Candlewood Suites in the United States is a winner of FTF’s Top 10 (Cheap) Getaways For Family Travelers 2008 award.
Looking for a budget hotel can be a daunting task. Granted, while en route (and not being too picky) across the USA, a family can easily find a not-so-nice room at a local motel or hostel for $50 a night. But, without a trusted brand name to back the quality, mom and dad may not realize what they have gotten themselves into just to save a few bucks. When were those sheets last cleaned? Why is the lock broken and the ceiling cracking? Where is the flat screen TV? And why do we have to share a room with strangers in this hostel?
Attention Family Travelers: Economy-savvy travel doesn’t have to mean meager accommodations, lackluster amenities and below-standard services. Families just need to pick a hotel chain that offers quality without breaking the bank — and we found it.
In the United States, the InterContinental Hotel Group’s Candlewood Suites fits the bill (without giving you a large one). Thus, this chain with 200-plus hotels nationwide is FTF’s domestic choice for 2008’s Top (Cheap) Hotel Chain Getaway.
As of September 30th 2008, the average daily rate across the Candlewood brand was $72.49 for a studio suite sleeping two. Of course, this figure fluctuates, and depending on the hotel’s location, suite type and the date of your stay – rates will vary. According to Monica Smith, the brand’s Media Relations Manager, Candlewood sees many business travelers and this can be an added bonus for families, as it makes weekend rates sometimes more cost effective than weekdays. A summer caveat: a business clientele means that only 30% of the hotels have a pool.
Designed for extended stays, however, Candlewood Suites’ goal is to be a home away from home. There are three different (and spacious) suites that travelers can choose from: studio, one-bedroom and studio double suites (not available in all hotels). All suites feature a DVD player, plus all Candlewood Suites hotels have a free Lending Library from which guests can “rent” a movie to enjoy.
Best suited for families are the one-bedroom suites which feature a private bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living space with a pullout sofa, recliner and television. All suite rates also include free high-speed internet access and local calls. One of the few downsides to Candlewood Suites is that since the hotel is geared for travelers staying for longer periods, housekeeping service is only available once a week in order to give guests the most privacy. However, fresh clean towels and sheets are available upon request.
Candlewood kitchens are not just minimal efficiencies; they are fully equipped with a dishwasher, a full-size refrigerator and freezer with an icemaker, a microwave and a stovetop, plus an assortment of cooking utensils and dishes. Additionally, families can utilize the outdoor Gazebo Grill for their BBQ needs as they chow down on burgers and corn on the cob in the surrounding picnic area. For the budget-minded family, this means there is no need to eat out. Instead, hit the local supermarket for groceries at the beginning of your stay and cook and grill your way into savings!
Want to shop closer to your hotel? Every Candlewood Suites features the 24-hour Candlewood Cupboard store where, on the honor system, guests can purchase a variety of food, snack and toiletry items. Guests fill out an easy payment slip, drop it in the slot and then are on their way.
Looking for other 24/7 conveniences at Candlewood Suites? How about the gym where, no matter what the hour, mom, dad and older kids, can work up a sweat? And when all packed clothes are dirty, Candlewood offers free laundry facilities open day and night. An added bonus: Candlewood is pet friendly.
The constantly growing brand has more than 20,000 rooms spread across 41 of the United States. Thirty-two hotels are currently in the pipeline and should be opened by 2010. This includes the first Candlewood Suites in New York City located in its heart: Times Square (coming in March 2009)! Many major tourist destinations also feature this hotel chain, such as Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denver, Cincinnati, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, San Jose, Charlotte, Detroit, Baltimore, Austin, Dallas and others. (Candlewood Suites even has an international hotel in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.) And with locations in such great travel destinations, families can have quality accommodations and see the sights while saving a bundle!
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