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30 Hotel Chains Every Traveler Should Know

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Whether you favor basic, no-frills bargain hotels or accommodations with a happy balance of perks and price, you've probably already found a hotel chain or two that suits your needs at least here in the States. But what happens when you travel abroad? 

We searched far and wide for the foreign hotel chains locals rely on most, from Mexico City to Moscow, compiling them all in this international cheat sheet to a good, cheap night's sleep (almost) anywhere on earth. Among our search criteria, consistency was key we prioritized chains with reliable standards of service, cleanliness, and amenities (since you can't always trust hotel ratings abroad, and filtered out those with erratic pricing or less-than-desirable locations. But that doesn't mean there won't be some (pleasant) surprises in the mixmany of our bargain picks also include indulgent extras like monsoon showers, on-site spas, and design-mag-worthy interiors.

SEE FOR YOURSELF: THESE HOTEL CHAINS ARE STYLISH, TOO

Best Worldwide: 

NH Hotels
Started in Pamplona, Spain in 1978, NH has grown to become one of the top 20 largest chains in the world, with more than 400 properties in 26 countries, from Andorra to Uruguay (most are concentrated in Europe and South America). The look varies from one hotel to the next, but many are set in historic buildings with original architectural details and filled with stylish, modern furnishings: solid, neutral-hued linens on the bed and abstract art on the walls. NH also often has several hotels in the same destinationso it's worth it to check out all your options for the best rate and location. Sample rates:from $120 at the Hotel NH Musica, Amsterdam; from $114 at the Hotel NH Anglo American, Florence; from $143 at the Hotel NH Tango, Buenos Aires.
nh-hotels.com
Properties: 400+
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: All

Ibis 
Sure, the hotels may be cookie-cutter (furniture is of the basic, blond-wood variety) and the locations aren't exactly thrilling (most properties are near business districts and airports), but the brand definitely has a lock on convenience, thanks to 24-hour snack bars, WiFi, and often on-site parking. All 900-plus outposts, from continental Europe to Asia, Africa, South America, the Middle East, and Australia, also serve locally-influenced breakfast buffets (say, crepes in France, or tropical fruits in Brazil). Sample rates: from $100 at the Ibis Praha Old Town Hotel in Prague; from $117 at the Ibis Antananarivo Ankorondrano in Madagascar; from $94 at the Ibis Buenos Aires Obelisco in Argentina.
ibishotel.com
Properties: 919
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: Transit hubs

Mercure 
Most of Mercure's 725 hotels (across 49 countries) are in Europe, with the remainder in Australia, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.The three- and four-star properties include both business-friendly city spots and resortsthe latter of which are more likely to incorporate vernacular design elements such as thatched-roof cottages at a Bali resort or a hammam at a Morocco hotel. All have on-site restaurants, and most offer packages with conveniences like breakfast and internet. Sample rates: from $104 at the Mercure Montpellier Centre in France; from $63 at the Mercure Resort Sanur in Bali; from $66 at the Mercure Ouarzazate in Morocco.
mercure.com
Properties: 725
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: All

TRYP by Wyndham Hotels 
A boutique brand from the Wyndham group, TRYP aims for the spot where form and function overlap, providing urban adventurers with 21st-century amenities (WiFi, fitness centers, flat-screen TVs), a streamlined aesthetic (neutral color palettes, hardwood floors), and legitimate social scenes (on-site bars and active lobbies designed for mingling). Spain, Germany, Portugal and Brazil have the most properties now, but there are one-offs in Europe, South America, Canada and the U.S. Sample rates: from $79 at the TRYP Valencia Azafata in Spain; from $99 at the TRYP San Jose Sabana Hotel in Costa Rica; from $90 at the TRYP Berlin in Germany.
tryphotels.com
Properties: 91
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: City center

Room Mate Hotels
A spunky upstart based in Spain, Room Mate's outposts in Buenos Aires, Mexico, NYC and Miami cater to a nightlife-loving crowd: Most are located in hip, culture-centric neighborhoods, each one has live DJ-spun music, and hearty buffet breakfasts are served until noon daily. The dcor is playfully avant-garde and picks up on motifs that reference some aspect of the destination. (In Mexico City, a pair of cartoonish white cacti stands in front of a colorful mural of ceramic fish scales, while the Granada hotel skews moodier and more elegant.) Bonus: The bathrooms are typically spacious, and Wi-Fi is always free. Sample rates: from $82 at the Room Mate Leo in Granada, Spain; from $79 at the Room Mate Valentina in Mexico City.
room-matehotels.com
Properties: 14
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: City center

Best By Region:

Asia & The Pacific
Insider advice is especially helpful in Asia. While several countries have government-run hotel ratings systems, many are voluntary and self-assessed and, consequently, are unreliable. Plus, some countriesJapan, for onedon't use ratings systems at all. Australia is a bit easier: They recently revamped their popular ratings system, AAA Tourism, to focus on a combination of cleanliness, amenities, and quality, rather than just a checklist of facilities.

