My blog is all about being a Budget Traveler. Finding ways to save money in order to be able to travel more. One way of doing that is managing hotel costs. I currently participate with 4 different hotel loyalty programs at this time: Holiday Inn, Marriott, Best Western and Hyatt.
Holiday Inn and Best Western brands have always been my go to when traveling because I trust them and they are decent hotels available at a fair price. In the last few years, I have found myself staying at Best Western less and less. I was thinking about this lately and trying to figure out just why that is. A couple of reasons came to mind.
First they have tried to keep up with other hotel chains by expanding their brand to a number of new hotel classes that are now priced almost the same as other chain hotels like Marriott and Holiday Inn. Frankly, I didn’t even know they had these new brands. I have not really seen any marketing until I just received a local guidebook for an upcoming trip to Portland, Oregon which contained a full page ad showing their entire list of properties.
- Best Western
- Best Western Plus
- Best Western Premier
- Executive Residency by Best Western
- Sadie Hotel
- Aiden Hotel
- BW Premier Collection
- BW Signature Collection by Best Western
- Sure Stay Hotel by Best Western
- Sure Stay Plus Hotel by Best Western
- Sure Stay Collection by Best Western
When we traveled with 2 kids, I looked to Best Western to provide a great value mid quality hotel for us that had a pool and offered free breakfast. Those features really helped to stretch our vacation dollars.
Now that we are “empty nesters” our needs have changed. The pool and breakfast aren’t as important as the location, and comfort of stay. I have noticed that many times when I am looking for a hotel, the Best Western’s aren’t located in the prime locations. Since Mark and I like to explore on foot a lot, that can certainly swing my vote.
My daughter and I had a favorite Best Western for our Girls Getaways in Traverse City. It had a great price and location as well as some unusual layout features like spiral stairway in our room leading to a loft with a hot tub and TV. But a few years ago they remodeled it, reclassified it as a Best Western Plus and raised the price. These days when I am looking at the bazillion hotels available in Traverse City, I quickly pass over them as an option.
We stayed at 2 Best Western Plus hotels on our Michigan to Texas road trip a few years ago. Both were Best Western Plus sites and I really didn’t see much difference between the Best Western Plus and Regular Best Western features.
The first one was just what we needed after driving all day. A clean room with a bed and shower. There was really nothing notable about this hotel in Texarkana (except trying to decide if we were in Texas or Arkansas).
The second one was listed as Best Western Plus Sunset Suites – Riverwalk. What we were looking for here was to be as close to the Riverwalk as possible. This hotel was a very unique hotel that was some kind of refurbished 19th century building with lots of character. While that made the building quite charming, its age also caused some issues with things like key cards continually malfunctioning and wonky elevators. We were not ideally located as close to the Riverwalk as we had hoped plus the hotel was on the edge of a sort of a somewhat questionable area for walking in.
Figuring out the Brands
When I read about the extended list of Best Western properties, I had no idea what the differences were between all of these different Brands, so I did a little research. Here are some basic descriptors from the Best Western website for comparison .
Our timeless flagship midscale Best Western hotels offer an exceptional value with the comfort of home and the amenities to ensure a restful and productive stay.
Best Western Plus
Upper-midscale Best Western Plus hotels focus on providing guests with that little something extra. Here travelers will enjoy all the features and services of Best Western, along with upgraded amenities, higher-quality furnishings and enhanced style and comfort.
Best Western Premier
Each Best Western Premier offers the guest the chance to experience Best Western in a whole new light. Our upscale hotels offer a truly refined atmosphere and style, with deluxe amenities and features, along with superior comfort and service for a truly memorable stay.
Introducing Vīb, Best Western International’s new vibrant and stylish boutique concept – a cost-efficient urban design with hyper-connected public spaces.
Presenting GLō, an innovative new boutique hotel brand for the broad midscale market, offering savvy travelers the best in value, design and comfort.
Executive Residency by Best Western
Executive Residency is an upper-midscale prototype that offers the perfect combination of hotel and home for an enriching extended stay experience under the iconic Best Western brand name.
Sadie is an upscale prototype that offers the perfect combination of hotel and home for an enriching extended stay experience under the iconic Best Western brand name.
Aiden is an upper-midscale prototype that offers the perfect combination of hotel and home for an enriching extended stay experience under the iconic Best Western brand name.
BW Premier Collection by Best Western
The BW Premier Collection by Best Western is a global collection of carefully selected upscale and luxury hotels that share Best Western’s rich history of providing guests with unique and local hotel experiences around the world.
BW Signature Collection by Best Western
The BW Signature Collection by Best Western is a collection of upper-midscale hotels that share our commitment to delivering an exceptional and unique travel experiences around the world.
Sure Stay Hotels by Best Western
Everything you need, nothing you don’t want. SureStay Hotels by Best Western welcome those who like to travel simply and casually. Delivering the value and comfort today’s traveler expects, SureStay Hotels offer the necessities for a good night’s stay.
Sure Stay Plus by Best Western
Great value with quality extras. Whether for leisure or business, SureStay Plus Hotels by Best Western is the perfect choice for those who like to travel simply and casually. Find the amenities and service you expect at SureStay Plus.
Sure Stay Collection by Best Western
Quality, value and a little more. A unique blend of hotels, SureStay Collection by Best Western welcomes those who like to travel casually, but appreciate the kinds of details that add to a better stay experience. Find everything you need at a hotel designed to deliver a dependable stay
Now there are so many choices it makes the head swirl a bit! I think the best bet is to see what comes up when doing a hotel search of the area you are planning to visit and go from there.
Just to set the record straight, I am not bashing Best Western. I think they are decent hotels. There are a lot of hotels out there to choose from and they just haven’t fit our travel profile lately. One good thing about Best Western is that the points don’t expire like they do with some hotel loyalty programs. Since I have quite a few points built up, I may try to book one of their newer hotel brands for a fall trip. Now that I know about the other properties, I am interested in at least giving them a try to see what they are all about. I like the thought of having more options.
Has anybody stayed at one of the extended brand lines? If so, I would love to hear what your thoughts are.
Dream, Plan, SAVE, Adventure!