Higher flying doesn’t necessarily refer to the top tier, most-luxurious accommodations. If something presents a good value for your money and makes sense for you and your travel goals, indeed, that option can be just as valuable as one that costs significantly more. If you don’t believe me, ask Barack Obama instead! The Washington Post recently quoted the former president singing the praises of Hampton Inns, one of Hilton’s budget-friendly brands and not one that you would associate with some/one of the most powerful people in the world. They’re far from glamorous, but if they’re good enough for Obama, certainly they can suffice for everyone else.
While recently attending a conference in Atlanta, Obama was riffing about the hotels he’s stayed in over the years. In his words, a lot of the posh presidential suites are “very nice and beautiful,” “have the best views because they are very high up,” and “are wonderfully appointed.”
But he also acknowledged that the drive for impressively designed hotel rooms can inadvertently cause more trouble than intended, specifically with lighting situations. “Before I go to bed,” he explained, “I go from room to room to turn off all the lights, and there are a bunch of different lamps, and sometimes they hide where the light switches are because they want to make them look really cool.”
“It might take me 15 minutes to shut down,” he lamented, “where if I was just in the Hampton Inn, there’s like, one light switch.”
Obama continued on, discussing that at all of the 2,500-plus Hampton Inn locations, there’s “one bathroom door, and the bed, and the TV remote.” He loves the simplicity AND the consistency of the Hampton Inns. When you consider some of the chic-yet-infuriatingly-counterintuitive features at more stylish properties, his opinion makes plenty sense.
The circular bed shown above, for example, looks really cool. It’s located in the “Extreme Wow Presidential Suite” up on the top floor of the trendy and chic W Barcelona. Spending the night there would be an amazing experience, but when you’re a married man with kids, how’s everyone supposed to fit? The Hampton Inn has a solution!
And when it comes to the bathroom, some hotels go for really striking experiences. The Park Hyatt in Seoul features a beautiful shower and bathtub combination next to floor-to-ceiling windows.
But it’s all well and good until you have to use it during the day. You might feel a little bit…vulnerable during your shower.
If you’re the former president of the United States, you definitely wouldn’t want to be so exposed to the world in this kind of way. One peeping Tom with a camera could get you in a lot of trouble! You know where you wouldn’t have any of these problems though?
And as an added bonus, every Hampton Inn includes a free daily waffle breakfast for all of its guests! The Four Seasons New York is far more glamorous than the average Hampton Inn, but why spend $31 on a single Belgian waffle when you can get unlimited, made-to-order waffles for free? I’m serious! Is there really THAT much of a difference in quality?
(As an added bonus, Texas Hampton Inns have a special feature at their waffle stations).
The hidden beauty of Hampton Inns are that they’re simple and consistent and affordable. You can be sure that you’ll get a comfortable bed, a clean bathroom with fresh towels, a decent breakfast, and possibly a few other special features like an indoor pool and/or a convenient location. When you have to travel, honestly, what more could you really want?
So there you have it. Barack Obama, of all people, proves that something doesn’t have to be luxurious or expensive to be “higher flyer.” Something decidedly utilitarian-yet-comfortable, like any given Hampton Inn, can offer affordable accommodations that are both comfortable and perfectly suited to your needs. It may not be as memorable as a super-lux presidential suite, but getting a lot of bang-for-your-buck is an undeniably good thing.
What do you think? Is Obama on to something, or are Hampton Inns just too mundane to bother thinking about?