Last week I had a unique opportunity. Over the course of three days, I got to visit three competitor brands. Not only three competitor brands, but three competitors within the same class segment. OK, now we’re getting technical – class segment? I hope that by our 45th (!!!!!) post, you don’t honestly still think that every Hilton’s a Hilton and every Marriott’s a Marriott, etc. First, let’s cover the basics… Hilton, for example, is a company which has many brands, including Hilton, Hampton Inn, Embassy Suites, Waldorf Astoria, etc. You didn’t know that? You are not maximizing your loyalty points, my friend! All of those brands are separated into a chain scale or class segments – Luxury, Upper Upscale, Upscale, Upper Midscale, Midscale and Economy. Hotels fit into these segments based on the actual average room rate. (There is also an independent chain segment, but primarily when looking at independent properties, you’re looking for where they fall within the class segment.) So for today’s purposes, it’s important to note that a Residence Inn by Marriott, a Home2 Suites by Hilton and a Hyatt Place are all part of the Upper Midscale segment. How are they the same? How are they different? Let’s check it out with a side-by-side comparison! Coincidentally, the properties I visited were all in the Greater Cleveland area, all new within the past 2 years.
Residence Inn by Marriott Cleveland Avon
Trend setter! The new Residence Inn Cleveland Avon at the Emerald Event Center was a site for sore eyes. Personally, I love Residence Inns. We often choose them when traveling, because they have extra space in the rooms and a great breakfast. Residence Inns are an extended stay product by Marriott. The intention is for a guest to stay for multiple nights, but it isn’t required. (*TIP* Choose an extended stay property when you’re looking for a hotel room in a place like Manhattan, you’re sure to get more leg & elbow room!) This particular Residence Inn though, was a show stopper. I visited on a bright and shiny day and the cheer and good vibes followed me right into the door. The lobby had chandeliers, sexy chairs with zippers up the back (whoa!) and a swanky bar in the center of the lobby with color changing under glow.
I was told this build had chosen some upgrades and boy, could I tell! And, the glitz and glamour didn’t stop at the lobby. The guest rooms were spacious, as expected, but also had a touch of the pizzazz from the lobby. Even the floor numbers across from the elevator were large, bright prints that acted as artwork.
This Residence Inn has great meeting space and the special pool and patio package I’ve come to love at Residence Inns. I love the upgraded patio furniture which includes fun two-person, covered chaises, massive grills and always an outdoor fire pit. If I needed to park it in a city for a few days, you wouldn’t have to work hard to convince me!
Bonus: You can find a little something different at the Residence Inn in Avon. It is actually connected to the Emerald Event Center, a great, large event space perfect for small conferences, weddings or special gatherings. The event center was built to include a secondary patio, much like the one at the Residence Inn for outdoor entertaining.
Home2 Suites by Hilton Independence
OK, I think we can all just cut to the chase. I love gyms. It’s no surprise that my feature picture of the Home2 Suites by Hilton Cleveland Independence is of the Spin 2 Cycle Gym. But, I’m also not a long-term stay guest and I found myself thinking, “Man, they must really have a lot of bikes in that gym! Spin and cycle!?” WRONG. Well, they do have bikes, but this clever name is a clue to one of the Home2’s features for long term guests – the laundry facility is inside of the gym. What better way to wait for your laundry to finish? Jump on the bike! Or treadmill, or free weights, or resistance machine, or balls, or matts – this gym was stacked!
Luckily, I was staying at the Home2 for one of my overnights and I got to use the gym – this girl was a very happy camper with that setup! Like the Residence Inn, the Home2 focuses on the extended stay traveler, but can accommodate the single night stay guest like me. The lobby is designed to make you feel at “home” with living room like seating, lots of communal places to meet and work and even a long table for breakfast – like you’re sitting with family. This is only the second Home2 I’ve seen and I’m totally digging the bold colors and modern twists to standard hotel fixtures and amenities. For example, why wouldn’t you have a little desk for the house phone or a TV unit with knickknacks and a clock to make your guests feel at home?
Bonus: This Home2 is near one of my new favorite Cleveland area restaurants – Lockkeepers. After a super long work day, I was ready for good food. I found a place that reviews said was a Cleveland staple. Overlooking the Cuyahoga River, I was able to settle in on their patio for a fantastic dinner of swordfish. If only I had room for dessert, because the entire menu looked delicious.
Hyatt Place – Lyndhurst Legacy Village
Swanky. At the Hyatt Place Lyndhurst/Legacy Village, I feel like I stepped into a James Bond movie with all of the little nooks and crannies of the lobby, perfect for quiet conversation. On this visit day, it was rainy and dreary, but the lobby welcomed me with high ceilings, lots of natural light and the coziness of a fireside chair. The lobby has expansive space for spreading out and settling in. This was my very first time inside of a Hyatt Place and I was shocked! I’ve been in my share of Hyatt’s with it’s regal, business-like presentation, it’s what I expected out of any Hyatt, but not here. Another extended stay focused brand, Hyatt Place still has that all-business feel, but with the comforts of a place to call home. The working area had small cubbies for private chats over a glass of wine while the bar area served as a social haven for guests and visitors wanting to share a bite. Did you know that at this Hyatt Place there is a 24/7 hot and cold menu and a full service bar? That’s amazing!
Off of the lobby, the breakfast area looks like it came straight out of a home design magazine and they’re even serving up customizable breakfast egg bowls and yogurt parfaits.
This property sits right near a walking path that winds through the trees, or you can enjoy the well equipped gym or pool.
Bonus: The Hyatt Place Lyndhurst/Legacy Village is aptly named, for it sits directly within Legacy Village – Cleveland’s premier lifestyle shopping center. Visit upscale shopping stores, listen to a concert in the courtyard or enjoy dinner or night life at one of the many bars and restaurants, all within walking distance!
Although through brands within the same parent company you can expect the same level of service, the same amenities, and the same quality – outside of that, they aren’t all just the same. Next time you’re traveling, consider something new. It’s not that hard to find!
“People don’t take trips, trips take people.” – John Steinbeck