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Checking In: Budget-friendly hotels

Katarina Kovacevic is a freelance travel writer specializing in hotels and resorts. She's the author of The Food Lovers' Guide to Phoenix & Scottsdale and founder/editor of Style Jaunt, a blog about fashionable travel. Her work has appea...

Top extended stay brands

“Extended stay” doesn’t mean what it used to. Yes, this budget-friendly class of hotels is affordable, but that doesn’t mean they skimp on design or amenities.

Top extended stay brands

Top extended
stay brands

"Extended stay" doesn't mean what it used to. Yes, this budget-friendly class of hotels is affordable, but that doesn't mean they skimp on design or amenities.

Hyatt House

Formerly Hyatt Summerfield Suites, the refreshed and revamped Hyatt House is cozy, apartment-style living on the road. Hotels feature spacious studios or one- and two-bedroom suites that come equipped with a stocked kitchen. All you need to bring are the groceries, which an on-site personal shopper can even get for you! The Hyatt House Scottsdale/Old Town is a fantastic alternative to some of Scottsdale, Arizona's pricier hotels. It's within walking distance of the city's best dining and nightlife spots. Just ask the on-site "House Host" for their top local picks. But with a large pool and that fully loaded kitchen and an in-room DVD player, it's also the perfect place for a girl's night in. You can even stop by the hotel's H Bar for "Evening Social" happy hour.

Top extended stay brands

Home2 Suites by Hilton

Top extended stay brands

Home2 Suites by Hilton is an all-suite extended stay hotel brand that's focused on comfort and flexibility, easy access to technology, community space and a unique design. The signature open lobby areas, dubbed "Oasis," are more of a gathering place than lobby with individual and group work zones, wireless access, flat-screen TVs and more. Home2 Suites by Hilton Baltimore Downtown's convenient location means easy access to the specialty shops and restaurants at nearby Inner Harbor. The pet-friendly hotel also has complimentary breakfast, a fitness center and game room.

Element by Westin

Element hotels take a natural approach to design. Flowing lobbies, tons of natural sunlight and inviting outdoor spaces evoke a sense of calm. Guest rooms (studio, one- and two-bedroom sizes) come with spacious layouts and multifunctional furniture. Small touches make the biggest difference. For example, the custom-designed closet includes a laundry hamper and clever workspaces feature ambient lighting, open shelving and ergonomically designed seating. A nice alternative to the noisy Strip, Element Las Vegas Summerlin is far enough from the crowds but still just a 15-minute drive from the fun.

Top extended stay brands

Residence Inn by Marriott

Top extended stay brands

Residence Inn by Marriott has been a favorite for business and family travel since opening its doors in 1975. But this oldie is still a goodie thanks to an updated design, complimentary evening barbecues and social hours and amenities like fully equipped kitchens and guest fitness centers. And, true to form, the longer you stay at Residence Inn, the less you'll pay. Residence Inn Orlando at Sea World is an affordable option for families. Book a room and you'll get exclusive benefits like free transportation to the park, front-of-the-line access, and 10 percent off admission.

Staybridge Suites

With a soothing interior design theme courtesy of graduate students at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Staybridge Suites emphasizes the social side of travel. Tuesdays through Thursdays, hotels host evening food and drink receptions with rotating menus of small-plate entrees paired with signature salads. On Wednesday nights, guests are treated to "BBQs in the Backyard." Staybridge Suites Times Square is a comfortable place to lay your head and just steps from Broadway theater district, The Empire State Building and Madison Square Garden.

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Top extended stay brands

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