9 Best Mid-Tier and Mid-Level Hotel Brands and Chains
What do you do when you want to stay in a nice hotel, but your budget disagrees? If you have champagne tastes on a beer budget, you likely need to find good middle ground. Somewhere that you can enjoy a few perks and amenities while you travel. But also somewhere you can save some cash. When it comes to accommodations, that middle ground is mid-tier and mid-level hotel brands and chains.
But hold up before you go to book your stay. You want to make sure you choose the right property. Not all mid-list hotels are the same. Some trend more toward a lower-budget vibe, which could leave you disappointed. Some, on the other hand, are more high-end, meaning you might end up paying more than you wanted.
To help you choose the best mid-tier or mid-level hotel brand for you, we’re breaking down our top nine favorite chains around the nation and the world, so you pick the best option for your needs. See also our best websites to book cheap hotels guide, our how to find cheap hotels guide, and our Hotels.com guide for additional guidance on finding the lowest prices at your favorite chain. Our best hotel credit cards guide offers advice on the best cards for earning status, upgrades, and more.
Best Mid-List Hotel Chains
These mid-list hotel chains run the gamut. Some, you’re probably very familiar with. You’ve spotted their signs along many a highway exit. Some, you might know from your city’s downtown hub. Others might be less familiar, but still tempting. See what we have to say about their amenities and overall vibe.
Marriott International Hotels is one of the largest hospitality brands in the world. One of its long-standing, favorite, mid-list hotel brands is Courtyard by Marriott. Catering to primarily business travelers, the brand offers business-y amenities (such as WiFi and breakfast). The costs are low but the efficiency is high. Because the clientele is so business-oriented, you likely won’t need to worry about your neighbor throwing a party or a TV out of the window.
In many small towns where the hotel options are limited, a Courtyard by Marriott may very well be your nicest option.
Hyatt Place is a more modern mid-list brand, and your most stylish option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly pick. Typically situated in downtowns or near airports, the hotels’ clientele is usually frequent travelers.
In addition to the modern and sophisticated feel, Hyatt Place properties typically offer a bevy of desirable amenities. These include a coffee and wine bar, complimentary breakfast, and a guest kitchen with snacks available throughout the day. Plus, the guest rooms are on the larger size, often outfitted with pull-out sofas.
Similarly, the Four Points by Sheraton brand provides a more stylish alternative. It’s also a brand that you’re likely to find in downtowns, urban neighborhoods, and near airports. Four Points usually offers a small, on-site bar and restaurant with a local feel. The other amenities are pretty basic and might include a swimming pool or a fitness center. The guest rooms may be a little plainer than what you might find in a Hyatt Place Hotel. Still, you won’t go wrong with a Four Points if it’s one of only a few options available in your destination.
Doubletree is known for greeting its guests with fresh-baked cookies. But, the brand’s attention to detail and the customer experience don’t end there. With recent, big-budget investments into its branding, Doubletree is constantly improving business and leisure travelers’ stays through perks such as upscale bedding and Hilton-powered and guest-friendly tech, but all at a budget-friendly price that you can appreciate.
The Hilton Garden Inn offers an experience very similar to what you’ll find at a Courtyard by Marriott. There’s typically an on-site restaurant, pool, fitness center, and small mini-market. You probably won’t get a complimentary breakfast, though, unfortunately. Still, the rooms are generally well-furnished, clean, and basic. If you’re already a Hilton Honors member, you can’t go wrong by snagging some extra rewards points here.
A little bit nicer than a Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham, the Ramada brand is a mid-list budget brand that comes with a caveat. The quality, service, and overall value will differ depending on where you go and what Ramada you stay at. Some Ramadas feature excellent restaurants and bars, with conference centers and up-to-date rooms. Others are stuck just slightly in the past. Still, with Ramada’s rates, it’s a good idea to check out a local Ramada if you have the option of staying in one.
Compared to the other mid-tier hotels on this list, Tru by Hilton is a new brand. First announced in 2016, it’s quickly grown, though. Now, the brand offers more than a hundred properties around the country.
The brand takes its cue from nicer, more modern and upscale brands. So, you can expect a more high-end vibe, just without some of the high-end amenities. For example, Tru by Hilton offers very limited food and drink options. But, it does offer large lobbies with social spaces designed to feel young and vibrant. You can usually find Tru by Hilton properties on the outskirts of urban hubs, or near highways or airports.
An Accor brand, Mercure Hotels properties have a distinctly European feel, thanks to their French background. Now, you can find Mercure properties throughout the world, with hotels situated in more than 60 countries. The hotels are very traditional in terms of style and amenities. However, Accor has been making strides over the last decade or so, to revitalize the brand with new offerings and refurbishments. Today, you can find Mercure hotels offering all sorts of unique amenities. These range from gluten-free foods to rooftop gardens to fine wine and beer lists.
Embassy Suites by Hilton is Hilton’s all-suite option designed for business travelers and mid-scale leisure travelers. With more than 250 locations in a handful of countries, you can find an Embassy Suites in a range of destinations.
