Motel Prices

Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 10:19 AM
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Motel Prices

I'm driving from Atlanta to Las Vegas this fall and wanted to know how much I'd be paying for independent motels as compared to cheap chain hotels like Best Western/Days/Comfort inns. Thanks for all help
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 10:23 AM
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What kind of "independent motels" are you talking about? Are you thinking about old rundown establishments along old US highways? Those can often be get at ~$30-40 compared to $50-70 for a national chain.

Or if you're thinking about B&B type places - those can run for $100 or more, depending on location and facilities.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 10:53 AM
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You weren't thinking that those chain motels aren't present west of the Mississippi, were you?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 11:54 AM
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yep, was thinking of the old time motels with flashing signs outside. As I'm English and we don't have motels as such, do you have any general guidelines on staying in motels and is there some general sign/seal of safety/approval or do you just take your chances?
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:05 PM
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Clem..Here's a link that might help
http://www.jacksonhospitality.com/li...sociations.php
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Gosh, Atlanta to Las Vegas. Whew. I'm winded just thinking about it.

It sounds like you don't know your itinerary and that you want to keep it lose. There will be lots of hotels on the highways and they often advertise their rates on billboards.

If you get an itinerary you might have better luck posting something like "GA/AL/MS/OK/TX/NM/AZ/NV hotel recs needed" -- or at least the states you think you might be stopping in overnight. The US is so huge, everyone has their little areas of expertise. That way you might find the little jewels in each state.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:13 PM
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Why not check prices that are in the coupons at
http://www.roomsavers.com/

I've had good luck with them, overall. These will have both chains and indies. Often the motels won't honor them during special local events, or might charge more weekends, but if the motel is in "the boondocks" then you'll probably get the coupon price.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:16 PM
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I suppose there are some independent motels out there that are OK, but I would not plan my trip around staying in most of them. Frankly, I'd stick to "chain" motels as you can be a little more sure of what you are getting. Actually Best Westerns are individually owned, which accounts for the various degrees of service/design/etc. you get with BW.

Unfortunately I think most of the independent motels conjure up "old, rundown, rusty plumbing, sagging beds" etc. in the minds of many people, and from some I've seen along the highways I'd say that description fits many of them. Again, there may be some that are just fine and if that is what you want I hope you find them.

If you are a member of the British Auto Club you probably can get AAA books via them. The books list many motels, chains and independents in every location known to mankind.

With all motels you "tend to take your chances" but you are safer (in many ways) with a name brand. Personally I would not stay at a motel with outside doors (as opposed to indoor corridors) simply from a safety standpoint, but you may love having your car right outside your door, it's a personal decision.

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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:18 PM
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One of the problems with the cheap independent motel like you describe with the flashing red lights outside is that they often rent rooms by the hour.

Check out the cars parked in the parking lot. If the whole place looks seedy, it probably is. The rates will most likely be about the same as the inexpensive chains.

Don't pick one where the only other businesses around are the liquor store and a run down gas station.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:21 PM
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Stick with the chains, they are pretty reliable. Independents in good locations have long since been bought out by the big guys.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Actually, itinerary is v detailed - going
GA(back to NC and SC)/TN/MS/LA/TX/NM/AZ/NV - hope I got all those letterings right...if anyone knows any ace motels in any of those states major cities and points of interest, I would be very happy. All of this advice is great, thank you. Otherwise, we've signed up for Point Rewards scheme with Days Inn so that we can stay there most of the time, but just pick up motels if we get tired on the road or fancy a break from Days Inn anonymity.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:40 PM
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We've had pretty decent luck in the past using a Mobil Travel Guide for choosing lodging. It's fun to be more adventurous and try non-chain places, and a little guidance can help you avoid a "roach motel."

Here's a link to some of their publications, which you can order online.

http://www.mobiltravelguide.com/mtg/...&bodytid=10576
 
Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:44 PM
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GoTravel
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Whenever you cross a state line, stop at the first welcome center and pick up a copy of Travel Saver or Room Saver Coupon Books.

They have ads and maps of a lot of independently owned motels with excellent prices.

 
Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 12:59 PM
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Hi Clemwallop, we just had an article in our local newspaper written by our Police Dept. addressing the issue of travellers staying in motels.

The jest of the article is that a lot of nonchain motels are not safe to stay in due to the type of customers they attract. The PD gave a strong recommendation to stay in well known chain lodgings.

I know that in our area the independently owned motels often seem to be the locations where the PD makes arrests. Fugitives, parole violaters, drug dealing, meth labs etc.

Years ago, decades ago actually, this did not seem to be the case. But sadly it is now.

The PD article urged travellers to check out the motel parking lot, the type of people seen not only on the lodging property but in the neighborhood etc. They also strongly suggested that one check out what type of businesses are in the neighborhood. Lots of run down bars, bailbond offices etc are a very bad sign. Check out the lightning situation and how safe it will seem at night. They strongly suggested to ask to see the room before paying for it so that you can see not only how clean it is etc. but also what type of locks are on the door and the windows.

All good information IMO. Have a fun but safe road trip.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:00 PM
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You mention Days Inns - be aware that this chain is not considered one of the "better" ones. Many of their hotels are fine, but others are pretty ratty. The poster who said you should stop at the Welcome Center at each state line you cross had a good idea.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:24 PM
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If you know your route and dates, you may want to bid on Priceline for 3-4* hotels instead. In my cities, you can get a decent real hotel for $30-40 + tax; probably cheaper than if you walk in to a Days Inn or Comfort Inn along the highway.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Lots of good advice so far. I think the most important things for finding a good motel on the fly is to look at the local area and the grounds and to see the room before paying for it. If anything looks wrong, then go onto the next place.
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