My accommodation selection mantra for these trips is simple. Seek out free parking, wifi and breakfast. I’ll sacrifice breakfast for a good price saving though.
Additional optional criteria come in around location. I prefer remote, but not so remote that there’s nowhere to eat nearby. I like a big room but in reality if you’re arriving late, staying a single night and leaving early it’s not important. Night life is well down the list as collapsing on a bed and perusing the wifi seems to be my usual tired man approach.
Last night we discovered something of a gem in the middle of New Hampshire. I’d prebooked it using Topcashback to earn commission and Hotels.com to gain free night credits. But it started ticking boxes at a rapid rate.
While not cheap, it was well priced. The car park was empty as we rolled in late afternoon. The receptionist almost certainly the owner – not being a chain seems to score bonus points in my undocumented view of what’s great.
The welcome was friendly. There’s a hot tub and pool. A games room. DVDs to watch in your room. A series of cuddly toy animals lined the stairs. As we entered the room for the first time it felt pleasing. Not large at all, but just kitted out with furniture that felt homely. Lacking a coffee machine but the mini travel kettle has been brought into service for the first time on this trip.
It struck me that I quite liked the fact you needed to go inside a lobby and corridor to get to your room. Our last four nights had shared a convenience of being able to park outside a front door to a motel room where the larger structure has been reminiscent of a prison camp despite the mod cons inside.
Our New Hampshire home isn’t the Ritz. But it’s got a warmth and welcome worth so much more to us. We also met up with some fellow Oldham fans last night. Because why wouldn’t you share time with people you’ve never met before, but sit within 100 yards of on a Saturday afternoon, when you’re all 3,000 miles away from home?
It was a fun evening. Some interesting efforts at music from a stage. Good food and good company.
Today will be travel or hot tub. Not decided yet!