The Deal Mommy

The 3 Surprising Hotel Chains You Should Use in Europe

The Accor Hotel in Lecce, Italy, where rooms go for $100/night in August.

The Accor Hotel in Lecce, Italy, where rooms go for $100/night in August.


True Deal Mommy Confession: I’ve become a bit of a brand snob when it comes to hotels. I blame it on Hyatt Diamond Status, which I earned last year and has spoiled me for other hotel chains in the same price range. However, many times the Hyatt option is WAY out of reach (hello, Milan!) or non-existent, as in much of Europe.

Italy is heavily on my mind as my trip is now less than 4 months away, and I’m finally nailing down my finalists among the many options I have booked. (BTW, do you do that too- book everything you like and then whittle down?) In that process 3 chains that I don’t give a second glance to in the States rise to the top.  All three have rewards programs, so you can earn points while you save, and also offer either free status with sign-up or status match so you can earn faster and maybe get an upgrade to boot. You can also sometimes find them on Ebates to save a little more.

  • Accor Hotels: In the states they don’t have much of a presence (except for formerly owning Motel 6), but from Ibis to Mercure to Sofitel to Adagio apartments and MGallery Boutiques, Accor is heads above some of the more common chains in Europe.  From multi-night and early booking discounts to family sized rooms and apartment rentals, Accor is now my first “go-to” when I’m looking for hotels across the pond.


  • Best Western: A chain that gets very little love stateside has some really offbeat (in a good way) properties overseas. The individual ownership of each hotel means you really want to check out TripAdvisor before booking, but I’m often surprised how little ol’ Best Western often outranks the big boys in major European cities such as Paris.


  • Choice Hotels: Choice gets an honorable mention here not for their hotel quality, which varies widely, but for their transfer-ability to American Express Membership Rewards and their dirt-cheap last minute points deals. They pretty much open up everything at 30 days (60 days for status members) for as little as 8k points a night. $80 in points for an urban hotel room in peak could be a steal.

Are there any budget chains that have happily surprised you? Please share your experiences in the comments.

11 thoughts on “The 3 Surprising Hotel Chains You Should Use in Europe

  1. choi

    could you recommend any hotels in Italy (or any you are about to stay) as I m planning my trip there next summer. Thanks

    1. The Deal Mommy Post author

      Hi Choi, it really depends on your itinerary. Check my “travel inspiration” page for my hotel in Matera, and definitely take a look at my post last week “$47 free hotel credit” about Secret Escapes, where I just booked Bari. I’m choosing to stay South to avoid crowds.

  2. u600213

    Accor points expire so if you don;t stay there frequently, best to convert them to some partner airline. I was Accor Platinum for several years and mostly stayed at Pullman Fontana Stuttgart . Platinum was worthless at this hotel. No room upgrade, no lounge, same cold service.

    I also stayed at some Accor’s in France and equally meh.

    I know there are some nice Sofitel’s but they were not geographically suitable for my business needs.

    Glad you had a good experience but YMMV.

    1. The Deal Mommy Post author

      Thanks for your feedback. It’s a matter of value, not necessarily Hyatt level service/amenities. I agree that except at the high end, these should be considered budget properties.

  3. Pingback: Free $25 Best Western Gift Card (Possibly Targeted) | First2Board

  4. pawtim

    A caution about planning to redeem Accor points, assuming it’s still the same — points translate into vouchers for a certain number of Euros; you may use multiple vouchers for a single stay, but here’s the rub — they are only eligible on the rack rate, which is way higher than the market rate at the same hotel. It’s been two or three years since I’ve used them, so things may have changed, but I basically consider those points nearly useless.
    (Writing this from the Radisson Blu in Madrid right now — staying two nights for 50k points! The Museo del Prado is across the street, and is free every evening for the last two hours so this is a great location!)

    1. thedealmommy

      Hi Pawtim,
      (Great redemption on Club Carlson, BTW). Agreed on Accor points…they’re basically only good at cash rates.

  5. andreas

    I like your post on EVR and this one. How do US residents accumulate accor points. I know nothing about that chain or program. Did you post about how to best utilize them?

    1. thedealmommy

      Hi Andreas,
      Thanks! To be honest, I’ve never accrued accor points to any great extent as I don’t see them worth stockpiling. Accor cash stays are pretty affordable to begin with. I just earn points with stays and redeem them as I get there: 2,000 translate to a 40 Euro discount.

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