billryan
billryan
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Mission146
August 1st, 2020 at 10:27:38 AM permalink
You are correct. K.I is not Choice. What confused me was one week their AC was down and they honored the reservation at another motel a few blocks away as they were both owned by the same people. That was a Choice hotel and were running a promo where two stays got a free night.
billryan
billryan
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Mission146
August 1st, 2020 at 10:31:11 AM permalink
You are correct. K.I is not Choice. What confused me was one week their AC was down and they honored the reservation at another motel a few blocks away as they were both owned by the same people. That was a Choice hotel and were running a promo where two stays got a free night.
The Knights Inn in Sierra Vista allowed dogs with no extra fee and had donuts and oatmeal for breakfast. For $219 a week, I got more than I paid for.
DRich
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Mission146
August 1st, 2020 at 10:31:38 AM permalink
We had a lot of Knights Inn when I lived in the midwest. I don't see many at all out west.

My wife and I are not much of snobs when it comes to spending a night or two in hotels. We tend to stay in the 2.5 star to 3 star hotels and motels. We use Best Western, Comfort inn, and Days Inn a lot. If we are spending more than two nights we may step up to a 4 star hotel like a Sheraton or Hyatt.
Living longer does not always infer +EV
Mission146
Mission146
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August 1st, 2020 at 10:56:03 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

You are correct. K.I is not Choice. What confused me was one week their AC was down and they honored the reservation at another motel a few blocks away as they were both owned by the same people. That was a Choice hotel and were running a promo where two stays got a free night.
The Knights Inn in Sierra Vista allowed dogs with no extra fee and had donuts and oatmeal for breakfast. For $219 a week, I got more than I paid for.



It's not uncommon for a franchisee to own different motels/hotels that are in different franchises or to own a franchised property(ies) and an independent property(ies).

Strangely enough, some franchisors will not extend the, "New franchise," discounted franchise rates to owners who already have at least one franchise with them. Even if they do, they'll often refuse to waive the assorted fees that you would otherwise incur to have a new hotel join one of the chains covered in that franchise. What will often happen in this case is that the same owner will end up with different properties whose brands belong to two, or more, franchisors.

If that sounds like not-so-great business, it is, but the next time the franchisors actually care about the hotels they are supposedly helping will be the first.

Pet policies (for non-service animals) are going to vary from hotel to hotel. This order could be wrong, but if I had to guess, from most to least:

A. Will not accept pets.
B. Will accept pets with some kind of deposit, straight up fee, or both.
C. Will accept pets at no additional cost.

Knights Inn is definitely what you would consider a, "Value brand," so if you left there feeling like you got good value, then they did their jobs very well. And, again, some are going to be nicer than others---which is true of anything.

I would feel bad for the franchisees who got into Knights Inn depending on how much notice they were (or were not) given about the sale of the brand to Red Lion. Although, during the time that they were under Wyndham...Knights Inn owners had it pretty good. The franchise fees mainly consisted of a flat fee plus a VERY low percentage of first and second night revenues. They also virtually never did inspections, and even when they did, you'd have to be running a total flophouse to not pass the inspection and then get into the remedial process.

So, great franchise recognition with Wyndham Worldwide, and an excellent booking/rewards channel with a widely-known franchisor for very little money.

Of course, it's hard to know how long Wyndham knew that they planned to sell off the brand internally. That could very well be why the franchise fees were so friendly, build up the hotel count, sell off the brand name, make a ton of money on the backend of selling it. Either way, those properties certainly were getting the best of it while they were under Wyndham, no question. Now, it's a recognizable brand name in a mostly not-well-known franchise.
Vultures can't be choosers.
Mission146
Mission146
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August 1st, 2020 at 11:25:55 AM permalink
Quote: DRich

We had a lot of Knights Inn when I lived in the midwest. I don't see many at all out west.

My wife and I are not much of snobs when it comes to spending a night or two in hotels. We tend to stay in the 2.5 star to 3 star hotels and motels. We use Best Western, Comfort inn, and Days Inn a lot. If we are spending more than two nights we may step up to a 4 star hotel like a Sheraton or Hyatt.



Those are all reasonably good choices, though my experience is that there is a pretty big difference when comparing a Best Western or Comfort Inn to your average Days Inn.

Of course, Days Inn does have more than 1,500 hotels flying that flag, (could be a small franchise by itself, though it's part of Wyndham) so there's certainly going to be some amount of variance and I've certainly not seen them all.

Not counting Microtel, (which I would consider a kind of hybrid of limited service/midscale and economy) my opinion is Super 8 was the most consistent of the Wyndham Economy chains, but now it might be a tie between them and Days Inn. Otherwise, Microtel, but I don't really think of Microtel as an economy hotel in the same sense.

My big thing is, if I was just going to pick a brand in each segment and roll with it, I'd want consistency. That way I can book the thing and have some idea what I am getting no matter where I go. Here are the most consistent hotel chains, in my opinion:

Luxury/High-End:

How the hell would I know? (LOL)

Extended Stay:

Suburban (Choice Hotels)
Candlewood Suites (Intercontinental Hotels)

***There are a few others, but they are mostly more pricey that these and I would not know anything about them.

Limited Service/Midscale:

Best Western (Best Western)
Fairfield (Marriott)
Holiday Inn Express (Intercontinental Hotels)

***For this, I almost want to say Hampton Inn, but compared to various hotels in same market...Hamptons occasionally price themselves like they think they are upscale. Some Hamptons, though, I would consider on the lower end of upscale. I guess that makes them inconsistent.

Midscale/Limited Service/Economy:

---These are basically hotels that I think are too good and consistent to be considered straight-up economy in the case of Microtel.

