My “Travel Made Easy” posts are meant to provide easy access to new destinations, hotel groups or airlines, with a quick summary and links to more in-depth information you might be interested in about the brand. Today’s post provides all you need to know about Choice Hotels, their brands, the experience you can expect at their hotels like Quality or Comfort Inn and the Choice Privileges Rewards program to earn points for free stays and more!
The Hotel Group: Choice is the second largest hotel company in the world with 6,423 hotels in 32 countries. With 89% of their hotels in the Americas, it’s the most America-focused hotel group I have reviewed. They also have the smallest international footprint with only 32 countries. Similar to Wyndham Worldwide and Best Western, Choice is mostly focused on the budget and mid-scale segments of the market, with only 3% of properties considered upscale. They have a total of ten brands, with the mid-scale brands Comfort Inn and Quality Inn and the budget brand Econolodge making up over 75% of all hotels! You can find more details in the Choice Facts & Figures!
The Experience: Choice has a total of 10 brands. You’ll find the Ascend Collection, a conversion brand with an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of $127, and Cambria at the top as the only upscale brands in the company. Comfort Inn (ADR $90) and Quality Inn (ADR $75) are the largest mid-scale brands, with Clarion and the long-stay brands SleepInn and Mainstay rounding out the mid-scale segment. In the budget segment, Choice has Econolodge (ADR $60) and Rodeway Inn (ADR $60) as well as the long stay brand Suburban (ADR $48) at the bottom of their list. As you can see from the ADR, the brands are all very close to each other, making it difficult to distinguish between them – often a well maintained Quality Inn can be a better experience than an older, un-renovated Comfort Inn!
But I found the experience to be much more reliable than at their closest competitor Wyndham and Choice has also rolled out programs to establish standard amenities across the hotels, like the QBed or QShower!
Click on any of the brand names to find out more about what experience to expect at any of the brands!
The Rewards Program: The Choice Privileges Rewards program has been highly rated for the value it provides, just behind competitor Wyndham Rewards. They frequently run promotions to earn more points, but there is no award chart for redemptions – the rates vary by season and demand. What makes it most difficult is that you can only book award stays up to 30 days (up to 100 days as top-level elite member). This is a restriction no other hotel rewards program has and has made it impossible for me to redeem any points. If you travel a lot in second and third-tier cities in the US and stay mostly at budget and mid-scale hotels, but want a more reliable experience than at Wyndham hotels, Choice can be an alternative! They also offer the Choice Privileges Visa card to earn point with purchases! Read my review of Choice Privileges to see if it can work for you.