one-story exterior-access motel (e.g., one in the traditional "motor court" format) is very attractive if the parking stalls are wide enough, and this somewhat mitigates the loss of privacy because strangers are not walking past my window just to get access to a staircase.  And while interior-access motels can offer more layered security (subject to appropriate vigilance at the front desk, keycard control at side entrances, solid room doors, and no partiers using wedges to prevent side doors from closing while management does nothing), they also present the hassle of dealing with locks and automatic door closers while carrying luggage.  Ground-level rooms in interior-access facilities also have no usable privacy advantage over exterior-access rooms, and your chances of being assigned to a first-floor room at a multi-story motel go up the more price-conscious you are.
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empirestate

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #33 on: September 18, 2016, 10:47:28 AM »

For those of you who claim a security benefit to exterior corridors, I have to ask what scenario you’re envisioning where being within earshot of your car—which, by the way, you can do with most interior corridor layouts—would somehow save the day.

I'm not sure anyone did claim that, at least not in the most recent few posts. I referred to a comfort factor, but that was in regards to eyeshot, not earshot—that is to say, right outside the door to the room.

The most advantageous scenario I picture is one where I don't have to fully unpack the car and haul everything at once through the hotel—then make a second trip when I've inevitably forgotten something. Instead, you open the car, open the room, and pretty much just chuck everything inside. If you do end up forgetting something, the car's right there outside the room.



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SP Cook

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #34 on: September 18, 2016, 10:51:40 AM »

I am a fairly large male and am always armed with easily accessible firearms and blade weapons all of which I know how to use and would have no issues with using.  So exterior doors are not that big an issue for me.  However, for many females or even males who have forgone his/her obligation to arm, exterior doors are going to be an issue.

However, I have not seen a place built in decades new with exterior doors anyway. 
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #35 on: September 18, 2016, 10:55:33 AM »

I've always wondered about places such as the 'Whitten Inn'.  If you've traveled on 95 in the Carolinas, you've probably seen their billboards, advertising Larry as the "GM" and Mary Ann as the "Boss".  The reviews are consistent.  Consistently bad.  I don't care how bad a place is, it's hard to run up a whole bunch of 1 star reviews for nearly half a year!

I guess they think if they can make it personal, as in "Hey, we are average day folks here.  Come visit us" on the billboards, that people will visit.  One telling sign about these billboards though are the ones that remain, they are awfully faded.  I think Mary Ann isn't looking too hot and friendly anymore!
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briantroutman

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #36 on: September 18, 2016, 11:50:22 AM »

I guess they think if they can make it personal, as in "Hey, we are average day folks here..."

More like, “Hey, we’re white folks here.”

They’re advertising the fact that they’re not Indian. Beginning and end of story.
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empirestate

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #37 on: September 18, 2016, 12:12:31 PM »

I am a fairly large male and am always armed with easily accessible firearms and blade weapons all of which I know how to use and would have no issues with using.  So exterior doors are not that big an issue for me.  However, for many females or even males who have forgone his/her obligation to arm, exterior doors are going to be an issue.

Eh; I've never been armed, but I've never found them to be an issue.



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CtrlAltDel

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2016, 04:59:54 PM »

However, for many females or even males who have forgone his/her obligation to arm, exterior doors are going to be an issue.

Obligation?
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vdeane

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2016, 06:53:19 PM »

I confess that I am not shopping for low ambient noise, which in North America especially is probably the hardest thing to secure once cleanliness is nailed down.
Can't say I disagree right now.  I just stayed at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Syracuse for a conference, and outside of a few places that I suspect were insulated (the conference rooms, lobby, and buffet on the 20th floor), traffic on I-81 was very easy to hear (the hotel is right on the interstate).
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Duke87

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2016, 08:32:22 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.

Ah yes. My favorite complaints to roll my eyes at:
- the staff at the front desk was rude
- the breakfast wasn't good
- the neighborhood is noisy

Maybe it's the city boy in me, but I've stayed in multiple places where people complained about the noise and not found them to be exceptionally loud. And I really don't care if the person at the front desk is particularly polite, I'd almost prefer they weren't so I don't have to fake an equal amount of courtesy in response.

However, for many females or even males who have forgone his/her obligation to arm, exterior doors are going to be an issue.
Eh; I've never been armed, but I've never found them to be an issue.