Most Embassy Suites have a very particular style. The guest rooms encircle a large, open social space. There the property offers a breakfast buffet in the morning, and then happy hours in the evening (with snacks!). Each guest room is a suite, but that doesn’t make the hotels extended-stay properties. That’s because each guest room has a living area, but no kitchen.
Mid-List Rewards Programs
But why not increase your savings while also increasing all your perks? It’s entirely possible when you sign up for a hotel loyalty program — and, yes, even mid-list and mid-tier hotels offer rewards programs. Many of them are brand-wide, so they offer perks and discounts at a range of properties, from the most budget-friendly to the most luxurious. Many of the mid-list rewards programs have sister hotels you will find on our Best Economy and Budget-Friendly Hotel Brands and Chains list. You can even earn loyalty points at mid-tier hotels that are within your budget and then spend those loyalty points at the poshest property in a brand’s portfolio.
So, if you picked one of our favorite mid-tier hotel brands above and you’re planning an upcoming stay, here are the loyalty programs you’ll want to sign up for.
Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program
The Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program will come in useful if you decide to stay at a Ramada property. One of the favorite rewards programs across the board, you can earn 10 points per every dollar you spend staying at any Wyndham property. However, if you only spend, for example, $80 or $90 and you’re set to earn 800 or 900 points, Wyndham will always just round you up to 1,000 points.
Beyond earning points with hotel stays, you can also earn points when you shop, buy gas, or rent a car. Once you’ve earned up enough points — as little as 7,500 points — you can redeem them for a hotel stay.
See our complete Wyndham Rewards Loyalty Program review.
Marriott Bonvoy is one of the most popular hotel loyalty programs. It covers so many properties in so many destinations around the world. Plus, if you sign up for a Marriott Bonvoy account, you can earn points in so many different ways and the member benefits are impressively extensive. The program recently received a refresh, so it’s upgraded to benefit travelers even more.
When staying at hotels, loyalty members enjoy awesome amenities like free WiFi and mobile check-in. Then, when you earn up enough points, you can redeem them for things like free stays or access to exclusive Marriott VIP Bonvoy events. Earning points is easy. You get 5 or 10 points per $1 spent on a stay (with the number of points dependent upon the individual hotel). You can also earn points via travel partners, including airlines, cruise lines, and rental car providers.
Marriott Bonvoy is applicable at both Courtyard by Marriott and Four Points by Sheraton properties.
See our complete Marriott Bonvoy Loyalty Program review.
World of Hyatt
World of Hyatt is (as you probably guessed) the Hyatt brand’s loyalty program and is applicable at Hyatt Place Hotels properties. Similar to Marriott Bonvoy, World of Hyatt offers you 5 points for every $1 you spend at a hotel. You can also earn points with airline partners and rental car providers. However, unlike the above Marriott Bonvoy and Wyndham properties, there’s no need to wait until you’ve earned 7,500 points to book a stay. Free stays are available for as little as 5,000 points.
For stays at a Doubletree by Hilton Hotels, Tru by Hilton, Embassy Suites, or Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Honors is the rewards program for you. Members enjoy discounted rates, free WiFi, digital check-in from your phone, a digital room key, and even the ability to choose your guest room ahead of your stay. You earn points through stays, Lyft rides, dining, and more, and then can spend them on not only free stays, but also experiences, rental cars, and flights, among other options.
See our complete Hilton Honors Loyalty Program review.
If you stay at a Mecure property (or any Accor brand), you’ll want to take advantage of the Accor Live Limitless lifestyle loyalty program. You’ll earn points with every stay, but also at restaurants, bars, online shops, and more. Plus, Accor boasts a wide range of partnerships with various other travel brands, including airlines and rental car companies, so you can earn and spend points in a variety of ways, while also enjoying access to extra perks and savings. When you’re ready to spend your points on a hotel stay, you can do so easily, thanks to no blackout dates.
Which Rewards Program is the Best?
Out of all of the rewards programs listed above, Wyndham Rewards ranks supreme for its ease of use. There are nearly 10,000 Wyndham properties worldwide, so it’s highly unlikely you’d ever visit somewhere that doesn’t have one. Additionally, you get more and more benefits the more and more you stay with Wyndham.
Of course, if you don’t necessarily care for the Ramada brand or Wyndham at all, you can’t go wrong with Marriott Bonvoy. As mentioned, it applies to so many different properties around the world and travelers enjoy a range of perks, from access to exclusive events to the ability to earn points just about any way you travel.
Travel in Style — But Save Some Money While You’re At It
Just because you want the creature comforts and amenities of a nice hotel, that doesn’t mean you necessarily need to spend a lot of money. You can have the perks you want without breaking your travel budget when you stay at one of our favorite mid-tier hotels. Whether you’re looking for a business traveler-ready property, a suite, or a centrally-located basecamp from which to explore your next destination, you’ll find something to suit your needs.
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