Mark, Petunia and I not only love traveling far from home, but we also very much love quick, often spontaneous, one or two night stays close to home whenever we realize we have some rare, free weekend time. (Is that not just a spectacular gift in itself?)
Because we live in the Dallas area, one nice brand of hotel with a few properties within 45 minutes of our home is Omni Hotels. Omni is a very nice chain of hotels and, while it can be expensive to stay there, it doesn't have to be. Additionally, when we do spend money on something, my primary concern isn't always how few dollars we are spending, but how good of a value we are getting for our money. (Yes, there are exceptions to this, because it can be fun sometimes to see just how few dollars you can spend doing something. There will be future posts about this!)
One of the properties we have stayed at a few times for a weekend night or two is the Omni Mandalay. The reason I even knew about it when it came to booking our first 'semi-staycation' was because, a loooong time ago, I actually worked at that hotel. It seems a lifetime ago, but I always had a great impression of the hotel. The Omni Mandalay is set in the midst of several corporate headquarters and is a very popular hotel during the week for business travelers. What this means for locals--and many of you may have hotels in the same situation--is that weekend bargains are frequent and sometimes incredibly good!
Now, our time here is not the kind of getaway where we want to go exploring a new town. We actually drive, well, out of town for those. A night or weekend here is when we want to relax and connect as a family. We usually plan on spending a whole day by the pool, bring cards or a board game, sleep in, walk around and sit a spell enjoying the beautiful indoor and outdoor settings of the hotel and our most adventurous activity is walking to a very nearby restaurant for dinner. I really love those times we spend.
If you think you may want to check out an Omni Hotel near you sometime, there is something you must do first: go online and enroll in their absolutely free Select Guest program. Of course the more nights you stay, the better the benefits get, but just at the basic level that you get your very first night, here are my favorite 3 perks: free wifi service, complimentary bottled water the night of your arrival, and--the best--free beverage delivery to your door each night of your stay. Wake up to fresh-brewed coffee waiting on a tray outside your door, delivered at a time of your choosing. Why would someone not do that?
Between the value added and the great deals, we think our occasional stays here are very reasonable. Of course, we do stay other places at times for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite chain or guest loyalty program you would like to share?