Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dreaming of Red Roof

Revitalizing the Economy with $3.50 bottles of water.

Because I seem to travel so much, I have loyalty accounts with just about every hotel chain, but the truth is, I tend to prefer the Red Roof Inn. In essence, I'm cheap. I travel to a city, I go out and party, I stay out 'til late, sleep and then head out again in the morning. I'm almost never in the room I'm renting, so why go extravagant? Sure, the beds can be nicer, but if I'm only in the room for six hours, I'm not getting a decent nights' sleep anyway.

So my default choice for hotels is the Red Roof Inn. It's clean, it's comfortable and they have free Wi-Fi Internet access. Even the Motel 8 has free Internet access. In fact, many of these cheaper hotels have free Internet access. It's when you get to the nicer hotels that you start to pay for Internet access.

Take the Westin I stayed in last night. It cost me $179 per night, plus tax. Total: $205.00 - and I'm not even getting laid. Which brings me to another detail I should point out: when I travel alone, I'm cheap. When I travel with a "lady friend," I rent the nice room - even the Halekulani on Waikiki Beach.

But usually, I travel alone and the only time that I stay in "nice" hotels while traveling alone is if I get a deal on Priceline.com or if someone else is making the travel arrangements.

No late night calls to Mexico City at $4.50 plus 100% per minute.

The Westin is a Starwood property and it's a nice hotel. The staff is friendly and accommodating, the lobby is nice and the rooms are swanky. The sheets are pricey and they give you little bottles of shampoo and conditioner (something Red Roof doesn't do). It's fancy and I could be Big Poppa, but I'm still staying in the room alone and the only groove I would be getting on is with my hand, meaning that my Baller price tag for the room has gone to waste (my hand is happy with Red Roof).

The problem with the nice hotels is that they not only charge a lot more than Red Roof, they also nickel and dime you to death. The Westin has a couple of bottles of water to tempt your parched palate as you walk in from a day of travel - but they cost $3.50 each. Local phone calls are a dollar, and you have to pay for Internet access - what is this, 2001???

Really, all I want is a clean bed, some quiet and free Internet when I travel. As I lay myself to sleep in my fancy, balling room at the Westin, by myself, all I can think is how much cheaper it would have been to sleep at The Red Roof Inn.