quality

Is your Vacation Rental Hotel Quality?

Is your vacation rental hotel quality.jpg

As you may (or may not) know, there are several known classifications for hotels. You may be thinking, “So?” Well if you own a vacation rental, you are competing with the hotels in your area. Though the motivation for someone to book a vacation rental is very different from those who book hotel rooms, none the less, they will most likely be looking at all their options before booking. So, with this in mind, you should consider what category your vacation rental falls under. For example Smith Travel Research (STR) has a “chain scale” where they break down hotel brands into several different tiers, based on their Average Daily Rate (ADR).

  • Economy

  • Midscale

  • Upper Midscale

  • Upscale

  • Upper Upscale

  • Luxury

Specifically, they state

Brands/Chains are slotted by Chain Scale based on the previous year’s annual system wide (global) Average Daily Rate. Rate ranges defining each Chain Scale are determined by STR. The STR Chain Scales – North America and Caribbean is a subsetof the larger Global Chain Scale list. Brand Chain Scale pairings are consistent with each list. Brands listed above are located in U.S., Mexico, Caribbean and Canada. If you have any questions about the Chain Scales, please email support@str.com. Copyright 2016. STR, Inc. Publishing or reproducing this information is strictly prohibited. www.str.com +1 (615) 824 8664. Last updated May 2016.

Luxury –

Luxury lodging has the following features:

  • Very high reputation and quality

  • Prime locations

  • Distinguished architecture, artwork and design (sometimes they are historic structures)

  • Superior service and staff

  • Numerous and luxurious facilities and amenities

  • Fine dining and 24–hour room service

  • Spacious, beautifully furnished rooms

  • Superior linens, finishes and materials

Upper Upscale –

Upper Upscale lodging has the following features:

  • Well–known, high–quality brands

  • Very convenient, often strategic locations

  • Attractive architecture, artwork, and sometimes dramatic design

  • Very professional service and staff

  • Many amenities and facilities

  • Quality dining

  • Large, comfortable rooms with top of the line furnishings

  • High–quality linens, finishes and materials

Upscale –

Clients can expect the following from Upscale lodging:

  • Very good quality and value

  • Convenient locations

  • Pleasant, often homelike or stylish architecture

  • Friendly and attentive staff

  • Good range of amenities and facilities

  • Pleasant dining in and/or near the hotel

  • Standard–sized, comfortable rooms

  • Quality linens and materials

Upper Midscale –

Upper Midscale lodging has the following features:

  • Simple, pleasant accomodations

  • Very good value

  • Convenient, often roadside or suburban locations

  • Simple, nice appearance, frequently with similar look and design for most properties

  • Helpful staff

  • Limited range of amenities and facilities

  • Dining usually limited, but often convenient to family dining and fast food

  • Standard–sized, nice rooms; but all–suite lodging in this category is spacious

  • Good linens and materials

Midscale –

The features of Midscale lodging are:

  • Simple, low–priced

  • Basic, sometimes older properties; often two– or three–story buildings

  • Adequately staffed

  • Few amenities, facilities and extras

  • Limited dining, perhaps simple breakfast included; family dining and fast food nearby

  • Adequate–sized rooms, with modest materials and furnishings, and average–quality linens

Economy –

Here’s what clients can expect from Economy lodging:

  • Simple, clean, no–frill, low–priced

  • Limited staff and hours

  • Basic amenities and facilities

  • Rarely have on–site dining; some nearby

  • Very modest–sized rooms, with basic materials and linens

Comparing brands and chains

Here are a few examples of some of the hotel chains you may know, and what category they fall under.

