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hotel facade Whether you travel all the time for business or just do so once or twice a year on vacation, where you stay can make the difference between a great trip away from home and one that is not so great.

The leading hotel chains tend to offer fairly predictable services and quality levels at each of their properties.  Some lodging companies and franchisors, like Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott, Starwood, InterContinental, Choice, and Cendant feature several brands, each catering to a different lodging market.  Others, like Best Western, feature more diverse properties and levels of service under one brand.  Lodgings are often grouped into five rated categories, ranging from 5-star luxury hotels and resorts to 1-star budget hotels and motels.

resort hotel pool The best way to choose a hotel is to list your lodging requirements, and then search for hotels that will meet them.  For example, if you are traveling on business and need access to the latest technology and communication gear in order to interact with the home office, your needs are going to be quite different from the family of four who puts a pool and game room on the top of their priority list.  Most hotels have web sites that provide expansive photos and descriptions of their amenities, so you can determine whether the hotel is suitable before you book your room.  Travel web sites also do a great job of rating hotels and giving unbiased views of their pros and cons.

Another good way to find a suitable hotel is to ask friends and family members for recommendations.  People who have traveled to the same locations in similar circumstances can give you a first-hand account of their experiences.

You may also want to consider whether you belong to any hotel rewards program.  Whether you travel a little or a lot, hotel reward programs are a great way to make traveling work for you.  Hotel reward programs are free to join, can be managed online, and allow you many ways to earn and redeem rewards.  Best of all, people who belong to frequent flyer programs can often add their points to their miles.  While some programs, like Choice Privileges, apply to a group of hotels, others, like the reward programs at Hilton or Marriott, are specific to those chains.

On this site,, you will find a list of luxury hotels and a selection of lodging and travel guides, plus directories and ratings of selected hotel chains with properties in the USA.  If you are looking for suite accommodations or plan to visit an area for an extended stay, please visit our companion Suite Hotels website.

Note that the facilities at individual hotel locations may vary, and you should check a variety of travel resources before making travel arrangements.  In addition, your experiences and the quality of service at individual hotel locations may vary, and we are not responsible for errors, omissions, or misjudgments about the quality of these lodgings or their parent companies.

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Hotel Reviews and Ratings

  • Trip Advisor
    Popular travel site features travel deals and unbiased reviews of hotels, attractions, and restaurants around the world.
  • Forbes Travel Guide
    This trusted travel guide features thousands of restaurant and hotel reviews, with rankings based on a 5-star rating system.
  • Star Rating System
    This travel tips site rates hotels as Economy, Moderate, First Class, Superior, or Deluxe, with corresponding ratings from 1 star to 5 stars.  Here you will find an explanation of their hotel-star ratings criteria.
  • Fodors
    This online travel guide features hotel reviews and guest ratings for lodgings at top business and vacation destinations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, and worldwide.
  • AAA Rating Process for Lodgings
    The American Automobile Association rates lodgings on a scale of one to five diamonds.  Read this overview of the AAA's Diamond Ratings process and learn their criteria for evaluating lodgings.

Hotel Operators and Franchisors

  • Hilton
    Hilton Hotels Corporation is a widely recognized name in the global lodging industry.  Founded in 1919, the company has grown to over 500 hotels in cities spanning the globe.  Brands include Hilton Hotels, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Homewood Suites by Hilton.
  • Hyatt
    Chicago-based firm operates over 200 hotels and resorts in over 40 countries around the world under the Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt, and Park Hyatt brands.  They recently acquired the upscale, limited service AmeriSuites hotel chain, and they franchise the Hawthorn Suites, Microtel, and America's Best Inns & Suites brands.
  • Marriott
    Worldwide hospitality company with more than 2,600 operating units in the United States and over 60 other countries and territories.  Marriott Lodging operates and franchises hotels under several brands including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott, Springhill Suites by Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton.
    In 2016, Marriott purchased Starwood Hotels and Resorts.  Starwood is the third-largest Marriott brand by room count with a portfolio of over 400 hotels in more than 70 countries.  The brand features three mid-range and upscale lodging brands — Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis hotels.
  • InterContinental Hotels and Resorts
    Global hospitality group, with more than 3,500 hotels and half a million guest rooms across major countries, destination cities, and island locations throughout the world.  Brands include Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites.
  • Choice Hotels
    This hospitality firm franchises a range of mid-priced and affordable lodgings including Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Sleep Inn, Quality Inn, Rodeway Inn, MainStay Suites, and Econo Lodge brand hotels.
  • Wyndham Hotels
    This hotel franchisor with over 6,000 hotels and over one half million rooms on five continents.  Hotel brands include Amerihost Inn, Days Inn, Howard Johnson, Knights Inn, Ramada, Super 8, Travelodge, and Wingate Inn.

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