business family

The cheapest motel does not mean the best value.

Our house is being fumigated this week because we have wood-boring beetle damage under the floors. Yes, this means the big circus tent over the house. So we are staying elsewhere.

Surviving at the Motel 6
I originally reserved 4 nights for us at Motel 6. I have no idea what I was thinking. It turns out that while Motel 6 is cheap to stay at, it has very little in the way of creature comforts. You get a bed, a bathroom, matchbook-sized soap, a small desk, air conditioning, and a 19″ TV. Plus unidentifiable stains in the carpet that could be chocolate or could be something else. Plus a “non-smoking room” that reeks of stale smoke. Then there’s the meth-addled chick who dug a cigarette butt out of the ashtray outside the front office, then tried picking up on my husband while I was walking beside him.

We even had to bring our own small fridge, an iron and ironing board, and a clock radio, just so we could function on work days. My cell phone had zero signal indoors.

I also paid for 4 days of Wi-Fi so I could conduct business with my laptop. The “Motel 6” Wi-Fi never connected, in spite of two lengthy phone calls I made to the tech support number I was given. I ended up having to pirate the signal from nearby sources, which made me really resent Motel 6. It turned out that the Wi-Fi signal to my room was shut off, but that was not figured out until two days into our stay. Lame.

Thriving at Days Inn
Near the end of the second day, I couldn’t take it any more. We made a reservation at the Days Inn across the street. We canceled our last 2 days at Motel 6. Moving into Days Inn was like switching from pauper to prince. For $16 more per night, we now have a gorgeous room in a hotel with interior hallways that require a room key to enter.

This room is nicer than our house (though smaller). And it reminds me of all the things that make living in a hotel a treat, rather than a misery. These are all things that our $60/night Days Inn room has, that the Motel 6 rooms don’t offer:

  • refrigerator with a small freezer
  • microwave
  • thermostat on the air conditioner (so you don’t have to keep turning it on and off manually)
  • shampoo, conditioner, and lotion
  • tissues
  • ideal, consistent water pressure
  • coffee maker, instant coffee, and tea
  • table in addition to the desk, two chairs, two nightstands, and some kind of sideboard which is great for keeping food and supplies on
  • iron and ironing board
  • alarm clock/radio
  • art on the walls
  • drawers for clothing
  • free Wi-Fi (Motel 6 charged $3/day, and it didn’t even function in our room)
  • free continental breakfast, including cereal, juice, and waffles
  • sheer curtains between the window and the heavy drapes (add privacy while letting in light)
  • hair dryer with built-in night light in the bathroom
  • smells nice

Talking Dollars and Sense
In terms of costs, the Days Inn room is a much better bargain. If you add the costs of Wi-Fi and buying breakfast for two elsewhere, the Motel 6 room costs more per night at $44. Considering that buying a canned or frozen lunch to microwave in our Days Inn room saves another handful of dollars, I now appreciate why you’d want to pay more for a hotel room.

I’d also like to mention that the fixtures here are surprisingly lush. The furniture made of matching, carved, real wood. The bathroom counters and tub surround are granite. The wooden hangers are plentiful. The pool is bigger. The TV is bigger and has more channels.

The moral of this story is: when you travel (especially for business), consider the total package of a hotel/motel. Don’t assume that a cheaper room is a better financial decision.

4 replies on “The cheapest motel does not mean the best value.”

you definitely right. I went to Chicago this summer and got the same issue lol. the room was dirty as hell and it was definitely cheap. Damn i went back to Internet like I didn’t learn frommy mistake. Then I made a reservation for a three stars hotel. At that time, i was like damn it’s expensive.
But when I get there, I had the confort, the services and the valet, all that was worth it.

But I got my lesson 😉

I have been working in another city to cover for another of my team members… I run a small business and his client is paying well for my presence… At first I went (cheapish) and settled for a medium price motel like you did Brenda…

The first week was hell, the noises and the activity around me and the paper thin walls meant that when I did get to work, my productivity was down… At the end of the day, I really didn’t want to go to my room so I spent time outside, and therefore spending extra money for drinks etc. and going to sleep very late…

In the end, I was working my way through my perdium anyway and a little more… I gave up, checked into a 4 star, don’t mind being in my room as much and am getting better rest and getting on with the job…

Ya we may face lot of problem like this….I too had a same problem in Thailand…Its better to check with some one about the hotel…I recommend you to watch TLC(Travel and living channel) :)…They show lot of hotels in their show…

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