The Deal Mommy

How Do You Define a Luxury Hotel Room?

Living room in the corner suites, Radisson Melbourne, April 2015.

Living room in the corner suites, Radisson Melbourne, April 2015.

I’ve had luxury hotel room features on the brain lately. Maybe it’s because of my upcoming trip to the French Riviera and the $2500 hotel room at the Hyatt Grand Martinez. Maybe it’s because I’ve been struggling to justify keeping Hyatt Diamond.  Hmmm…starting to see a pattern here…

My definition of luxury has evolved over the years. My list contains some specific items no “luxurious” room can lack.  

A luxury hotel room must have

  • If I’m with Deal Dad and the kids no hotel room, no matter how many stars, is going to feel luxurious. Period.  No separate space, not luxury. If I’m doing an EVR Rental I’ll definitely flex on some room amenities in exchange for an entire apartment.  The space more than makes up for it.  I’ll best most parents out there feel me on this one.
  • Solo or with just the kids? It’s possible to have a great room, but every other detail had better be great.
  • A balcony with or without kids.  Unless it’s in a city (and sometimes even then) no room, no matter how great, will trump fresh air.
  • I’ve seen so many hotels feature exclusive details everywhere but the balconies- where they pick up the patio chairs from Big Lots. Why do they screw up this simple detail? In most locations I’ll spend as much time on the balcony as in any other part of the room.
  • Great bedding. Another must have a lot of expensive hotels miss. Scratchy sheets and lumpy pillows are all too common in high end hotels and an absolute no-no.
  • No nickel and diming. Wifi fees? Room service prices 3x the restaurant? Pool Chair rental? NO.
  • Common area upkeep. I’ll forgive an occasional cracked tile or furniture stain but stale beer cups and cigarette butts from the night before get a hotel knocked off the luxury list.
  • The company you keep. The Deal Kids have learned “hotel manners”.  If the other guests in the hotel are straight out of Bachelor Party it’s going to affect your experience.

The funny thing about this list is that I’ve seen Hampton Inns, Hyatt Places and Radissons pass with flying colors while I’ve seen $400/night hotels fail.


Notable is what’s NOT on this list:

  • Amazing service.  Sure I don’t want BAD service, but as long as it’s unobtrusive and gets the job done, I’m good.
  • A club. Another “nice to have” but if I’m in a 2 bedroom condo with a great terrace and kitchen can’t I just go to the grocery?
  • Bathrobes, slippers, etc. Do I really use them?
  • High end toiletries.  At this point I have enough for a lifetime!

I’m really talking myself out of renewing Diamond status, aren’t I?

What’s on your list that didn’t make mine?  Anything on mine that you don’t care about?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

The Deal Mommy is a proud member of the Saverocity network. 



7 thoughts on “How Do You Define a Luxury Hotel Room?

  1. MickiSue

    I LIKE the bathrobe and slippers. I never bring a robe, of course, and rarely wear one at home, as I go from bed to shower to dressed. But to be able to take my time in the morning, wrapped in a thick terrycloth robe, is lovely.

    I like the clubroom, too. Rather than worrying about breakfast, being able to just grab some scrambled eggs and coffee, and sit in a corner, is exceptional to me.

    But I’m absolutely with you on the balcony. Or, even just big windows that open, in a pinch. One of the things I love about the smaller hotels in Europe. Almost without exception, you can open the windows.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi MickiSue,
      Now I’m not gonna turn down a bathrobe or free drink, they just rank lower than they used to with kids in the picture.

      You’re right about windows. Maybe it’s a liability thing?

  2. icicle

    Luxury: someplace where human rights are protected. someplace where democracy is important. where women are NOT property to be traded. (a certain Hampton Inn near Chinoteague, Va. that had a great balcony and served yummy eggs at breakfast: Yes, please.)

    Non-Luxury: someplace where human rights don’t exist. someplace in a dictatorship. someplace where women are considered irrelevant. (Any hotel in the Maldives. Never!)

    To me, it DOES matter how a nation treats its people: how can one feel remotely good about being on vacation or travelling in a country that promotes hatred instead of love?

    I’ll dolphin watch from my lower-tier hotel on a U.S. state Atlantic Ocean beach while drinking starbucks over going to the Maldives’ Hyatts, knowing the horrible human rights abuses that occur every day on those islands. I do not know how people can justify spending money there when they realize where it is going: how on earth could that ever be considered “a luxury hotel stay”?

    Now if we are talking about over-the-top, true luxury in the dream-like idealistic fairy tale land…nothing beats the Crillion in Paris. Nothing. It defines luxury. I’ll never be able to afford it, but how many hotels do you know that has their past rooms in a musuem?

    In. A. Museum. That’s right, the Crillion has past rooms on exhibit at the Met in NYC.

    So, I guess there are two things that define a luxury hotel stay for me: 1) I can sleep at night with a clear conscience, and 2) is it good enough for royalty? 🙂

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      You make some great points, icicle. I get the same oogies sometimes at properties if the management is all white and the staff is all brown.

      I had a similar feeling at luxury at the Greenbriar, where 26 presidents have stayed. Good enough for over 1/2 of our CEOs, good enough for me!

    2. pointster

      @icicle, seconded. If that means I’ll never experience the tropical bliss of the Maldives or the grandeur of the UAE city-states, so be it.

  3. pointster

    I would add great breakfast to the list.

    I can’t count how many U.S. hotel club rooms and restaurants offer something that would barely pass for airport lounge food. But outside the U.S., people seem to take their first meal more seriously. A great spread with all manner of charcuterie, lots of fresh fruit (including multiple kinds of berries), the typical hot, full English option, and baked goods that didn’t come from Sysco is a huge win in my book.

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