Best Western: 

  • Upscale – Best Western Premier

  • Upper Midscale – Best Western Plus

  • Midscale – Best Western

Choice: 

  • Upscale – Ascend, Cambria Suites

  • Upper Midscale – Clarion, Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites

  • Midscale – Mainstay Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn

  • Economy – Econo Lodge, Rodeway Inn, Suburban Extended Stay

Club Carlson: 

  • Upper Upscale -Radisson Blu (don’t ask me though)

  • Upscale – Radisson

  • Upper Midscale – Park Inn, Country Inn and Suites

Hilton: 

  • Luxury – Conrad, Waldorf Astoria

  • Upper Upscale – Curio, Hilton, Embassy Suites

  • Upscale – Doubletree, Homewood Suites

  • Upper Midscale – Hampton Inn

Hyatt: 

IHG: 

  • Luxury – Intercontinental

  • Upper Upscale – Kimpton,

  • Upscale – Staybridge Suites, Hotel Indigo, EVEN, Crowne Plaza

  • Upper Midscale – Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express

  • Midscale – Candlewood Suites

Marriott: 

  • Luxury – Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott

  • Upper Upscale – Marriott, Delta

  • Upscale – AC Hotels, Springhill Suites, Residence Inn, Courtyard by Marriott

  • Upper Midscale – Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites

Starwood: 

  • Luxury – W Hotel, Luxury Collection, St. Regis,

  • Upper Upscale – Le Meridien, Sheraton, Westin, Tribute Portfolio

  • Upscale – Aloft, Four Points, element

Wyndham: 

  • Upper Upscale – Wyndham, Dolce

  • Upper Midscale – Wyndham Garden, Tryp by Wyndham

  • Midscale – Wingate by Wyndham, Hawthorn Suites, Ramada, Baymont Inn and Suites

  • Economy – Microtel, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson, Travelodge, Knights Inn

For a couple of non-chain hotel brands, La Quinta is listed as Midscale while Drury Inn and Suites is listed as Upper Midscale.

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Why quality furniture takes (so long!) 8+ weeks!

Why quality furniture takes 8+ weeks.jpg

This might surprise you, but often quality furniture can take 8 weeks or more to create and deliver. Some pieces can even take as much as 6 months! Shocking- I know, but let me explain. The main difference is in the quality of each element that goes into the manufacturing of all pieces used to make each furniture.  

For instance the construction of a sofa seat consists of many parts, but one of the main elements in a quality seat made with tempered springs, on an eight way tie, with both foam and down as the seat cushion. This eight way tieing is done by hand, which can take some time to accomplish. There are some lower quality furniture Manufacturers who will do a 5 way tie- this is not as high of a quality furniture pieces as the eight way, though it will take a little less time. 

If you are looking for a quality leather sofa, be sure you are looking at top grain leather. Genuine leather is a misleading label and often is the lowest quality of leather. Top grain leather is often dyed and usually by hand, so this also takes some time. 

The frame of a quality furniture piece will be made with kiln dried wood. Why? Because if you build a piece of furniture that has been made with almost any other treated wood, it will most likely bow and change shape over time as moisture escapes the wood over time. when wood is kiln dried it is highly unlikely it will warp or change shape since all the moisture has been removed from the wood. This process can take several days or even weeks depending on the type of wood.

Drawers and corners of furniture that are made with a detail called dovetailing are only found in quality pieces of furniture. Often lower quality manufacturers will simply nail and glue the corners of their furniture together because it takes less time and costs them less to manufacturer. The only problem is, the furniture pieces don’t last as long. 

There are several other elements that make a quality piece of furniture, but these are some of the easiest elements to be able to see when you are shopping for furniture. That being said, be aware that all of these quality elements are usually hand made, and take time. Because these elements take time and skilled personnel to make them, they will take a longer period of time to make.  

Designer Tip: Don’t be mislead by labels! Simply because it has a higher price tag doesn’t mean the furniture is a quality piece. For instance Restoration Hardware, though is very good at advertising and has some amazing photographers, be aware that not all of their furniture is made with these quality manufacturing elements. that’s not to say that all of their furniture is crap either, but just keep an eye out for details like the ones I listed above to determine what is worth your time and money, and which is not. 

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