Actually can’t decide whether or not to stay at a chain hotel….

Much to reader (or maybe former reader, although I really hope s/he’s still reading) MoiMoi’s chagrin (if you have no clue what I’m talking about, see the conversation that transpired here), I’m a fan of chain hotels. More specifically, I’m loyal to InterContinental hotels, which by extension makes me loyal to Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels given that they also belong to Priority Club. I actually agree with MoiMoi that there might be more “authentic” experiences at times, but travel is one of the three things I’m addicted to — the other two being great customer service and loyalty programs, both of which InterContinentel excel in. Anyway, that’s besides the point.

I was looking at hotels in Seattle for an upcoming quick trip, and I can’t believe I’m not impulse booking the chain hotel. Seattle is a tough city for hotels for me. There’s no InterContinental, for one. More importantly, there aren’t any great chain hotels, but there are fantastic non-chain hotels. So as a Priority Club Platinum my logical choice in terms of earning points ad receiving benefits would be the Crowne Plaza, which is about $120/night. Certainly not a bad value, but then there are hotels like the Pan Pacific, which is no doubt a nicer property and only $110/night (you heard me right, the Pan Pacific is cheaper than the Crowne Plaza)!

Now if I’m really pushing my luck I see Hotel 1000 available through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts for around $200/night, but that includes internet, breakfast, a room upgrade, late check-out, etc., so isn’t all that bad. And I hear people raving about that hotel.

So in this case the Pan Pacific or *maybe* as a one-time exception Hotel 1000 sound like they’re worth trying, but I just don’t think I can get myself to do it. The only thing I’ll have after my stay are memories, as opposed to points, stay credits, and hopefully status renewal!

Now I guess there’s some middle ground. I’m also Marriott Gold and Starwood Gold, but neither have particularly impressive options. I find Marriott points to be pretty worthless given that I don’t stay with them all that much and their fares are substantially higher than the Crowne Plaza. Starwood has the “W”…. sorry, I won’t pay a premium for attitude. The Sheraton and Westin look fine, but in that case I’d rather just stick with the Crowne Plaza.

Anyone face a similar issue?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. I’ve mostly given up on paying extra for the hotel loyalty programs. You’ll do just fine at the non-chain properties with great service and whatnot and you’ll go home with extra cash in your pocket. That translates into more trips.

    Sure, getting to raid the mini-bar for free is fun, but just how much is that really worth when you could just walk to the pacakge store around the corner from the hotel and pick up a decent bottle of something if you feel so compelled?

  2. Seattle seems to be one of the few places where I face this same dilemma. Because the hotels in Seattle are overpriced, I usually consider using Priceline, but always end up staying at an IC brand hotel for the qualifying night credit. The Crown Plaza isn’t all that, but you will get free breakfast and $120/night is a decent rate.

    I guess you never got that Hyatt Diamond status match? If you did, you could use one of your confirmed Diamond suite upgrades at the Grand Hyatt or one of their other properties. They’ve got to be better than the Crown Plaza.

  3. How’s the NFAF rate at the Fairmont Olympic?

    Meanwhie, W Seattle has less attitude than the median W. And as un-hip as I am I’ve been treated well at most Ws — love Hong Kong and Seoul, and while on the whole the W San Diego is mediocre their EXTREME WOW suite is nice.

    Westin needs renovation, stay away. Sheraton is better, there are Starwood promos still running, if the price is right. Not ‘special’ though by any means.

  4. I like the 1000 – very nicely decorated and designed…the W’s rooms look like a dressed up hotel 6 (a tub/shower with a curtain? please.).

    When are you coming up (email me)?

  5. I Priceline the airport location and typically get the Doubletree with all the pilots and attendants for about $40 per night. The express bus to downtown is $2.25 right in front of the hotel.

    $200 per night is crazy to me

  6. Even though I’ve largely abandoned Hilton, the HGI Seattle North/Everett is cool as it overlooks Paine field. You can get a great view of the new birds that have rolled out of the Boeing plant. I saw the ANA 787’s, the dreamlifter 747, and the very first 747-8 off the line all sitting there. I watched a 767 take off right as I arrived.

    I think I paid $71 for it and it was my fourth stay towards the 25,000 extra HHonors points which pushed me over the edge to burn the rest of my HHonors points and complete my abandonment of the program.

    I’m sure you still have status with HHonors, right? So you could get free breakfast. Then you could take the Boeing tour, I’ve done it twice this year.

  7. With a comment from the social media and prmotions manager for Hotel 1000 I’d consider the suggestion to write a One Mile at a Time review for Hotel 1000. With more than 500,000 Alaska cruisers passing through Seattle next year, a hotel review for your readers would be useful to many.

  8. i have a bunch of coupons for the RedLion hotels…a chain local to the northwest…the coupons are electronic and will cost you about $10 a night.

