The extended-stay hotels that serve road-warrior business travelers during the week can be a great deal for leisure travelers on weekends.
The husband and I were reminded of that on a recent road trip to Rhode Island to celebrate our anniversary. Many of the hotels near the beaches were sold out and the rest were asking sky-high summer weekend rates. To make matters worse, the Newport Music Festival was wrapping up and hotel rooms in that area were starting in the $350-a-night range.
So we booked a roomy studio suite with a fully equipped kichenette and a living-room area at the Homewood Suites in West Warwick, R.I., near the Providence airport. The hotel has a pool, hot tub and gym. The AAA weekend rate of $159 a night included a hot breakfast buffet and guests can save more on meals by cooking in their rooms.
To us, $159 a night seemed rather steep, but we had to take into account the season and the circumstances. We’ve paid as little as $79 a night to stay in hotels of this kind.
Typically, extended-stay hotels are in office parks or along commercial strips. The scenery is dull and there is rarely access to public transportation. In short, you need a car.
We’ve stayed most often in Hilton’s Homewood Suites and Marriott’s TownePlace Suites. (Hilton also owns the Embassy Suites brand, and Marriott owns Residence Inns and SpringHill Suites. But these properties tend to be more expensive.)
I’ve found that the best way to get these rates is usually on the Hilton and Marriott Web sites. Use the option that llows you to search all the hotel brands owned by each of these chains over a wide geographic area. And don’t forget to check off the AAA discount option if you are a member.