Sleep Inn (Choice Hotels International)
Microtel (Wyndham)

Economy:

None, anymore. There are only varying degrees of inconsistency. Gun to my head, Motel 6. Super 8 would have dominated for consistency, once upon a time.

If you consider Microtel or Suburban Extended Stay to be economy hotels, then you could include those. Suburban Extended Stay literally has, "Extended Stay," in the name, though. It does the same basic things that the other ones do, just at ridiculously good value. Many would call Microtel economy, so if you call them economy, then they are the most consistent economy hotel by a mile.

MISSION'S FAVORITE HOTEL CHAIN FOR CONSISTENCY:

Suburban Extended Stay! Awesome. I love these!
Vultures can't be choosers.
billryan
billryan
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Mission146
August 1st, 2020 at 12:01:36 PM permalink
As a teenager, I drove cross country twice as my father changed stations from Ft Lewis to Ft. Bragg and back again. We'd always stay in Days Inns when possible because back then they all had dining rooms and were consistent. By the time I started traveling on my own- 1978ish, their dining options had greatly deteriorated. I miss their spaghetti and meat sauce, with toasted garlic bread.
From personal observation, there weren't a lot of family-friendly motel chains back then. Witth no computers, or cell phones, I think we just drove and stopped when we say a place that looked good.
Mission146
Mission146
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August 1st, 2020 at 1:21:38 PM permalink
Quote: billryan

As a teenager, I drove cross country twice as my father changed stations from Ft Lewis to Ft. Bragg and back again. We'd always stay in Days Inns when possible because back then they all had dining rooms and were consistent. By the time I started traveling on my own- 1978ish, their dining options had greatly deteriorated. I miss their spaghetti and meat sauce, with toasted garlic bread.
From personal observation, there weren't a lot of family-friendly motel chains back then. Witth no computers, or cell phones, I think we just drove and stopped when we say a place that looked good.



That's a good post and another thing that I didn't think of. I guess maybe the individual brands do not need to be as consistent anymore because people can look at pictures/reviews and everything like that online. Before the mid-2000's, (transitional period) the big thing to have was the recognizable name, so I guess having a consistent experience was even more important, making it more of a mutually beneficial partnership as much as anything else. A person would just see a sign and say, "Oh, hey, we like these!"
Vultures can't be choosers.
billryan
billryan
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Mission146
August 1st, 2020 at 2:00:43 PM permalink
When you travel with a family, consistency is more important than to others. I remember we rented a cottage in some midwestern state and it was dank, took an hour for enough hot water for a shower and the beds were horrible. My Dad argued with the manager and they offered him a dollar back for the problems.
When we'd travel in the south, we'd always look for a service area with a Stuckeys, because my Mom was convinced they had the best rest rooms.
MDawg
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Mission146
August 2nd, 2020 at 1:38:09 PM permalink
Mission, thanks for your lengthy inside detail on the process.

I'm referring to a period of about a decade ago, but during that period (and before) when I'd use one of those third party sites like hotels dot com if I was using it to book a good hotel, I'd follow up with a FAX directly to the hotel Executive Offices that gave my relevant rewards card number, such as Starwood Gold (now Marriott Bonvoy), and request an upgrade.

I'd get one of three responses:
1) No response
2) A call from someone telling me that he would upgrade me
3) A call from someone telling me that he would upgrade me as a courtesy but that normally I'd have to book through the hotel rewards directly.

If the hotel in question was a good hotel where I did not have a rewards program card, I'd still send a FAX requesting an upgrade with some reason or other as to why they should treat me better, and again, sometimes I'd get one sometimes not.

I think it is a more recent phenomenon where the hotels ignore rewards members unless booked directly. They used to accommodate us more readily.
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Mission146
Mission146
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MDawg
August 2nd, 2020 at 2:31:03 PM permalink
MDawg,

Youíre staying at some pretty nice places, so thatís going to make a big difference. For some time, Hampton Inns had basically a 100% guarantee where the guest could complain about any little thing and it was a full refund and it sounds like youíre talking about places even nicer than that.

We didnít have an, ďExecutive Office,Ē for example. Here was the chain of command at the hotel:

-Owner
-Me
-Everyone Else

The people we treated the best were the ones who were the least demanding, because at our hotel level, the super demanding people were going to complain no matter what you did for them. If someone sent me a fax like that (never happened) on an individual booking, Iíd call and inform them I was cancelling their reservation and recommend to them the Hampton Inn and/or a few others.

Also, I say, ďSuite,Ē but itís not like some big huge deal with a full-sized living room, bedroom and dining area. There wasnít a ton of difference really between a two queen and a suite. The king suites and jacuzzi kings were the only rooms that Iíd consider meaningfully better than anything else, so if you wanted a jacuzzi room, then thatís what you should have booked.

Personally, our regular king rooms were the ones Iíd want to stay in if alone or as a couple. I thought they had the best layout.

So, Rewards Members...when we were really busy, Iíd personally show them the room when they came in to make sure it was to their liking. At that point, Iíd tell them they could cancel at no charge if they felt the accommodations were not to their standards. They usually did not opt to cancel, but did once in a while.

If anyone complained while still at the property within the first four (or so) hours of checking in, then Iíd offer a full refund if they wanted to leave. Some people thought they were cute and would say no, but then check out and complain to the franchisor. Anyway, not only did the franchisor NOT refund them anything, it didnít even stick as a complaint, because Iíd already communicated that we offered a full refund in exchange for them just leaving and they said no.

If they did take the refund and leave, then Iíd just go clean/straighten up (depending on degree of use) the room and rent it to someone else.
Vultures can't be choosers.

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