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Extended Stay Hotels - Experiences? Advice?

Extended Stay Hotels - Experiences? Advice?

Old Jun 28, 20, 6:04 pm
  #1  
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Extended Stay Hotels - Experiences? Advice?

Hi All -

I'm selling my condo and given the current lack of inventory in the local market, there's a distinct possibility that I will be out of my home before I find a replacement house to buy or at least close escrow in time. My thought is to use an extended stay hotel for the bridge period (Residence Inn, Homewood Suites, etc.).

Does anyone have any experience with this and have feedback/advice to offer? I've done some preliminary searches for rates online and those places aren't always cheaper than regular hotels. As an example, the local Marriott properties (Courtyard, Westin, Renaissance) can have lower rates. Not sure if there's something I'm missing. A fridge would be good, as would a microwave. Is that the primary difference/advantage of extended stay places?

Is it better to book shorter terms (1-2 weeks) at a time or go for a whole month? Do they offer better rates?

This is all a bit of a mystery to me.
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Old Jun 28, 20, 7:12 pm
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I think that a big part of the value prop for these places isn’t so much the lower price, but the fact that the kitchenette reduces the expenses associated with restaurants/eating. For a business that is sending an employee to another city for a month, reducing a $50-$60 per day meal allowance to a $200/week per diem can result in significant sabings. Also, these places tend to have a slightly larger laundry room than a conventional hotel.
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Last edited by Qwkynuf; Jun 29, 20 at 11:25 am
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Old Jun 28, 20, 9:17 pm
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I know many Residence inns offer evening happy hours, snacks etc

And they have breakfast as well.
I also find the beds in Residence Inns more comfy that the equiv from Hilton. and Hyatt.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 6:58 am
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So, I've done this before when changing jobs and hadn't secured permanent housing. If you're paying on your own, don't forget to take a look at some of the "lower end" properties to be just fine. I've done at least a month in both an Extended Stay America and a Candlewood Suites. At least at the Candlewood you can earn IHG points. They can be significantly cheaper than the Residence, Homewood, etc. Look for reviews on the property and take a drive by, if you have the opportunity, to make sure you have no issues.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 9:41 am
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There are some municipalities that calculate taxes differently based on the number of nights in an extended stay hotel with a kitchen in every room - if you hit a ‘short term apartment’ threshold, you will occasionally get a discount on taxes

I usually prefer the extended stay option for anything four nights or longer, even with IHG where you take a points hit, for the larger living space, fridge that will be at least half sized rather than dorm room size, dishwasher, and provided tableware that lets me eat my take out food in proper plates like a civilized person
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Old Jun 29, 20, 9:55 am
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Play around with your booking dates. Rates can change depending on the chain and length of stay. I have seen lower long term rates start at 7, 14, and 30 days. I know you are looking at point earning opportunities, but the few Extended Stay America locations I have used have the hardest beds in the world. Been a long time since I stayed in one, as now I try to avoid them.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 10:07 am
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Consider looking on a Travel Nursing website for options. A quick google search will give you half a dozen or more web sites that offer housing for 30+ days. The prices are cheaper than AirBnbs or hotels but higher than yearly leases. They are fully furnished, utilities on, and have cookware, etc.

There was a really nice condo on the beach in San Diego that tempted me just to rent for the summer.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 10:09 am
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Thanks everyone. The point-earning opportunities would be nice, but probably aren't the driver in the decision.
We frequently do take-out so kitchen isn't crucial, especially if I don't have all my supplies/tool/equipment. I'd probably be OK with just fridge and microwave.
I did start playing with dates and instead of doing a simple 30-day search, I was breaking it up by 1-2 week intervals. Given that I'll probably have minimal stuff, it's probably also not a major issue to move every couple of weeks.
At this point, if I continue to work remotely, I'm down to wearing a t-shirt and gym shorts everyday. Laundry has been a very simple affair during the pandemic.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 10:26 am
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In a similar situation, I stayed at a corporate apartment -- 1 bedroom, furnished, with gym and free donuts. I bought my condo and had to agree to a 3 month rent back. I didn't think about an extended stay hotel, but I'm guessing the corp apartment was cheaper and had more room for my stuff.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
Hi All -

I'm selling my condo and given the current lack of inventory in the local market, there's a distinct possibility that I will be out of my home before I find a replacement house to buy or at least close escrow in time. My thought is to use an extended stay hotel for the bridge period (Residence Inn, Homewood Suites, etc.).