    You can get $100 off of a price of a room. see https://qnet.e-quantum2k.com/~soundbusiness/Custom/RLASPC/RETAIL/cgi-bin/nph-main.cgi
    (Room could be free) Red Lions are mostly in the Northwest (see http://redlion.rdln.com/HotelLocator/OurHotels.aspx) (You must make a $5 donation to an animal charity, so it’s really about $95 off)

    Here are the codes you can use..until end of year….

    X9VQV9YY9ALR
    H7P2WX2MN7UN
    H7P2DT5MW6K5
    X9VW9US6RE3L
    X9VGN9SKF4LT
    X9VUV6PQ2SHS

    I have more if these are expired…

  9. The Crowne Plaza hotel in Seattle is incredibly pedestrian for this chain; the Pan Pacific would be about a 3x nicer hotel for the same money (the Pan Pacific also saves you $10, which will get you a better breakfast than the one you get at the CP by walking to any of Seattle’s great restaurants).

    Overall, both the downtown HI and the downtown CP are ripoffs for the price considering what you can usually score off of Hotwire (even factoring in PC points) or other promos. I consider Seattle and Hawai’i to be ICH’s two weakest domestic markets considering the travel volume in each.

  10. @ Wandering Aramean — For the most part I would agree with you, but I still think I get *exceptional* value at InterContinental hotels. Between club lounge access, free internet (for the most part), suite upgrades, free minibar consumption, the points earned, buy one get one free weekend nights, etc., I’m coming out *way* ahead with them. Not so much at the lower end properties, but I do still think loyalty is very much worth it with the right hotels. Unfortunately there’s no great option in Seattle, in which case I agree with you.

    @ bmvaughn @ Eric — I’ll be in touch.

    @ Mike — You forgot the lime. 😉

    @ Jamie — Holy cow, you’re on top of things. Getting a response from someone at the hotel an hour after I publish my post? Just wow!

    @ Gene — Still waiting to match to Diamond. My InterContinental stays have been consistently phenomenal, so I have no reason to match right now. The other thing about the Grand Hyatt Seattle is that it’s $200+, so actually more than any of the other options. If I were a Hyatt Diamond I’d probably stay there, though.

    @ Gary — Haven’t even checked that, good point. Will look into it shortly.

    @ Rick — That’s usually what I’d do, but I kind of have to be downtown this time around.

    @ belltowngs — Good to know, thanks! Might consider that if for no other reason than to make MoiMoi happy. 😉

    @ HunterSFO — Sounds pretty cool with the views! Sadly I’ve dropped down to Hilton Silver status for the meantime, so not all that many benefits anymore. If I could get four Hilton nights in I’d definitely do it for the promotion, although I doubt that’s happening right now.

    @ Ric — When I first saw Hotel 1000 I was impressed and actually considered staying there just to write a review. Just to compare the chain experience to the “premium” experience where you’re NOT nickel-and-dimed for everything, which is rare.

    @ Ed — Thanks!

    @ dmodemd — Hah, it looks like that’s what’s starting to form.

    @ andrewwm — Thanks, that’s the impression I get. Agree about Hawaii as well, their selection is just pathetic. I think at the very least Seattle needs an IC.

  11. Let me make a really off-beat recommendation. Try “Inn at harbor steps” in Seattle (and more locations on the PNW coast, under the name “four sisters”).

    Downtown, not far from Pike street market. You get a 1 br in a condo, with breakfast and afternoon tea. Unlike many apartment hotels, this one has a concierge desk for their apartments. Less expensive than Hilton/Marriott, etc especially when you consider the space and amenities.

  12. Why would I be a “former” reader? Our travel paths may be quite different but I enjoy reading about those differences!

    And, dare I say, I hope you don’t let me influence your hotel decisions too much. 😉

    Have a great trip.

    MoiMoi

  13. The Grand Hyatt Seattle is one of the best Hyatts in North America. Alternatively, why not Hotel Monaco – they’re part of Kimpton’s.

    The W is one of the first W’s being built outside of NYC, which means it’s one of the older ones, which equals to dated/worn furniture/decor. I would avoid it.

  14. If you have time, eat at “Nell’s” in Seattle. It is one of the few mileage plus dining restaurants I’ve gone to that is really really good. The dungeness crab salad is to die for and the kobe hangar steak was excellent. Dessert was so good I ordered a second item “to go” so i could have it a few hours later in the hotel.

  15. I just checked out the Fairmont Friends and Family rate, and it comes out to about $159/night compared to the normal rate of $181+. At that rate I’m thinking the Pan Pacific at $109+ is a much better value.

  16. I stayed at the new Hyatt Olive 8 in Seattle last month. Very nice property located on Olive and 8th, which is a short walk from Pike Market. Great food. Really great service. Check it out.

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