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hotel-status-match-hyatt-logoIn the travel hacking hobby, we are often very fixated on the concept of first class trips, and 5-star hotels, with many people brandishing their elite status as a badge of honor

(SEE ALSO: Hotel status match – how to match at each chain)

(SEE ALSO: Hyatt Diamond Challenge returns… (or not?))

And there’s certainly nothing wrong with that!  If that works for you and your travel patterns, I don’t begrudge your status.  For me, I don’t travel for work, and as such, I don’t have a ton of paid travel.  I try to have most of my travel (both hotel stays and airfare) booked as award travel, which doesn’t really do me much for elite status.  I do have a few mid-level (mostly hotel) statuses via some of the credit cards I hold, but that’s about it

Booking a hotel stay

So all of that is to say that when I have a need for a hotel stay, I don’t necessarily gravitate to any particular brand or the other.  I will generally check the ongoing hotel promotions to see if there are any that make sense for me

(SEE ALSO: Club Carlson Q1 2015 promo – Extend your Stay: Up to 40,000 points per person)

(SEE ALSO: IHG Set your Sights promotion – 50,000 points for completing tasks)

But generally I’m pretty price conscious in travel just as in the rest of my life (as you probably saw if you looked at the budget for my family of 8).  I usually look for award redemptions that make sense, but other than that, price is a main deciding factor.  The perks that I am mostly looking for are free Internet and free breakfast, which are both pretty standard at most US hotels, though paradoxically, many of the so-called “nice” hotels charge for both! When I’m traveling with my family, I also look for hotels that offer free dinner, since with breakfast, that can mean as many as 16 free meals!

(SEE ALSO: 3 reasons “budget” hotels DESTROY nice ones)

(SEE ALSO: Which hotels give dinner for free?)

Is the Rodeway Inn ever a good option?

So I have an upcoming work conference in Salt Lake City this week.  Because I’m trying to visit all 3,143 counties in the United States, while I’m there, I am going a few days early to drive around randomly 😀


The counties in light gray are the ones I will be visiting this week

Using Salt Lake City as a base, I will be circling Utah, heading down to 4 corners (crossing it off my travel bucket list!) and getting 30 new counties.

So… all that is a long way to say that I need somewhere to stay Tuesday night.  I will be down in the Lake Powell area of southern Utah / northern Arizona, and there are a fair number of budget (and REALLY budget) hotels.  My first choice was actually to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Page, Arizona which is actually conveniently on the recently released IHG Point Breaks list!

(SEE ALSO: IHG Point Breaks list for March, April and May 2015)

(SEE ALSO: Map of all IHG PointBreaks March 2015, April 2015 and May 2015)

but for some reason, that hotel is sold out for the date I need (and not any of the other dates nearby).  Most of the other hotels in the area are Choice hotels, where I don’t have points, and I don’t want to spend 20K Best Western Points or use 25K of my valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards to book a Marriott.

So that leads me to the Rodeway Inn


The good?  $36.99 / night (marked in green)

The bad? only 48% of guests recommend the hotel. 😀

I did read the reviews and while there are a few that concerned me, even most of the 1 star and/or wouldn’t recommend reviews weren’t all that bad, so I booked it (paid it with Barclay Arrival points). I’ve stayed at a Rodeway Inn before (also on a county bagging trip), and it wasn’t that bad.

I’m not expecting the Hyatt Vendome, but as long as it beats the worst hotel I’ve ever stayed at, I’ll count it as a plus!

Ever stayed at a Rodeway Inn or similar deep budget hotel?  What’s the worst hotel you’ve ever stayed at?

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