Travel decisions generally begin with choosing the best hotel at or near a destination. That is why choosing a good hotel is such an important, albeit stressful, decision to make.
Seasoned travelers always start with a budget in mind and what amenities they can and can’t live without. But how do you choose whether to stay at a chain-branded hotel or at an independent, local lodging establishment, such as the Muskogee Inn (MI) in Atmore, Ala.?
Data compiled in June by STR.com shows 31 percent of the 4,957,714 total rooms in the U.S. hotel system fall into the independent segment of the market. Last year, independents saw its strongest gain in performance metrics. Muskogee Inn was right in there, boasting of booked-out rooms for big events, such as concerts, Pow Wow, Williams Station Day and more.
Online reviews for best hotel
According to a recent survey by PhoCusWright, customers turn to TripAdvisor or a relevant review website on a regular basis. The study says 80 percent base their hotel decisions on reviews from other customers.
Muskogee Inn has a high review rate on TripAdvisor, being rated a four out of five. On Yelp.com, the hotel is rated 4.5 out of five. Seeing these types of reviews and reading the experiences from reviewers allows first-time customers to see what they are getting when they choose MI over a chain establishment.
A friendly staff and a clean, updated room go a long way in making a guest feel comfortable and happy.
Proximity is another reason travelers might choose an independent hotel over a chain hotel. The location of Muskogee Inn is perfect — immediately off Interstate 65 at exit 57, Muskogee Inn is only an eighth of a mile from the entertainment district at Wind Creek Atmore. There also are restaurants adjacent and across the street. Some choose to walk instead of drive for food or fun.
The local feel
However, consumer preferences have changed with the economy. Many people are choosing independent hotels to get a local experience from their trip. According to innroad.com, by trading well recognized brands for local lodging, guests hope to enhance their stay with unique and memorable experiences that large chains cannot provide.
This is Muskogee Inn’s niche. Owned and operated by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, Muskogee Inn honors the Tribe’s history at every turn. They chose the name Muskogee to reflect the original name of the Tribe. The walls and hallways are adorned with historic photos provided by the Office of Archives and Records Management.
Best hotel for the budget conscious
Just about everyone is looking for a deal these days, especially when it comes to travel lodging. Some people do have brand loyalty when it comes to hotels because they know what to expect, but when it comes down to saving 50 percent or more on a hotel room, many might choose a lesser known hotel solely on the price.
Muskogee Inn has very competitive rates compared to its competitors, saving consumers on average 30 to 50 percent per night. That frees up the budget for people to have more to spend in the local destination of their choice. By choosing an independent budget hotel over a budget hotel with a national brand, you might be able to afford that extra meal or outfit you wanted.
Keep these facts in mind next time you are deciding on which hotel to book.