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Home Travel Why I Spent Over 40 Nights At Select Service Hotels Last Year & Will Likely Repeat In 2024

Why I Spent Over 40 Nights At Select Service Hotels Last Year & Will Likely Repeat In 2024

by Staff

Over the past two decades, I’ve probably stayed at every accommodation imaginary, from a tent to a hostel to the Burj Al Arab, but as far as chain hotels are concerned, I’ve come to like select service properties in select cities.

Focusing on chains that feature loyalty programs, we at LoyaltyLobby have always advocated for picking the properties that make the most sense both financially and feature-wise.

When focusing on chain hotels, we always have to realize that from the get-go, we’re paying extra just for the brand name, which ideally comes with enforcement of brand standards and familiarity with certain features and designs.

Once you hold elite status, you get the best value at 4 and 5-star properties where you’ll be able to get a decent upgrade to suites, a nice breakfast, well-kept pool & spa amenities, as well as generally good service.

Over the past few years and definitely since the pandemic, I find that the quality of hotel stays has gone down dramatically while costs have increased.

It has gotten to the point where you pay up to 60% more for common, cookie-cutter business hotels without them providing any service above and beyond what you’d expect. Oftentimes, not even that. The offerings at lounges have decreased, and upgrade availability often dwindled.

When something goes wrong, the properties (just like airlines) are often unwilling to compensate voluntarily, and you have to take action to complain to regulators or go higher up at the corporate level. And quite frankly, why wouldn’t they do it?

As we see with our Compensation Clinic articles in reader comments (and that’s exactly why I love the comments), more than enough people are willing to swallow deficiencies at hotels and pay through the nose for the privilege.

I started to come to the conclusion that, more often than not, utilizing select service properties where I have no expectations other than a nice clean room, late checkout, and maybe an ok breakfast. As long as the price is right, I really don’t need a four or five-star hotel, especially not when it costs three times as much.

In 2023, I stayed 42 nights at select service properties ranging from the Hyatt Place Bangkok, the Four Points Phuket Patong Beach, the Aloft Seoul Myeongdong to the Four Points Seoul-Josun, the Tokyu Stay Nishi-Shinjuku and many more.

All of these hotels deliver and continue to deliver service standards that are in line with what they’re charging if you book it properly, around the $80-$100 mark. At the same time, local four and five-star hotels are at least 80-100% extra.

You can, of course, forego the brands altogether and find a local hotel that isn’t affiliated with any chain, but I do utilize the late checkout a lot and also like to collect my nights and points for the nice stays throughout the year at luxury hotels where I feel it’s worthwhile to splurge.

Like the Diplomat Suite at the Park Hyatt Tokyo last week:

Those were two nice days of luxury, followed by a night at the Andaz Seoul-Gangnam before it was back to the Four Points Josun for a couple of nights.

Another added advantage is that the select service hotel concepts are a relatively recent phenomenon, especially in the way that the designs try to make public spaces more comfortable and homely.

As such, many of these hotels are brand new rather than decades old, which makes a huge difference. Quite a lot of them also have laundry facilities on-site to wash your stuff once a week, which is especially useful when you’re on the road for a considerable period of time.

Conclusion

Select Service Hotels are providing more and more decent value these days. For one, they are quite practical and often centrally located but also (with some exceptions, of course) definitely cheaper and much better value than their four and five-star competitors, even if they belong to the same hotel chain.

These properties still adhere to brand standards, provide loyalty benefits as prescribed, and allow you to collect points for your spending.

You hear about bad service everywhere these days, and it certainly helps traveling a lot in Asia, in my case, where that’s not really a problem. But in any case, what if you simply don’t expect much service to begin with simply because the brand doesn’t advertise it? I came to enjoy these no-frills stays, and as much as I love content for our Compensation Clinic, it doesn’t help my blood pressure to have to complain at all these hotels that don’t deliver as they should. These select service stays are much more stress-free (for me) and I will continue to include them in my annual stay profile.

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