APA Hotels & Resorts
Japanese hospitality meets no-nonsense frugality in this robust nationwide chain. APA is an acronym for "Always Pleasant Amenity," and depending on your location, that might refer to a traditional public bath (available at no cost to hotel guests), a free breakfast of bread, coffee, rice, and miso soup, or a choice between a standard room (of the floral-bedspread variety) or a Japanese room, with tatami-mat floors for lounging. Sample rates: from $93 at the APA Hotel Takasaki-Ekimae in Tokyo; from $93 for a single at the APA Hotel Nagasaki-Ekiminami in Nagasaki; from $124 at the APA Villa Hotel Yudoyabashi in Osaka.
apahotel.com
Properties: 76
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Centara Hotels & Resorts
With their fancy pool decks, on-site spas, and concierges, properties from the Centara brand (Thailand's largest) all feel like splurges, even if they're not. You'll find them in most of the country's major tourist destinations, from Chiang Mai to Krabi, along with the Maldives, Bali, Vietnam and the Philippines. The brand includes several sub-categories: The five-star Centara Grand and the Centara Boutique Collection are on the pricey side, so stick to the four-star Centara and three-star Centra properties for comparable quality at better rates. And watch for deals when you're bookingoften, the online rates are much lower (up to 60 percent) than standard published prices. Sample rates: From $46 at the Centara Duangtawan Hotel Chiang Mai; from $81 at the Centara Villas Phuket; from $62 at the Centra Taum Seminyak Bali.
centarahotelsresorts.com
Properties: 55
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: All

GreenTree Inns
Whether you're in Beijing or Nanjing, you can expect this fast-growing Chinese chain to deliver clean, pleasant rooms with free WiFi, TVs, and basic amenities, all in locations that are convenient to universities, train stations and conference centers. Sample rates: From $34 at the Beijing Tuanjie Lake Spring Hotel; from $24 at the Chengdu People's Park Hotel; from $29 at the Shenzhen Huaqiangbei Express Hotel.
998.com/eng
Properties: 300+
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Lemon Tree Hotels
Travelers looking to set up a home base in one of India's larger cities can take good advantage of Lemon Tree's growing chain. The hotels were originally designed for business travelersbut you'd never know it at first glance. The rooms are cheerful (brightly hued bedspreads, colorful expressionist and abstract artwork) and well-equipped (LCD TVs, orthopedic mattresses, free bottled water), and nearly every hotel has a decent swimming pool. There are even a few affordable resort outpostsone in Goa, and one near Vembanad Lake. Solo female travelers can book into a "Lemon Tree Diva" room, which is on a women-only corridor and has extras like reflexology foot massagers. Sample rates: from $72 at the Lemon Tree Electronics City in Bangalore; from $138 at the Lemon Tree Amarante Beach Resort in Goa; from $94 at the Lemon Tree Hotel in Chennai.
lemontreehotels.com
Properties: 15
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: City center

Rydges 
With the exception of the three five-star "Art Series" hotels (with slightly higher ratesand style quotients), this Australian-owned chain is known more for its reliable, middle-of-the-road rooms and much-touted signature Dream Bedspillow-top numbers made from breathable latexthan for trendy flourishes. Founded in 1988, the brand has properties all over the continent as well as some in New Zealand, one in Dubai and one in London. Sample rates:from $191 at the Rydges World Square in Sydney; from $138 at the Rydges South Park in Adelaide; from $106 at the Rydges Hobart; from $170 at the Rydges South Bank in Brisbane. rydges.com
Properties: 40
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Tune Hotels
At this Malaysian chain (with a few outposts in Bali, Thailand, the Philippines, and London), you get what you pay forliterally. While prices are rock-bottom for the rooms (under $20 for singles in many cases), you'll rack up fees for things that come standard at many other hotels (TV and Wi-Fi cost roughly $7.50 for 24 hours, while air conditioning, shower gel, and towels run from $5-$15, depending on the location). Still, the bright rooms are more than mere crash pads, with 250-thread-count bedding, power showers, housekeeping and 24-hour security. Book early and you may even luck into one of the extremely-limited-quantity $1 a night deals. Sample rates:from $18 at the Tune Hotel in Downtown Penang; from $30 at the Tune Hotel in Downtown Kuala Lumpur; from $20 at the Tune Hotel Kita in Bali.
tunehotels.com
Properties: 20
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: City center

Europe
While Great Britain has a fairly trustworthy hotel rating system, many other European countries use ratings that are far less predictable and intuitive. For example, French hotels earn stars based not on quality but the presence of certain features (air-conditioning and bathroom facilities, for example), while in Italy, a hotel can earn a single star just for changing the sheets on the beds once a week.

