30 Hotel Chains Every Traveler Should Know

Finding the perfect room abroad can be harder than mastering a foreign language, especially in places where amenities and prices vary widely. Budget Travel to the rescue: We sniffed out the hotel chains that locals rely on most—and compiled them into this handy hotel cheat sheet.

Room Mate Hotels
A spunky upstart based in Spain, Room Mate's outposts in Buenos Aires, Mexico, NYC and Miami cater to a nightlife-loving crowd: Most are located in hip, culture-centric neighborhoods, each one has live DJ-spun music, and hearty buffet breakfasts are served until noon daily. The décor is playfully avant-garde and picks up on motifs that reference some aspect of the destination. (In Mexico City, a pair of cartoonish white cacti stands in front of a colorful mural of ceramic fish scales, while the Granada hotel skews moodier and more elegant.) Bonus: The bathrooms are typically spacious, and Wi-Fi is always free. Sample rates: from $82 at the Room Mate Leo in Granada, Spain; from $79 at the Room Mate Valentina in Mexico City.
Properties: 14
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: City center

Best By Region:

Asia & The Pacific
Insider advice is especially helpful in Asia. While several countries have government-run hotel ratings systems, many are voluntary and self-assessed and, consequently, are unreliable. Plus, some countries—Japan, for one—don't use ratings systems at all. Australia is a bit easier: They recently revamped their popular ratings system, AAA Tourism, to focus on a combination of cleanliness, amenities, and quality, rather than just a checklist of facilities.

APA Hotels & Resorts
Japanese hospitality meets no-nonsense frugality in this robust nationwide chain. APA is an acronym for "Always Pleasant Amenity," and depending on your location, that might refer to a traditional public bath (available at no cost to hotel guests), a free breakfast of bread, coffee, rice, and miso soup, or a choice between a standard room (of the floral-bedspread variety) or a Japanese room, with tatami-mat floors for lounging. Sample rates: from $93 at the APA Hotel Takasaki-Ekimae in Tokyo; from $93 for a single at the APA Hotel Nagasaki-Ekiminami in Nagasaki; from $124 at the APA Villa Hotel Yudoyabashi in Osaka.
Properties: 76
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Centara Hotels & Resorts
With their fancy pool decks, on-site spas, and concierges, properties from the Centara brand (Thailand's largest) all feel like splurges, even if they're not. You'll find them in most of the country's major tourist destinations, from Chiang Mai to Krabi, along with the Maldives, Bali, Vietnam and the Philippines. The brand includes several sub-categories: The five-star Centara Grand and the Centara Boutique Collection are on the pricey side, so stick to the four-star Centara and three-star Centra properties for comparable quality at better rates. And watch for deals when you're booking—often, the online rates are much lower (up to 60 percent) than standard published prices. Sample rates: From $46 at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai; from $81 at the Centara Villas Phuket; from $62 at the Centra Taum Seminyak Bali.
Properties: 55
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: All

GreenTree Inns
Whether you're in Beijing or Nanjing, you can expect this fast-growing Chinese chain to deliver clean, pleasant rooms with free WiFi, TVs, and basic amenities, all in locations that are convenient to universities, train stations and conference centers. Sample rates: From $34 at the Beijing Tuanjie Lake Spring Hotel; from $24 at the Chengdu People's Park Hotel; from $29 at the Shenzhen Huaqiangbei Express Hotel.
Properties: 300+
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Lemon Tree Hotels
Travelers looking to set up a home base in one of India's larger cities can take good advantage of Lemon Tree's growing chain. The hotels were originally designed for business travelers—but you'd never know it at first glance. The rooms are cheerful (brightly hued bedspreads, colorful expressionist and abstract artwork) and well-equipped (LCD TVs, orthopedic mattresses, free bottled water), and nearly every hotel has a decent swimming pool. There are even a few affordable resort outposts—one in Goa, and one near Vembanad Lake. Solo female travelers can book into a "Lemon Tree Diva" room, which is on a women-only corridor and has extras like reflexology foot massagers. Sample rates: from $72 at the Lemon Tree Electronics City in Bangalore; from $138 at the Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort in Goa; from $94 at the Lemon Tree Hotel in Chennai.
Properties: 15
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: City center


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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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