Ramada is the third largest brand of Wyndham Worldwide, with 866 hotels worldwide and more than half of the rooms in Europe and Asia! Hotels in the US and the rest of the world are operated by two different companies, use different sub-brands and follow different standards, resulting in different experiences depending on the location of the hotel!
Who are they? Ramada was founded in 1953, had its headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, and opened the first roadside hotel in 1954 in Flagstaff, AZ. It focused on building roadside hotels to compete with Howard Johnson and Holiday Inn and became the second largest chain in the 70s, before starting to face financial difficulties, resulting in the acquisition by Cendent and later Wyndham Worldwide.
Ramada launched a number of sub-brands, including Ramada Limited, Ramada Inn, Ramada Hotel and Ramada Plaza. The international operations are run in a separate company and Ramada Hotels outside the US are positioned as a more upscale brand. You’ll also find the lower-tier Ramada Encore abroad!
With an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $74, Ramada is a mid-scale brand, above Wyndham’s budget Super 8 or Days Inn, but below the more upscale Wyndham brand.
According to Wyndham, Ramada “… offers a welcoming and restorative experience where you can relax and be yourself. From a full-service stay that includes free WiFi to a convenient stop in your travels, there’s a Ramada hotel for you.”
That is a pretty cloudy description, which reflects the lack of focus for the brand: from modern, upscale, full-service hotels in Europe or Asia to run-down roadside motels in the US, the quality varies greatly and hotels may or may not include a pool, gym, restaurant or meeting rooms!
What experience can I expect? Probably even more pronounced than with some of the other ill defined Wyndham brands, your experience at a Ramada hotel will vary greatly. I’ve had one of my worst hotel experiences at a Ramada in the US, so bad I didn’t stay at any Wyndham hotel for over a decade. Yet, you can also find newly-built Ramada hotels in Asia that are full-service, modern and quite upscale. The photo below shows you the best Ramada has to offer, a room following the latest design guidelines:
An example of a modern Ramada in Asia is the Ramada Manila – a full-service hotel with great service that offered very good value. I’d be happy to stay at another Ramada hotel like that in Europe or the Asia.
The only thing you can be sure off in older US hotels is the signature red accent color in the rooms from the Ramada logo! Other than that, I’d avoid Ramada properties in the US, unless they are newly built or renovated and have excellent online reviews!