‘Sexy’ rooms are all the rage at budget motels

Posted March 4, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.

Associated Press | Motel 6 is offering travelers sleek European-style rooms with wood-effect floors, modernistic furniture, bright red blankets, granite counters in the bathroom, and HDTVs with a slew of multimedia hookups. After hiring an outside design consultant, the motel chose to use a haute couture design more often found in the boutique hotels of Hollywood, Amsterdam or Paris — complete with a “sexy” corner couch ready for cocktail hour.

Most Chicago-area hotels now feature the new design.

Hotels and motels normally renovate their properties about every 10 years. Motel 6’s rival operators, Super 8 and Red Roof Inn, are also starting to renovate some of their properties with similar European styling, setting up a battle for the budget traveler with high-style design as the weapon of choice.

Motel chains have reason to try and set themselves apart, and build loyalty among any travelers they do host. Occupancy rates are falling, and so are the prices motels can demand from travelers.

More than 776 new properties in the “economy” hotel segment have come online in the United States since 2004, adding 37,467 rooms to the market, according to Smith Travel Research. Motels in that segment generally rent a room for about $50 to $60 per night.


Comments are closed.