mom and pop motels-anywhere and everywhere

Reply

Sep 24th, 2007, 07:42 PM
  #1
pdx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,743
mom and pop motels-anywhere and everywhere

I'd like to see more word-of-mouth information and recommendations for mom and pop motels. I appreciate the nerve it takes to go into business for oneself (say I, the safely ensconced in a long-term government job person)and the investment of risk, time, money, blood, sweat and tears. I also appreciate the general idea of comfort a hotel chain gives with the better-the-devil-you-know expectations. I just thought I'd throw this out for consideration, see what people had to say.
I'm in the process of considering some motel options in Ashland as all of the hotels I have checked are full at least part of the time we will be there. There doesn't seem to be a lot of info out there for the small places. I'd prefer to give my money to the people in business for themselves rather than a hotel chain, but I'm not interested in landing in the local meth house either.
pdx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 24th, 2007, 07:49 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
I like your romantic notion, but I fear that many of the remaining mom-and-pop motels are managed by a mom and pop working for not much more than free rent at places owned by absentee landlords.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 02:07 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
I use the AAA Tour Books to choose mom and pop motels. It gives you some indication that someone has cleaned the bathrooms! That being said, they are usually very good value when recommended by AAA.

In Montana, upstate NY, and the northern half of NH -- parts of the country where I have traveled fairly recently -- there are amazing numbers of mom and pop motels still in full swing. My guess is that the short tourist season does not make it worthwhile for the chains to invest the money if they are off the main interstate routes. It takes me back to my childhood!

Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 02:09 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,016
You wouldn't have any trouble supporting the locals on a trip to Alaska. Not sure what state Ashland is in. A club I belong to uses the conference facilities at an independent hotel in Seabrook NH. It's one of my favorite hotels for simple comfort. The club sometimes does weekend seminars there. My husband and son drove from NH to Seattle via Glacier National Park one summer staying at budget places. Sometimes you luck out, sometimes you wonder if your car will still be there in the morning. My husband stays at a crappy budget place in NY where the continental breakfast consists of some kind of orange colored fluid and a box of Hostess donuts. He's too lazy to find a better place since there's a great diner across the road. In New England we tend to stay at independently owned places. You drive by, they look decent, you stay there. Try to find a room before 5pm. There's tons of great places along the New England coast. Use the yellow pages to find local hotels if you need to book ahead. If we get a lousy hotel, we just put up with it. It gets real dicey around military bases but we survived one icky chain hotel in Aberdeen MD. Also lucked out one holiday week when a friend suggested we rent a beach house in NC rather than stay in any hotel. Off-season rates and a fab place! Since New England enjoys a healthy year round tourist season, we might have more and better mom and pop places than other areas of the country.
dfrostnh is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 02:09 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 17,226
Another vote for AAA books. It will help you find well-maintained mom and pop motels (and nothing is worse IMO than badly maintained small motels)
starrsville is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 04:57 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,924
Mobil Travel Guide usually includes some good ones, too.

Word of mouth here or other message boards has worked for me once or twice.

Good for you for supporting these places. They can be so much more fun and memorable than a chain...
jayne1973 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 08:43 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 670
We have stayed at alot of Mom & Pop motels in our travels in the last few years. None have been bad but none have been memorable either. Until this year. Throughout Western Montana & clear across Washington State, we encountered some pretty & very well-kept motels (nearby National Parks). Some with pools, free internet, free breakfast etc.
laurieb_nyny is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 08:53 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,802
Please keep in mind that a lot of hotels belonging to a chain are franchises, sometimes owned by large companies, and sometimes by, well, mom and pop.
NewbE is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 12:22 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
So true NewbE.

I look for a clean, quiet, place to stay and I don't care if it is run by Mom & Pop, Mutt & Jeff, or Punch & Judy.

It is fun to run into a married couple who enjoy their customers. There is such a pair at the Seasons Motel in Morton, WA (near Mt. Rainier). I don't know if they own the joint or not, but it was fun to meet them. However, I wouldn't waste much time planning my trips in hopes of meeting more Moms and Pops--they could surface anywhere at any time.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 04:42 PM
  #10
pdx
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 2,743
That's nice to know about the AAA books. There is a website motelguide.com that lists motels by state and city, and it's up to the peruser to find out more about the individual motel. But, it does give a place to start, especially since most of the places aren't going to come up on expedia- and orbitz-type searches.
pdx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 05:29 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
I've been using AAA TourBooks for a few decades and I have never noticed that some motels are labeled "Mom and Pop" properties. How is this designation indicated?
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 25th, 2007, 07:12 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 21,911
There are several independently owned old-time motels near me. All are used by Welfare Dept for temporary emergency housing of families on welfare.
gail is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 06:50 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 63
We stayed at a nice place in Hersey, PA about 8 years ago. Still remember it fondly. Each room was decorated with a month theme. IE room 12 was decorated for Christmas, room 4 was a springtime theme with clouds and kites painted on the ceiling. Friendly staff and clean rooms.
henny16 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 06:59 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
happytrailstoyou,

