Hotels versus B&Bs

By Keith D. Jackson
This item appears on page 50 of the April 2017 issue.
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My, oh, my! After reading the readers’ letters about Airbnb (Nov. ’16, Dec. ’16 & Jan. ’17 issues) and all of the hoops some travelers go through to get the right accommodations (corresponding back and forth, checking locations and facilities, arranging payment, etc.), it boggles my mind!

My wife and I couldn’t be happier about the satisfying arrangements we make when we travel.

We plot ahead of time where we want to stay and how long it will take to get to each location, then book our accommodations online through the website of HotelGuides (www.hotelguides.com) or Best Western (www.bestwestern.com), in each case paying at check-in, never in advance, but mostly we book through Starwood Preferred Guest (www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest). 

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) offers accommodations with Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis, Le Méridien and, soon, Marriott, and we use points we’ve bought or accumulated through our timeshare.

When we invested in a time-share, we were granted 100,000 SPG points and the opportunity to buy 80,000 points four separate times within a year for the price of $1,550 each time. We did that, accumulating hundreds of thousands of SPG points. 

Also, when we stay in a room more than one night, we choose “Make A Green Choice,” giving us 500 points. In addition, we earn “welcome” points because of our “preferred” status.

Our preferred status (“profile”) with SPG includes preferences like feather-free rooms, top floor preferred and quiet areas away from elevators and ice machines.

We’ve never used up our accumulated points, but surely that day will come. When it does, we’ll continue to stay in SPG hotels at the standard price. We appreciate the assurance of having a good accommodation.

An additional benefit with SPG is their affiliation with the timeshare-exchange company Interval International (Miami, FL; 800/468-3782, www.intervalworld.com), which allows members to book one-week “getaways” in beautiful and comfortable, 2-bed, 2-bath condos — each with cooking facilities, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, two or three TVs, Wi-Fi, hot tub, pool, etc. — for a minimal fee ($249-$1,050).

With Interval International, we can choose a studio, a one-bedroom or even a 3-bedroom condominium (for up to eight people) at a weekly rate for a slight savings, and these facilities are available worldwide.

We’ve stayed in several beautiful locations — including Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Radium Hot Springs and Kimberley, all in British Columbia, plus Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and many places in the US — and we’ve enjoyed the benefits of having “platinum” status with Interval. As long as we continue with our timeshare, we’ll receive these benefits.

While my wife and I have never stayed in an Airbnb property, we did stay in bed-and-breakfasts 16 years ago in the UK and had several disappointments. Sometimes the descriptions didn’t meet our expectations, and at other times we were very pleased, but, really, our preference would have been a hotel or inn.

After a long day of sightseeing and, sometimes, travel between locations, listening to tour guides, interacting with shopkeepers and talking to locals in restaurants, museums, in historic places and on the streets, we prefer to unwind and relax in a hotel that is clean, comfortable and dependable — a place where we don’t have to contend with dogs, cats or overtalkative hosts and where we can have a good night’s sleep and be ready for the next day.

KEITH D. JACKSON

Parksville, BC, Canada

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My, oh, my! After reading the readers’ letters about Airbnb (Nov. ’16, Dec. ’16 & Jan. ’17 issues) and all of the hoops some travelers go through to get the right accommodations (corresponding back and forth, checking locations and facilities, arranging payment, etc.), it boggles my mind!

My wife and I couldn’t be happier about the satisfying arrangements we make when we travel.

We plot ahead of time where we want to stay and how long it will take to get to each location, then book our accommodations online through the website of HotelGuides (www.hotelguides.com) or Best Western (www.bestwestern.com), in each case paying at check-in, never in advance, but mostly we book through Starwood Preferred Guest (www.starwoodhotels.com/preferredguest). 

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) offers accommodations with Sheraton, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels, Westin Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis, Le Méridien and, soon, Marriott, and we use points we’ve bought or accumulated through our timeshare.

When we invested in a time-share, we were granted 100,000 SPG points and the opportunity to buy 80,000 points four separate times within a year for the price of $1,550 each time. We did that, accumulating hundreds of thousands of SPG points. 

Also, when we stay in a room more than one night, we choose “Make A Green Choice,” giving us 500 points. In addition, we earn “welcome” points because of our “preferred” status.

Our preferred status (“profile”) with SPG includes preferences like feather-free rooms, top floor preferred and quiet areas away from elevators and ice machines.

We’ve never used up our accumulated points, but surely that day will come. When it does, we’ll continue to stay in SPG hotels at the standard price. We appreciate the assurance of having a good accommodation.

An additional benefit with SPG is their affiliation with the timeshare-exchange company Interval International (Miami, FL; 800/468-3782, www.intervalworld.com), which allows members to book one-week “getaways” in beautiful and comfortable, 2-bed, 2-bath condos — each with cooking facilities, dishwasher, washing machine and dryer, two or three TVs, Wi-Fi, hot tub, pool, etc. — for a minimal fee ($249-$1,050).

With Interval International, we can choose a studio, a one-bedroom or even a 3-bedroom condominium (for up to eight people) at a weekly rate for a slight savings, and these facilities are available worldwide.

We’ve stayed in several beautiful locations — including Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, Radium Hot Springs and Kimberley, all in British Columbia, plus Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and many places in the US — and we’ve enjoyed the benefits of having “platinum” status with Interval. As long as we continue with our timeshare, we’ll receive these benefits.

While my wife and I have never stayed in an Airbnb property, we did stay in bed-and-breakfasts 16 years ago in the UK and had several disappointments. Sometimes the descriptions didn’t meet our expectations, and at other times we were very pleased, but, really, our preference would have been a hotel or inn.

After a long day of sightseeing and, sometimes, travel between locations, listening to tour guides, interacting with shopkeepers and talking to locals in restaurants, museums, in historic places and on the streets, we prefer to unwind and relax in a hotel that is clean, comfortable and dependable — a place where we don’t have to contend with dogs, cats or overtalkative hosts and where we can have a good night’s sleep and be ready for the next day.

KEITH D. JACKSON

Parksville, BC, Canada