Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Travel Talk. . . Hotel Rooms!

It's been quite awhile since I did a Tuesday Travel Talk post! Months! But I'm going to try bringing it back, because I love to talk about traveling. Places I've been, places I'm dying to visit. . . I love it all!!!

One question that always comes up when I'm planning my trips is whether or not it's worth it to splurge on a nice hotel. As you all know, hotel prices are all over the place, and it all depends on how much you want to spend when you travel.

My general rule of thumb is:
If you're hardly going to be spending any time in your hotel (getting in very late at night or really just sleeping there and spending all your time doing activities), I wouldn't spend the big bucks for a deluxe, fancy hotel. I've stayed in my share of Motel 6's and Travelodge's, and they're sometimes fine but they can also be a little disgusting. A good middle-of-the-road hotel that tends to have good prices and is always very clean is the Hampton Inn. That seems to be my go-to hotel chain for road trips and short stays. What's your go-to hotel chain? I'd love to hear it!

There are plenty of occasions when I believe it is absolutely worth it to splurge on a really nice hotel! Here are a few:

1. If you're traveling with kids and staying for multiple days (such as a Disneyland vacation), a room with an extra kid's suite or multiple rooms can be worth its weight in gold!
2. If you're going to be spending a lot of time at your hotel, you'll probably want it to have some nice amenities, a really fun pool, and some great activities and restaurants.
3. If there's a hotel you've always wanted to stay in, and you think you might regret staying in a cheaper place instead.
4. Anniversaries and honeymoons! Those occasions just SCREAM for a nice hotel room!

I absolutely loved my honeymoon to St. Thomas, and the hotel played a big part in how awesome it was! Stephen and I stayed at the Frenchman's Reef Marriott Beach Resort, and it was amazing!!!

The hotel was incredibly clean and beautiful, and our room had a balcony with this spectacular view:

I wonder if I'll ever again have such a gorgeous view from a hotel room. It was breathtaking.

Other than the view, my favorite thing about this resort was the beautiful pools. They had two really big outdoor pools, and they never closed! We could go swimming in the middle of the night!!! I loved that! The resort also had a private white-sand beach. I think a honeymoon is the very BEST time to splurge on a nice hotel!

We're hoping to go on a trip to South America next year for our 5-year wedding anniversary, without kids. (Can I begin to tell you how excited I am about that???!!!) For that trip, I really don't care about our hotel quality because I know we'll be spending all our time touring and packing each day full of stuff and will hardly be in the hotels at all.

But in early December, we're going to Whistler, BC for a winter weekend getaway and I really wanted to stay in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. So I booked two nights there, and I'm thrilled about it!!! Since we'll have the kids with us, we'll be spending a good amount of time at the hotel and I want to fully enjoy our experience since we've never been there before. I hope it's a snowy winter wonderland there like it looks in this picture!

Some other hotels I'm dying to stay in someday? (Seriously, I will be staying in these hotels at some point in the future):
-The Moana Surfrider hotel in Oahu. . . perfect location right in the middle of Waikiki, and such a classic, old-fashioned gorgeous hotel.
-The Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas. . . holy cow, have you heard of this place? It has everything from a crazy-good water park, massive aquarium, and 11 pools. It would be SO fun to take kids here! (Older kids than mine, of course).

Which hotels are on your must-stay list???

*This is a TravelingMom dedicated post


  1. Oh my...I get to stay in that hotel in Whistler in March. It looks absolutely beautiful.
    As for a must must must stay is in Rome, Italy called the Rome Cavalieri. The view is amazing (we had the perfect shot of the Vatican). The service is amazing. And the bed is so comfy! Tom Hanks stayed there while filming Angels and Demons.

  2. my quick go-to is a courtyard marriott (our friend is a gm for the salt lake one and gets us in there free, and gets a discount at other locations for us!), but we also stay in westins which are really nice because i have hotel points to there still! they're decently priced and NICE nice rooms!

    someday i WILL stay at the le meridien in both bora bora, and bali. MMM! can't wait. (:

  3. Oh Ashley!! You always make me want to go somewhere. That is awesome that you are going to South America for your Anniversary! How fun!!

  4. I love staying in hotels! I think the Best Western usually does the job. It's never the best in the world, but they are always decent, and have what we need. I think you will love Whistler! It's a great ski resort (which I'm sure you wont' be able to do with kids) but there are also all kinds of cute little shops you can go to and fun restaurants. Kenny and I used to stay in a hotel once a month after we got married before we had kids. Now I wonder what we were getting away from? It was just so fun! I can't wait to frequent them more often in the future.

  5. Hello!
    The last trip to Coloado we stayed also in Hampton Inns!
    I can't wait to see your pictures from travelling.
    I personally am a big wimp when it comes to travelling. I am afraid to go away, I love my own abode, and bed. Our 10 year we went up to beautiful Hearst Castle and stayed in a more fancier place. Our 15 year went to Catalina. Very enjoyable! 25 was taking our oldest son up to the Provo MTC and going inside the Manti temple, Awesome!
    As you see -very simple makes me happy!BUT I'm happy for others that enjoy travelling!

  6. Wow what a beautiful place!! I need to talk to my husband about going there! =)

  7. Um, yeah, that view from your room is AMAZING!!! What fun trips you have planned! I'm a little jealous! :) You and I share a love for traveling! I keep telling Jared that he needs to take me to Paris someday. One of the times I went there, I booked a hotel off Francevacations.net, and it was not a nice hotel but very affordable, and I was out sightseeing most of the time anyway, so, I agree with you, how nice of a hotel room you get it depends on what kind of a trip you want. In that instance, we were hardly in our hotel (just me and a girlfriend before I was married) so it was perfect for that trip.

  8. That was such a gorgeous view we had in St. Thomas. I really like the one with you in it too! Smokin' hot!

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