Likewise. The door has a deadbolt. At that point I'm not terribly concerned, there are easier targets for mugging that don't involve breaking into a building, and there are more rewarding targets for burglary than a motel room. Criminals generally do not go through more trouble than necessary to find a victim unless for some reason they want to go after a specific person.

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Max Rockatansky

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2016, 09:14:37 PM »

However, for many females or even males who have forgone his/her obligation to arm, exterior doors are going to be an issue.

Obligation?

Such as in a "Man's Obligation?"  A quick Youtube search for "Man's Obligation South Park" will put that retort to song.

Brandon

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #42 on: September 22, 2016, 02:12:06 PM »

The things I prefer, which are contrary to some here, are the continental breakfasts and the indoor pools.  I don't really want to leave the hotel for breakfast (and some have decent ones such as make-it-yourself waffles or the cinnamon rolls at a Holiday Inn Express), and I also like to be able to swim in the evening.  Indoor pools are far better, IMHO, as the weather outside can be freezing or otherwise non-conducive toward swimming.  I also read the reviews (typically via Expedia) to get more of a feel for the property, and have found some really good surprises and bargains due to that.
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D-Dey65

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2016, 11:16:26 PM »

I've never really used the pools at hotels... at least not deliberately. Continental breakfasts are something I can take or leave.

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J N Winkler

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #44 on: September 23, 2016, 11:21:52 AM »

One of the things I miss most about being on the road is being able to maintain an exercise program.  The motels that have exercise facilities are well outside the $50/night bracket and the equipment provided tends to overemphasize cardio.  I am not sure I have ever seen a rack of dumbbells in a hotel gym and I am quite sure I have never seen a barbell, bench, or plate weights.

As a general rule, I think it makes the most sense to pay extra per night for a motel if the breakfast provided is a hot buffet, and even those tend to provide fruits and vegetables parsimoniously.  I like waffles, but I tend not to be overimpressed with waffle irons and batter dispensers because I have seen what happens when it is half an hour to the end of breakfast time and a family of five uses up all the batter in the dispenser in unsuccessful attempts to make waffles because they cannot be bothered to read the directions.  It is also hit and miss whether waffle irons are accessible to the deaf because some of the fixed-time irons provide a chime only, no visible signal, to indicate doneness and the directions don't state typical cooking times so you can use your watch for timing.
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empirestate

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #45 on: September 23, 2016, 12:29:09 PM »

It is also hit and miss whether waffle irons are accessible to the deaf because some of the fixed-time irons provide a chime only, no visible signal, to indicate doneness and the directions don't state typical cooking times so you can use your watch for timing.

If it ever helps, my mom taught me that the waffle is done when you stop seeing steam come out.



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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #46 on: September 23, 2016, 12:53:47 PM »

The motels that have exercise facilities are well outside the $50/night bracket and the equipment provided tends to overemphasize cardio.  I am not sure I have ever seen a rack of dumbbells in a hotel gym and I am quite sure I have never seen a barbell, bench, or plate weights.

The Courtyard where I worked during part of my college years had a selection of free weights, although I’m pretty sure we didn’t have a bench setup. Then again, our room rates were typically around $130 (and that was ten years ago) so you may have to jump up a price bracket to get a more comprehensively equipped fitness room. But I suspect what we had was part of a standard Courtyard package of fitness equipment, and I know I’ve paid as little as $70 (recently) at Courtyards in suburban office park locations on weekends.

I’ve mentioned it before on another thread, but it bears repeating here: By far, the nicest hotels I’ve gotten for the lowest prices have been in the suburbs of medium to large cities—locations which cater to the Sunday through Thursday business set but are empty on Friday and Saturday nights.
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hbelkins

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Re: Does anyone care about aesthetics of a motel?
« Reply #47 on: September 23, 2016, 10:10:01 PM »

I’ve mentioned it before on another thread, but it bears repeating here: By far, the nicest hotels I’ve gotten for the lowest prices have been in the suburbs of medium to large cities—locations which cater to the Sunday through Thursday business set but are empty on Friday and Saturday nights.

There's a Comfort Suites on the north side of Atlanta (Peachtree Dunwoody Road) where my wife has stayed many times. It's usually significantly cheaper on weekends than it is during the week.
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