Something is upside down in the hotel industry. In most other industries, when you pay more you get more, but when it comes to hotels that’s not the case. Here are 6 ways mid-range hotels give you more for your money than upscale hotels.
First, about those classifications. Mid-range hotels are usually three and four star properties offering consistency and convenience with popular amenities like comfortable lobbies and rooms, and fast, hassle-free check-in, while upscale hotels are usually four and five star properties with all of the above plus porters, a concierge, room service, in-house dining and a spa.
Features of mid-range hotels unavailable at most upscale hotels…
At the vast majority of mid-range hotels, parking is free. Not so with most upscale hotels, which are often located in densely populated cities where parking is at a premium. Even so, when you are paying as much as $300 or more for a hotel room per night, you would think they could throw that in. Not so much.
One of the most popular amenities at any mid-range hotel is the free buffet breakfast. Granted, this is not glamorous dining, but it is a nice touch, especially for those on the go. Want a quick, no cost breakfast at an upscale hotel? Figure it. You can either pay for room service or have a sit down breakfast at their in-house restaurant at a cost that’s guaranteed to add at least 25 bucks to your bill.
This is one of the most egregious examples of upscale hotels nickel and diming their customers. Every mid-range hotel in America offers free Wifi. Not so with upscale hotels where you must pay anywhere from $15-$30 for the privilege. That’s like charging you to use your shower. It’s a necessity, not a luxury. But most upscale hotels still insist on treating it that way.
The humble ice machine is the most underappreciated amenity at mid-range hotels. You never really know how nice it is until you find yourself at an upscale hotel where getting a few cubes for your drink requires calling room service and paying the service charge and tip. All for some frozen water. Please.
Relief From Tipping
At a mid-range hotel, it’s the simplest thing to navigate your stay with little or no tipping. Good luck accomplishing that at an upscale hotel. From the minute you arrive, the hands are out. From valets to doormen to porters to room service and concierge, it never stops. For the price you’re paying you would think some of those services would be gratis, but that’s not how it works.
Relief from Resort Fees
Mid-range hotels never try to sneak extra fees onto your bill that push up the cost of your lodging beyond the quoted price. At upscale hotels, not only are you paying extra for many of the amenities that are free at less expensive hotels, you often are paying more for your room than you were led to believe. You have to have some pretty deep pockets to absorb all of this without feeling you’re getting ripped off.
All in all, mid-scale hotels offer you more for your money than upscale hotels, which is really odd when you think about it. But it’s unlikely to change as long as upscale travelers are willing to be taken advantage of in the name of status.
Bellman pushing cart, Jason Kuffer
Breakfast, Frank Zoe
Tipping, Wade Morgen
No resort fees, Change.org