Dedeman Hotels & Resorts
Founded in Istanbul in 1966, Dedeman now has hotels and resorts all over Turkey, as well as in Bulgaria, and Uzbekistan. Rooms are more comfortable than cutting-edge, but the properties have worthwhile bonuses such as Turkish baths, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, and multiple options for on-site dining, drinking, and even dancing. Sample rates: from $147 at the Dedeman Ankara in Turkey; from $88 at the Dedeman Silk Road in Tashkent, Uzbekistan; from $169 at the Dedeman Istanbul.
dedeman.com
Properties: 16
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: City center

Husa Hotels
No one-trick pony, this Spanish chain's strength lies in its diverse roster of hotels, each defined by the type of experience the traveler might want. In Barcelona alone, you can choose between nearly two dozen very different Husa options12 branded "Urban" for their strategic city-center settings, and five in the higher-end "Luxury" level
. Other lodging categories include "Holiday" (resorts like the beachfront Conil Park on the Atlantic Coast),"Well Being" (serenity-focused spots like Sant Bernat in the Sierra del Montseny, surrounded by woods and gardens), and "Mountain" (the Chalet Bassib in the Valle de Aran, with a lobby fireplace and indoor-outdoor pools). At all hotels, however, you'll find well-priced rooms decorated with the kind of details that channel old-world glamour: leather, velvet, and wood-paneling. Often, you'll find top-quality fitness centers, serious restaurants, and spas. Sample rates: from $78 at the Husa Bonanova Park in Barcelona; from $67 at the Husa Conil Park in Conil; from $117 at the Sant Bernat in the Sierra del Montseny; from $112 at the Chalet Bassib in Valle de Aran. husa.es
Properties: 101
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Jurys Inn
Location is key at the Jurys Inn hotels, which are positioned in city centers all across England, Ireland, and Scotland (plus one in Prague). They don't take many risks with the dcormost color palettes revolve around gray or brownbut the rooms are spacious and the hotels have on-site restaurants and consistent, professional service. Sample rates: from $78 at the Jurys Inn in Cork; from $87 at the Jurys Inn Prague; from $104 at the Jurys Inn Glasgow; from $98 at the Jurys Inn Liverpool.
jurysinns.com
Properties: 32
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: City center

Median Hotels
This small French chain's strong suit is simple: solid, three-star rooms at reasonable prices in some of Europe's most expensive cities (Paris and Geneva). They're mainly in business suburbs or near convention centers and transportation hubs, and facilities typically include parking, WiFi and an on-site restaurant serving a buffet breakfast. (Depending on the hotel, they may also provide dinner and lunch service.) Reception is open 24 hours, and most rooms have minibars. Sample rates: from $103 at the Hotel Median Paris Chtillon; from $116 at the Hotel Median Geneve Aeroport.
medianhotels.com
Properties: 5
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: Airport/highway

Motel One
Boutique style at wallet-friendly prices is the hallmark of this German brand, which has more than 30 hotels in Germany, one each in Vienna and Scotland and dozens more in the pipeline (including places in Edinburgh, Brussels and Krakow). No matter which one you visit, you'll find the same design elements popping up in each: Mid-century-style egg chairs, damask-patterned wallpaper, and lots of turquoise accents. It may not look as current in a decade, but for now, the interiors strike a nice balance between playfulness and polish. Free Wi-Fi, flatscreen TVs, and monsoon showerheads round out the appeal. Rates start at $65 at each hotel.
motel-one.com
Properties: 39
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: City centers

Omena Hotels
For fabulously affordable accommodations in a famously expensive region, check in to one of Omena's ber-consistent Scandinavian locations. Rooms are nearly identical from one hotel to the next: All have a sleeping area with a double bed, a separate sitting area (with two armchairs that fold out into extra beds), an en-suite bath, and a TV, mini-fridge and microwave. One drawback: There's no staff on-site, so guests check themselves in with a security code from their online reservations, and contact a remote "reception desk" via phone with any questions. Rates start at $60 at all properties.
omenahotels.com
Properties: 14
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: City center

