When I hear the term economy hotel I instantly think of the types of properties that advertise the price of a room in neon lights on a large sign posted out front. When I hear the term upscale hotel I instantly think of the luxury properties that I could only afford to stay at if I won the lottery. And, when I hear the term “upscale limited-service hotels,” I really don’t know what to think.
Well, not anymore. I recently got a crash course in what these types of properties offer travelers. Typically, their interiors look similar to the floor rooms at Ikea with a hint of Starbucks and a university computer lab… and according to travel experts, they are the “hottest segment in the lodging business.”
You may know them better by name: Cambria Suites, Hyatt Place and Nylo. The new brands join Marriott’s Courtyard and SpringHill Suites, and Hilton’s Garden Inn. Sound familiar? Perhaps, their price points may ring a bell. Rooms there typically run from $100-to-$160-a-night. Hence, the nickname: “Cheap Chic.”
So what can you expect to get from one of these “cheap chic” chains? Basically, all the amenities of full-service hotel at lower prices. Which means you can watch your favorite shows on high-end TVs. (Cambria Suites features two LCD TVs in the room, one in the living area and the other near the bed.) Also, most offer both wireless and wired Internet access in the rooms, along with swimming pools and workout rooms.
Here’s what you won’t be getting: spas, large banquet rooms, doormen, bellhops, valet parking, and concierge services. Of course, your bill will reflect this by illustrating a savings of at least $30 to $100 a night.
Hotel executives say the upscale limited-service hotels aim to target frequent travelers —- in their 20s and 30s– who are more interested in getting a clean, modern room than a elaborate one at a more expensive site. You’ll know when you’ve arrived at a “cheap chic” property—they don’t offer the opulent entrance of an expensive hotel. The lobbies are smaller, but offer guest a clean environment with coffee bars and social events.
Would you consider staying at a “cheap chic” property?