“Best Value under the Sun”… for some people – Days Inn hotel experience

Days Inn is the second largest brand in the Wyndham Worldwide hotel portfolio with around 1,800 properties around the world! They are easy to spot with the bright yellow sun as their logo. They are mostly budget motels in the US, near the bottom of Wyndham’s portfolio, but there are exceptions. Read my review to get the background of the brand and what experience to expect!

Who are they? Days Inn was founded by Cecil Day in 1970 and grew into a franchise organization with 300 hotels in North America by 1980. It was sold, driven into bankruptcy in 1991 and eventually ended up with the Wyndham group. Today, Days Inn is one of the core brands of Wyndham with close to 1,800 hotels, most of them in North America. With an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $64, they fall into the budget segment, positioned above the Super 8 brand, but comparable to Howard Johnson and Travelodge and below Ramada.
According to Wyndham, Days Inn hotels “…offer great value to leisure and business travelers including free Daybreak Breakfast and free high-speed internet access. We work hard to earn our reputation as The Best Value Under the Sun.”
That’s about as basic as a description as you can offer – and that makes it pretty honest. YOu get a simple room, breakfast and internet at a low price. Whether that adds up to the “best value under the sun” is up to each guest!

What experience can I expect? Similar to the other Wyndham brands, your experience from one Days Inn to the other can vary greatly: You’ll find old roadside motels that haven’t seen a renovation in decades, well managed and recently renovated motels with modern rooms and newly built hotels following the latest design prototypes, all with the same rising sun logo outside.
In new or newly renovated Days Inn, you get a modern room that can compare with a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn, but with reduced amenities, breakfast and possibly service, often at a much lower price. And that does make them great value, if all you want is a nice room, and you don’t mind the exterior corridors. The Days Inn San Francisco Downtown I stayed at is a good example for a modern room, with limited service and amenities at half the price of a Holiday Inn Express or Hampton Inn!
To find a new and well managed Days Inn and avoid the old, run down ones, it’s important to read online reviews and check the property photos – you can see below an example of an old room vs a newly renovated one: The newest Days Inn decor features high head boards (some with local photos) and white comforters on the beds – it’s easy to spot online and an indication of a recently built or renovated property. The old ones have lower headboards and “classic” bedspreads.

Days Inn Rooms - Old versus New

Days Inn Rooms – Old versus New

Do make sure to check traveler photos – incomprehensibly to me, some hotels don’t update their photos on the Wyndham site after a renovation – like the Days Inn San Francisco, which still shows the old look!

sfo-daysinn-bed1Because Days Inn participates in the Wyndham Reward program, which has been rated as the top value among hotel reward programs, you’ll earn points and can redeem them for great value cash & points awards! You can read my review of the program here! If all I need is a bed for the night, at least I want to earn some points and maybe get some perks to reduce the budget feel, so rewards program participation can be a differentiating factor for me!

Bottomline: So, what you can expect is a bed and a bathroom with free WiFi and a very basic breakfast. Because the experience you will find can vary so greatly, I recommend to be careful and not book on brand loyalty alone. The differences between Days Inn hotels can be much bigger than to hotel from other brands like Super 8 or Ramada, positioned below and above Days Inn. You can’t rely on the brand, but have to evaluate each hotel individually. Check online reviews and photos to make sure you stay at a new or recently renovated and well managed property.  Then, you might indeed find the “best value under the sun” and can earn some rewards points in the process!

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