Friday, March 5, 2010

Getting the most of your Traveling Dollars

CourtyardThe above picture is from a Courtyard recently taken in St. Louis. Courtyards have a small living room space so you have a sofa to sit on and don't always have to sit on the bed. Makes things much more comfortable. Courtyards have a desk area (see chair on left) with free internet service. Courtyards also have a free breakfast buffet. The beds in the Courtyards we've stayed in tend to be Kings which is also a nice traveling feature. Courtyards are part of the Marriott System. All the rooms we've stayed in at Courtyards have a sleeper sofa.

living room at Springhill SuitesThis is a view from one of the Springhill Suites we've stayed in during our travels. Springhills Suites also are a part of The Marriott System. The tend to be less numerous than the above Courtyards, generally newer as they are the newest line in The Marriott Chain. Springhills seem to be a little larger than most Courtyards we've stayed in, though that may vary by location. Many of the Springhills we've stayed in tend to be in the downtown areas and are either a new rehab or a brand new facility. This assures nice accommodations.

Desk area at SpringhillPlenty of desk area with free internet service, both wired and wifi at Springhill Suites by Marriott. All Springhill's have King size beds with a pull out sofa which works well for us if our daughter is joining us. They have a small microwave, dorm sized fridge and extra sink area.

Suite at SpringhillThe layout's vary a bit in Springhill's but usually they have a partial wall like this photo separating the living room/desk area from the bedroom. A free breakfast buffet is also included at Springhill Suites.

Kitchen in Residence InnThis is a kitchen area at a Residence Inn, also a part of The Marriott System. Residence also have free internet service and a free breakfast buffet. They tend to be a little larger than the Springhill Suites, a little older as they've been in the system longer. Beds are queen at Residence Inn, as is the pull out sofa.

The prices for Courtyard, Springhill Suites, and Residence Inn varies from location to location; but you can see with each you get a free breakfast buffet something that can save you both time and money in your travels. Additionally with a full kitchen at The Residence you could prepare a meal. This is a good option if your trying to save money, spending more than 1 night; and are to tired to go out. The Springhill Suites give you an option to save money on meals also with their microwave. All three of these chains have a small market place in the lobby were you can purchase frozen meals, something quick and easy after your travels.

There are several benefits of sticking with one system as you travel. You become acquainted and comfortable with what to expect, you obtain frequent user's discounts, you can sign up for email alerts of specials, AND in the case of Marriott you obtain points which give you discounts elsewhere or with future travels. We've also found the service you get as a frequent user of one system tends to be better. When we've needed help re-scheduling, or upgrading a room, we've found lots of cooperation. Marriott is not the only system, believe Hyatt and other well known chains have similar benefits. Start with one and carry through with it, is my recommendation. Additionally, we've earned a free night here and there by staying with one sure can't beat that for stretching your travel dollars. Marriott on the service might seem more expensive than a regular room else where; but with free breakfast, free internet (both items often extra elsewhere), and frequent discounts and points; we've found it to be a real cost saver.

**parking is free unless you're in a downtown area, then it seems regardless of where you stay you pay to park. Space is a premium.
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  1. I love free Internet. I definitely calculate Internet charges when making travel decision. I liked your advice to stick with one chain. I tend not to do that, but it definitely helps with benefits.

  2. Marriot System really has great stuffs to offer. With wonderful facilities and service like this, it would be a pleasurable stay most especially the free Internet service. Hehehe!

  3. We tend to stick with one chain too since that reduces any surprises between what we thought we were getting and what we get. Free internet is important too and love free breakfast!

  4. We love the Marriott hotels. My husband travels every week on business and builds up points very quickly. We stayed in one of the newest Residence Inns. It was like a little apartment. And beautifully decorated. I think I could live there!

    I also came by with good news! You have won my giveaway of a $65.00 shopping spree at CNS Stores. Please contact me (anniesgrannie at gmail dot com) with your email address so we can discuss how to get your prize. Congratulations!

  5. Well for me i always prefer Marriot.
    Their services are absolutely awesome. I don't want to go for any other hotel. Its the best and i love to stay with Marriot.

  6. Sticking to one system definitely helps. I love the frequent visitor discounts and freebies :)

  7. Its interesting for me to know about Courtyard and Springhill Suites.I am surprised that we can get free Internet.Springhill Suite is good as it has nice facilities..

  8. Wow that room is like having a small apartment. Couch, TV, Internet, you would be all set.


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