Cheap and Chic Global Hotel Chains Every Traveler Needs to Know
Sure, you can play it safe by sticking to the familiar worldwide mega chains, such as Marriott, IHG, and Hilton. But more often than not, it’s the lesser known or foreign-based hotels that offer style, an appealing value for the dollar (or euro, yuan, or lira), and a memorable stay. Below, we steer you to seven hotel chains around the world worth stepping into — with prices that start under $200.
Meet your new “Room Mate”: the Hotel Mario (Photo: Room Mate Hotels)
The 19-property chain, headquartered in Madrid, has hotels outside Spain (Florence, Amsterdam, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, NYC, Miami, and Istanbul) and within (Madrid, Barcelona, Oviedo, Málaga, Salamanca, and Granada). Not lost in translation, however, is Room Mate’s winning formula for attracting a largely hip, nightlife-loving clientele, despite its few frills: a central location, a bar/lounge space with a DJ, breakfasts served until noon, simple but comfortable rooms with offbeat décor, and free Wi-Fi. Each hotel takes the name and personality of an imaginary local “host”; some have the bonus of an indoor pool (NYC), a Turkish bath (Istanbul), or a gym (Amsterdam). From $168 at Room Mate Mario, Madrid.
The Spain-based NH Hotel Group is actually hiding in plain sight: It’s one of the world’s 25 largest hotel companies, with almost 400 properties in 28 countries, predominantly in Europe and Latin America (including Havana, its most recent opening). Popular with European business travelers looking to break out of the cookie-cutter mold, the NH properties favor a clean, modern look with tech-friendly details in a centrally located neighborhood, particularly in the urban areas. Complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi always sweeten the already good deal. From $79 at NH Crillón, Buenos Aires.
The “fun” decor at citizenM’s Times Square location (Photo: citizenM Hotels)
CitizenM’s impressive 2008 debut property, citizenM Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, actually shook up the industry by making a stay in a transit hotel fun. This fast-on-the-rise brand has quickly expanded its quasi-self-service concept All the hotels are designed with a similar concept: large, homey public areas for working and socializing, tiny but cleverly functional rooms (with mood lighting!), and a casual, 24-hour canteen for noshing. The Midtown NYC location kicks it up a notch with an in-house gym and a rooftop bar. From $120 at citizenM Amsterdam.