I travel a lot. A whole lot. In 2009, I actually spent more nights in a hotel than I did at my own house. So while I won't claim to have seen everything there is to see (I've never been to Thailand, for instance) I do consider myself to be somewhat experienced on the subject of picking a hotel.
Now, I expect to find certain basic amenities when I'm going to be in one place for more than a week or so. Free high-speed internet access is standard these days, an in-room fridge and a self-serve laundry facility somewhere in the building are must-haves, and a microwave, a sofa, and an icemaker in said fridge are on the "nice to have" list.
This month, I'm at the Comfort Suites hotel in downtown Chicago. Corner of Wacker & Michigan. Now, I knew that you got a decently sized living room and a full kitchen (complete w/ dishwasher and oven) but I didn't know that they also had a washer and dryer in the bedroom.
That's one I have definitely never seen before. Gotta say, it's very convenient.
Has anybody ever seen this before? I must admit, it surprised the hell outta me.
Out of all the places I stayed at for my last job traveling like 50-75% I always loved Holiday Inn Expresses the most. The Expresses have all been rennovated so they are typically very clean and in good form. Also, they by far have the best breakfast of all of them. Bacon, eggs, make your own waffle stations, and some of the best iced buns evar.
A close second is Hampton Inn for me. Breakfast isn't as good, typical bagels and cereal. The rooms however are always excellent.
On Corp rates I was always able to get rooms for around $130ish/night or less depending on area.
Had that at a Hyatt I stayed at in Houston. Best hotel ever. Let me outline the niceness:
-Free breakfast. Not just any breakfast, free good breakfast.
-Free happy hour food and DRINK! When you get home from work, they have 3 beers on tap and 4 or 5 different bottles of wine to choose from. On nice days they'd do BBQ, worst was pizza.
In the room:
-Granite Counter tops
-Washer and Dryer like what you see there
-36" (I think) LCD Tv with all the hookups to watch whatever you pirated on your laptop
-Comfiest couch ever
-Comfiest bed ever
-$110 dollars a night kept it under my maximum by a pretty good margin
I've made the switch to staying at the comfort / quality inn line. I used to pay for higher end hotels. I started to see that the more I paid for an "upscale" place, the more I had to pay for the extras (parking, internet, breakfast) The trade off is generally the loss of a stylish room and sope/shampoo quality.