When Mr. GoodLife and I relocated to Colorado two months ago, one of our main concerns was “Where are we going to live until we find a house and close on it?”
Thankfully, we found a great long-term hotel to call home for 2 months that was located within 15 miles of Mr. GoodLife’s office and allowed us to get a feel for the area in which we were going to be living in without setting down permanent roots right away.
We found this choice to be instrumental in how smooth our relocation was and in getting acclimated to our new home state. Here is why we would consider a long-term stay hotel again for our future trips.
1- Free internet and parking and no resort fees
It annoys me to no end to have to pay for internet, parking and additional resort fees after booking my hotel stay. These ammenities in my mind should be included in the price of the room, so any hotel that offers these services at no extra charge, earns bonus points in my book. Just imagine going to a hairdresser and having to pay extra for each product they use to style your hair. Ridiculous!
2- Cheaper rates
It makes perfect sense for a long-term stay hotel to charge you less money. You will be staying longer which increases the stability of the revenue for that establishment. The hotel incurs fewer costs when you stay for a week or more -instead of fully cleaning your room everyday, in a long-term stay the rooms are cleaned throughly every 3 days with lighter cleaning everyday (towels, trash), which not only saves water and labor, but dollars as well. Lastly, occupancy is everything in the hotel business, so the more rooms that are booked long-term, the better.
3- Decent breakfast
Also included in the price. Long-term stay hotels specialize in being the home away from home for many business travelers and as such the managers in these hotels understand that you can’t live on a continental breakfast more than a couple days. During our stay Mr. GoodLife took full advantage of hot breakfasts served everyday at an early enough time to accomodate for his work schedule. Since I was restricting my intake of meat, fats and processed foods, I made my own breakfast which brings me to number 4.
This option was definetely the best for me. I was able to prepare smoothies (with the purchase of a blender), cook homemade meals for Mr. GoodLife to take in for lunch, and many times also dinner if no options were available at the hotel that suited my diet. The kitchen was small, but it included the basic necessities for a two month stay- a dishwasher, a microwave, a fridge, two-burner stove and all the cook and serve ware needed, decreasing the need for us to eat out.
5- Pet Friendly
Our dog Becky is part of our family and as such she was also relocating to Colorado. One of the nicest things in this hotel was that it was not only pet friendly, but dog loving. The staff would often ask about, play with or generally smile when pets were around. There was no place Becky could not go and that made all the difference in the world for our stay. Another nice perk was the strategically placed waste bags and garbage disposal cans for those daily strolls.
6- Larger rooms
Our room was not so much a room, but an apartment with a living area, kitchen, bedroom and an en-suite bathroom. It was roomier than a big city rental and really allowed us to be comfortable and settle in, instead of living out of our suitcases.
7- Laundry facilities
When you stay at a place longer than 2 weeks, the dreaded need to do laundry eventually arises. Having a laundry room just outside your room door is not only convienient, but much appreciated as you can set it up and go do other things and come back to clean clothes instead of sitting in a laundromat for hours watching your undies tumble in the dryer.
There was nothing better and more convienient for my lifestyle change (eating better and exercising more) than having a gym literally just a few floors down that was open 24 hours a day and often empty, making it feel like my private gym. This was a catalyst to allowing me to make exercising a habit and giving me no excuses not to make it in for the day.
9- Other guests
I would say that aside from weekends when the wedding parties come in, most guests were there for at least a month’s time. This was beneficial in many ways. Long-term stay guests are quieter, friendlier and often there on business which means the overall “feel” of the hotel is more mature and peaceful than most resort hotels, which can sometimes feel like a party cruise lost at sea.
10- Additional perks
This hotel in particular offered additional perks like a BBQ area, fully functional office and all inclusive dinners which consisted of full meals, free wine and beer (yes, you read that right) and freshly baked cookies Monday through Thursday. For a family of four, dinner and breakfast alone could go a long way to keeping a vacation on budget. For Mr. GoodLife and I, it was perfect since we were eating two very different meals, but not having to cook them ourselves.
I don’t see us relocating again anytime soon, but if we had to do it again, or if we were traveling slow for an extended period of time in the future, the long-term stay hotels would be the way to go.
What about you? Any experiences or tips about staying in a hotel long-term?
* The hotel we called home in the past two months was the Homewood Suites by Hilton and this is not a sponsored review of it.