Finding Mom and Pop motels:

1. Eliminate the chains.
2. Look for phrases like "Traditional motel"
3. Follow dfrostnh's advice: drive along and get a feel for places, if the sign says "AAA" it is very unlikely to be a complete loser. Plain, likely. Boring, quite possibly. A disaster, not very likely. More interesting than the average highway motel, very likely.

Re: mom and pops for welfare clients: it varies wildly by region, and you can usually tell. Unlikely to be listed in AAA.
Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 07:08 AM
  #15
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
I'm not sure this methodology will guarantee finding motels managed by Mom and Pop owners.

I have found even small B&Bs being operated by hired hands.

And, as a member of AAA for many decades, I am sorry that I cannot agree with this statement: ...if the sign says "AAA" it is very unlikely to be a complete loser. TourBooks have sent me to some complete dumps.

I now use the AAA TourBooks mostly for the 10% discount I get at many hotels and motels.






happytrailstoyou is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 07:12 AM
  #16
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,040
While I believe in theory the idea of supporting Mom and Pop motels (as well as restaurants), the sad bottom line is that in many, many cases they lack the standards that are required of places that are members of major chains. Also sadly there's a reason so many Mom and Pop places are a dying breed. They simply can't compete in today's marketplace with the volume buying and management advantages of a large chain. For example, a large chain can buy thousands of great beds for a mere pittance with a manufacturer. Therefore all their beds may be replaced every couple of years. A Mom and Pop place will likely have to spend three or four times that to get the same quality. So what does that mean? Either the Mom and Pop place will have to charge more -- or they will substitute much cheaper mattresses, or they let the old ones remain for years on end. The same is true of many of the aspects of their business.

We used to patronize several Mom and Pop places in Sarasota when we'd go up for theatre for a night. But now we've switched to the Courtyard or Springhill or Hampton Inn -- all of which are considerably nicer, cleaner, less mildew smelling, and pretty much the same price.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 07:47 AM
  #17
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
You realize, of course, that for those of us who have heavily invested in one or more lodging franchises we ARE in business for ourselves in some regards although no, we do not go in and personally clean up the messes some guest leave behind (sorry) and just because a place has a "chain" name doesn't mean it is owned by that chain.
Dukey is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:38 AM
  #18
dmlove
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
And, as a member of AAA for many decades, I am sorry that I cannot agree with this statement: ...if the sign says "AAA" it is very unlikely to be a complete loser.

I have to agree with this wholeheartedly. I use the AAA books almost exclusively when traveling in the US (but not in big cities). I still stick to *** when possible, although I will consider a ** if necessary. Below that, I'd rather sleep in my car.
 
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 10:30 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,169
NeoPatrick and Dukey make valid points.

The odds of a lousy mom-and-pop are higher than the odds of a lousy Hampton Inn, though I have stayed in those, too. It is more work to find a good mom-and-pop, and I probably wouldn't bother on a long highway trip. I would just pick a brand name motel and let it go at that, even if they smell repulsive.

BUT, in my original response, I was talking about destination areas where the lodging is part of the experience. In upstate NY, NH, Montana, I have seen and stayed in locally owned, non brand name lodging that was a great experience. How did I find it? Observation plus AAA.

Go to the Europe board and explain why people are better off in, say, Avignon at one of the French business hotels instead of a quaint inn, and you will be overwhelmed with outrage. It is correct, but staying in an Ibis or other business hotel is not part of our expectation of traveling in Europe.

I personally detest the kind of B&B and "country inn" that overwhelms you with (a) angels, (b)stuffed animals, or (3) potpourri, but many love 'em. They'll just have to find them on their own!

Ackislander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 26th, 2007, 10:44 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
I personally detest the kind of B&B and "country inn" that overwhelms you with (a) angels, (b)stuffed animals, or (3) potpourri, but many love 'em. They'll just have to find them on their own! Amen.

To which I would add wreaths of dried and/or artificial plants, swags, doilies, hurricane lamps, night stands with no room for my stuff, "cute" but uncomfortable stuffed chairs or sofas, lack of a wastebasket, breakfast not served until 8:00 a.m., etc., etc., and etc.



happytrailstoyou is offline  
Reply With Quote
 


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:16 PM.