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Brits looking for friendly motels in CA. OR, WA

Brits looking for friendly motels in CA. OR, WA

Feb 23rd, 2004, 11:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Brits looking for friendly motels in CA. OR, WA

We are two visitors (young late 60's)from England planning our first visit to USA. We'll be arriving mid June 2004, picking up a car in San Francisco and spending 4 weeks exploring up as far as Vancouver before flying home from Seattle. We enjoy meeting people and are looking for motels and other accommodation where we can meet other people. Our price range would be around $100 per night. We would be very grateful for any advice. We've heard great things about the West coast and are getting very excited.
angnali is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2004, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Angnali: If you are driving up the coast (Highway 1) from San Francisco, you might like the Gualala Country Inn here in Gualala - in Mendocino County just over the border from Sonoma County, 110 miles north of San Francisco.

I just called and you can get a nice room (and they are nice - sort of B&B style, not typical motel) for $100 a night with Contienntal breakfast. The parlor sitting room is a nice, comfy place to relax and you are within walking distance (like a few yards!) of the Pacific Ocean and the Gualala River with all the redwood trees.

Some rooms have ocean/river views but might run about $10-$20 more.

To meet other people, walk next door to the Gualala Hotel where locals and tourists from all over the world gather - you will meet cowboys, Indians (Native Americans), writers, artists, airline pilots, cops, athletes, old hippies and maybe even a few celebrities - you never know who will walk into the Gualala Hotel!

gualalalisa is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2004, 01:39 PM
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You shouldn't have too much difficulty at that price except in the larger cities. In those, especially San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver, US$100 (or its Canadian equivalent) typically will not be enough for a quality place, or one conveniently located to visitor attractions.

So my suggestion is to become familiar with how to bid on Priceline. From Britain, there are a couple of important resources to use. First is www.priceline.co.uk - the UK "branch" of Priceline. You will be able to use your UK-issued credit cards to book rooms, whereas Priceline.com (US) won't.

Second is www.cleverbidding.co.uk - the British version of www.biddingfortravel.com (US). These are websites where bidders on Priceline report their results - costs, hotels obtained, etc. - to help guide other bidders who may want to bid on those towns themselves. The Frequently Asked Questions on both cleverbidding and biddingfortravel are very important to read and understand. The results, however, can be dramatic - £150 rooms going for £50 and so on.

Even if you want to be flexible you can still use Priceline - just stop at any public library or internet cafe, log onto PL, and bid for that night or the next, and you may well have positive results. Doesn't hurt anyway.

The second thing to look for is major international chains with a big presence in the US. Accor, the big French chain, for example, now operates the Motel 6 properties in the US - good, reasonable places, not always premier locations, but not that bad. Best Western, which has an enormous UK portfolio, operates zillions of places in the (Western) US (surprise!) Join various "frequent stayer" programs (Hyatt, Hilton, Sheraton, etc) - all free, and all with special discounts, free upgrades, all that.

Join the AA if you haven't already. It gives you some reciprocal benefits through the American Automobile Association, its long-lost child.

Bed and Breakfasts in the US and Canada are generally more high-end than many UK counterparts. (Meaning, more floral decor, designer breakfasts, incessant Victorian schmaltz in every room.) You may find bargains nevertheless, and when they hear your speaking voice you'll probably get a discount. Try to affect a BBC accent if you can - we all think that means you're terribly sophisticated, wot, chaps?

I think you'll have a grand time. I've taken numerous British friends on tours of the Pacific coast and northwest and they invaribly rank the region at the top of the pops holiday-wise. I have a Scottish friend who wanted to bring back a whole Redwood to prove to the villagers that trees could grow this big.

Do be advised in advance, though, that Vancouver is the second largest Scottish city in the world. Sino-Scottish nowadays, but never mind. You'll have had your tea....?
Gardyloo is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2004, 02:14 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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gARDYLOO, what a great informative post! Lots of terrific info. Angnali: you will have enough info to resaerch for a while. ;-) Judy
Judyrem is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2004, 03:51 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 12,188
I don't think this is what you are looking for, but nothing beats hostels so far as meeting people from all over. Having visited various ones on the West Coast, I know that there are many middle-aged and older people who also stay there. Private rooms are available with planning.
WillTravel is offline  
Feb 24th, 2004, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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You can stay at the YWCA in downtown Vancouver. Great price for decent accomodations. I think you need to make reservations. They have a website.
Orcas is offline  
Feb 24th, 2004, 06:12 AM
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If you want a sociable stay in Seattle, stay at Pensione Nichols, the only B & B in downtown Seattle. It's just been remodeled and the living room has a terrific, million-dollar view of the Puget Sound. People there are very friendly and relaxed and it draws a lot of international visitors. We stayed there a few years ago and had a fun time.
Doubles with breakfast are $110. Check their web site at

While you're in Vancouver, consider making an overnight excursion to Whistler. Great for outdoor activities and it will be hosting the Winter Olympics in 2010 (? forget the exact year, but think it's 2010). You can find a full range of accommodations and restaurants there...and the views are free, of course.
BTilke is offline  
Feb 24th, 2004, 09:58 AM
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This is excellent! Thanks very much for all the recommendations.
angnali is offline  
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