Does anyone have any experience with this and have feedback/advice to offer? I've done some preliminary searches for rates online and those places aren't always cheaper than regular hotels. As an example, the local Marriott properties (Courtyard, Westin, Renaissance) can have lower rates. Not sure if there's something I'm missing. A fridge would be good, as would a microwave. Is that the primary difference/advantage of extended stay places?

Is it better to book shorter terms (1-2 weeks) at a time or go for a whole month? Do they offer better rates?

This is all a bit of a mystery to me.
Try even non-chain hotels as sometimes a local hotel with kitchenette rooms will often offer weekly/biweekly rentals. My parents did one where their house sold quickly, but the construction on a new senior rental was delayed, so they ended up in the hotel for a good 2.5 months.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by squeakr View Post
And they have breakfast as well.
I also find the beds in Residence Inns more comfy that the equiv from Hilton. and Hyatt.
Homewood Suites have full daily dinners for free.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 1:05 pm
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
My thought is to use an extended stay hotel for the bridge period (Residence Inn, Homewood Suites, etc.).
Marriott Bonvoy rewards your loyalty by giving you half the points at Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites . As a Gold, you might not have much of a chance for an upgrade from a studio to a suite. RI seems to have moved the light dinner to Monday-Wednesday now. I did have some very good artisanal appetizers at a RI last winter, though. TPS seems to attract more families than what I normally see at a "free breakfast for everyone" property so the breakfast area gets overcrowded. I'll only stay at a RI on points and mostly avoid TPS.

Homewood Suites or a Hilton Garden Inn would be my choice. As a Diamond, your upgrade chances are much better. HS food options seem to be a little better than RI. HS has ceiling fans in the rooms which are a nice touch. At HGI you can choose a free breakfast for you and a guest as one of your benefit choices. Only Diamonds have this benefit so the breakfast area is more relaxed. All HGI properties should have a small fridge and microwave. Some of the suites in older properties are shotgun style where the sitting area doesn't have any windows, but the newer ones are much nicer and brighter.

Call around to a few properties and speak to the GM about an extended stay rate.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 1:24 pm
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Originally Posted by N965VJ View Post
Marriott Bonvoy rewards your loyalty by giving you half the points at Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites . ... RI seems to have moved the light dinner to Monday-Wednesday now. ... TPS seems to attract more families than what I normally see at a "free breakfast for everyone" property so the breakfast area gets overcrowded. I'll only stay at a RI on points and mostly avoid TPS. ...

Call around to a few properties and speak to the GM about an extended stay rate.
+1 to all these observations, with the possible caveat that TPS clientele is probably very location-dependent; on a two- or three-night midweek stay at the one in Manhattan Beach, for instance (2-3x/year for the past 5 or 6 years), I'd usually see 8-10 work trucks belonging to construction/utility companies (and lots of people sporting hard hats and/or tool belts) in addition to a good number of more-or-less-typical white-collar business travelers, but seldom more than one or two families with young kids or teens
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Old Jun 29, 20, 2:37 pm
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Some Air B&B and VRBO are specifically set up for month plus stays, and some owners of properties that are not set up that way will still give significant discounts for longer stays as well if you ask them. Something worth considering if you are paying for it, often you can get a pretty nice apartment/condo for the same price (or cheaper) as a long term hotel depending on the location.

This approach might help you to "live" in a nicer location, one issue with the long term hotels I have seen is that they are often in less desirable locations near freeways/busy shopping areas or less desirable parts of town.

I stayed in a long term hotel for 10 days when I moved from Florida to Delaware 10+ years ago, before Airbnb was a real thing. Now if I had to do it again (and I might, soon) I would definitely go the Airbnb route. The only issue is that you might not have as much flexibility as in a hotel in case you decide you want to leave early or stay longer.
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Old Jun 29, 20, 4:52 pm
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I spent a month in a Residence Inn back in 2009. The internet was very slow, but the room was fine and I think it had weekly housekeeping back then.
​​​​​​I didn't use the kitchen that often and didn't entertain so maybe I'd have preferred a regular hotel.

I do know that I've yet to see an Extended Stay America that isn't dingy or depressing.
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