When it comes to hotels, the term "budget" often evokes visions of bland bedspreads, insipid artwork, rabbit-ear TV's and a color palette of boring beige. Traditionally, travelers looking for luxurious digs or distinctive design have had to shell out big bucks at boutique hotels like W or Kimpton, while those watching their wallets settled for cookie-cutter budget chains. But over the past couple of years, this has started to change. |
A number of new hotel chains are seeking to make boutique style accessible to travelers on a budget. Sometimes called "lifestyle hotels," these unique properties feature cutting-edge design, high-tech amenities (like flat-screen TV's and connectivity hubs for electronic gadgets) and lively public spaces intended to encourage mingling among guests - all at a modest price point. When it comes down to it, boutique style hotels are very much becoming the next biggest thing in terms of how they are becoming a great deal more popular as time goes on.
To help keep rates low, most of these hotels feature some element of self-service; many have 24-hour self-service cafes, and some even let you check yourself in when you arrive. You'll also find the bulk of these properties in suburbs, airport locations or smaller cities rather than in major central city based areas where in turn the hotel rooms will tend to cost a great deal more to the end traveller.
Many of these hotels target young business travelers, but they're also a great option for leisure travelers looking for a stylish getaway - especially on weekends, when road warriors head home and rates go down. So if you're sick of boring budget properties or you can no longer afford to pony up for a traditional boutique hotel, check out the following chains before you book your next trip.
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