5 Things To Look For in A Winning Hotel

This post brought to you by Country Inns & Suites By Carlson. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Surf and Sunshine.

Our family has been busy traveling for the last month and we have a jam-packed schedule planned for June as well with weddings and hopefully a getaway for my husband’s birthday too. As we’re busy booking flights, rental cars and hotels, I’m always looking for the best deals and the best value. It’s not just about the money spent, but what I can get for my money that matters. 

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5 Things To Look For in a Winning Hotel

Free Wi-Fi

I’m always astounded when hotels don’t offer free wi-fi and yet it’s something I run into on a regular basis. It’s a small annoyance but it adds to the cost of your hotel stay and it’s something to keep in mind, which is why I always make a mental note of the hotels that do offer free wi-fi.

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Complimentary Breakfast

For a family of four, complimentary breakfast could easily save you upwards of $30 each morning. Plus, by grabbing a meal at the hotel you save time waiting at a restaurant, which means more time during your day for activities. Country Inns & Suites offers a complimentary, hot “Be Our Guest Breakfast” served every morning. The options include build-your-own omelets, breakfast burritos, waffles & more! But you can also get grab-and-go options for those busy mornings too – perfect for early starts and long days.

A Pool 

No matter how jam packed our days are, whether we spent them at waterparks or amusement parks, the kids are always looking forward to staying at a hotel that offers a pool. Somehow despite falling asleep with dinner halfway to their mouths upon arriving back to the hotel, they’re full of energy and dying to go to the pool. But hey, it works as a great bribe to get them through the day right? 

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Little Conveniences

Little extras can make a huge difference in your stay. Having a fridge and microwave in your room is so helpful with small children. It’s great to be able to store little snacks and beverages, and also prepare quick meals to help stay within budget. Having access to a business center is convenient for printing last minute show tickets, maps or itineraries. And for the kids who always get tired of their own toys and books, Country Inns & Suites offers a Read It & Return Lending Library with books from Penguin Random House. It’s a unique idea and definitely something that would make the hotel stand out in my memory. Other little conveniences found at Country Inns & Suites include a fitness center, free weekday paper, complimentary cookies and coffee too. 

A Rewards Program

Rewards programs are one of our favorite ways to get the most out of our travel. Not only is it an incentive to stay again, but also most times rewards members receive added perks during their stay for their loyalty. I find that businesses are more willing to go out of their way to accommodate guests when they can see brand loyalty. 

Starting April 15th, Country Inns & Suites is launching a “Double the Fun” offer. Guests who Book Now at Country Inns & Suites and provide their airline membership detail at check-in can earn double points or miles through four different participating airlines. The Rest Comes Easy!

Why would you want to book with the Double The Fun offer? 

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20 thoughts on “5 Things To Look For in A Winning Hotel”

  1. I completely agree with you! I always look for all these you have listed here before booking a room. The complimentary breakfast is a time-saver and gets us started on sightseeing when we visit places.

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  2. I totally agree with you. Without these things it’s just a roof and a bed. Thanks for sharing. I cannot wait for our vacation. We haven’t been on one in two years and hubby says we can go this year… I can hardly wait!

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  3. These are all must-haves for me too! We’ve joined a few rewards programs to be able to choose from a chain of hotels that tend to have these amenities, too

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  4. Definitely, these are all very important to me (though I can do without the pool sometimes)…free wi-fi and complimentary breakfast are two biggest things that I look for (plus cleanliness). I also like a complimentary shuttle.

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  5. Look if they have free wi-fi they really do care about their clientle! I hate when hotels still try to charge thats unfair as I already paid to stay here…I wanna work with free wi-fi!

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  6. Any time we travel with the kids, we definitely place a premium on hotels with pools (except in NYC). I tend to try to stick with the same brand so we can save a bit and earn some upgrades or free nights – seems like every brand has one!

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  7. It is so weird to think that some places dont offer free wifi. I never book a hotel without a pool – going for a swim is my favorite part of staying at one!

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  8. I’m a HUGE travel (I often take trips every month) and stay in hotels frequently. For me, not having free wifi is a HUGE deal breaker! I do love when hotels have Complimentary Breakfast too but if they don’t have wifi, I definitely won’t stay there <3

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  9. I couldn’t agree more on 5 things to look for when booking a hotel. As a mom it is also important for me to have spacious rooms with accommodating staff.

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  10. Some UK hotels have started charging for wi fi which I think is ridiculous, so now before I reserve any hotel I have to check reviews about it and also wi fi access

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  11. It’s really nice to have free breakfast in the hotel before you go out and do some sightseeing. Having a pool to come back to after a day out is great too.

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  12. I agree, with kids, (I’ve got 3) complementary breakfast is a MUST! It’s just so convenient to get the gang all downstairs and settled around a breakfast table without having to leave the hotel. Two more things I generally look for are in-room coffee makers, which you can usually request if they aren’t normally in your room, and free parking. Gotta love the kids lending library. I didn’t know about that but my kids would definitely like it.

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  13. I never understand why everyone doesn’t offer free wifi either. Free breakfast is great, and I love to find a microwave and a fridge in the room.

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  14. Free wi-fi is always a non-negotiable for me when looking for a hotel. At this point, if a hotel doesn’t have free wi-fi I will not stay there. Absolutely not. Complimentary breakfast is also pretty important to me, too. I think I may put a little too much emphasis on hotel breakfast sometimes, but it’s the little extras, right?

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  15. I’ve not stayed at a lot of hotels, but really hate when they say they’re offering breakfast and it’s cold cereal and fruit! And WiFi is definitely a deal breaker for me.

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  16. Those are all pretty important but I would like to add if I may–the hotel should be kept CLEAN all the time in the rooms and out!

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