Premier Inn
This is the fastest-growing budget brand in the UK, and it shows: With over 600 hotels in cities, near airports, and along highways, there's pretty much always a Premier Inn nearby. With that kind of presence, they don't really have to deliver much else, but they've still improved upon the bare-bones motor lodge model. King-size platform beds are standard, bathrooms come with tubs and showers (not always a given in Europe), and most of the properties have their own restaurants and bars. Sample rates: from $52 at the Premier Inn Dublin Airport; from $95 at the Premier Inn Plymouth East in Plymouth, England.
premiertravelinn.com
Properties: 600+
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

SORAT Hotels
This German chain's hotels are all over the map when it comes to dcor: In Brandenburg you'll find leather sofas in the lobby and a restaurant that resembles a library, while the Nurnberg hotel has plaid-upholstered armchairs and framed drawings of sheep, and the IBB Hotel Erfurt is a restored medieval inn with exposed beams. What they all share, though, are reasonable rates, solid service, and a not-too-big, not-too-small size that's perfect for folks who don't go for B&Bs or bland business hotels. Sample rates: from $68 at the SORAT Hotel Agneshof in Nurnberg; from $66 at the SORAT Hotel Ambassador in Berlin; from $79 at the IBB Hotel in Erfurt.
sorat-hotels.com
Properties: 13
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: City center

UNA Hotels
Enjoy affordability with styleand individualityfrom this Italian brand. You can check into a converted 16th-century palazzo in Florence, a 2001-inspired space in central Bologna with white walls, primary-colored accents, and space-age globe lamps, or a historic hotel in Sicily updated with a modern-Baroque dcor. Sample rates: from $137 at the UNA Hotel Vittoria in Florence; from $152 at the UNA Hotel Venezia in Venice; from $144 at the UNA Hotel Modena; from $162 at the UNA Hotel Roma in Rome.
unahotels.it
Properties: 26
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: All

Mexico and South America
South American ratings systems tend to be fragmented (with different standards for different types of lodgings) or surface-level, taking into account only facilities, not service or quality. In Mexico, however, you'll recognize the same AAA Diamond ratings you see in the U.S.

Casa Andina
Each of this homegrown Peruvian chain's hotels has its own style and charmand reflects its unique location, whether it's in the Sacred Valley or on the banks of Lake Titicaca. The brand is split into Private Collection, Select and Classic hotels, with the latter being the most affordable. Choices include the rustic, village-style Casa Andina Classic in Colca, which has clay-roofed stone casitas and its own planetarium and observatory; and the Casa Andina Classic in Cusco Koricancha, set in two adjacent colonial manor houses. Sample rates: from $142 at the Cusco Koricancha in Cusco; from $120 at the Miraflores San Antonio in Lima; from $92 at the Puno Tikarani in Puno.
casa-andina.com
Properties: 20
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: City center/Resort

One Hotels
There may not be much romance to Mexico's budget-friendly chainhotels are typically located near airports or other transit hubsbut the rooms are bright and streamlined, with furnishings a step above Ikea, and man, do they pile on the perks. At most hotels, breakfast, WiFi, and parking are all free, and snack bars and coin-operated laundry stations are readily available. Rates from $50.
onehotels.com
Properties: 16
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: Airports/highways

Africa and the Middle East
Across the African continent, efforts are being made to standardize ratings. The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGSCA) revised its quality-oriented ratings system last year, resulting in lower ratings for many borderline properties; ratings will be reviewed annually.Malawi launched its first ratings system in 2010, and the East African Community (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi) is currently working toward a unified ratings system. Abu Dhabi debuted a new five-star system in 2011, although a handful of super-luxe hotels in the region have declared themselves as 6- or 7-star properties. 

City Lodge Family of Hotels
This South African brand's hotels are separated into four categories: one-star Road Lodge hotels, two-star Town Lodges, three-star City Lodges and four-star Courtyards. Not surprisingly, the Courtyard options are the most charming, and have studio and suite options with kitchenettes, which can help offset the higher nightly rates (a March price check at the Courtyard Cape Town revealed a promo rate of $139 per night). Still, most all hotels under the brand's umbrella have on-site restaurants and WiFi, and even the one-star spots offer 24-hour service, breakfast and, in some cases, swimming pools. Sample rates: from $146 at the Courtyard Cape Town; from $158 at the City Lodge Durban.
citylodge.co.za
Properties: 52
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: City Centers

Protea Hotels
Africa's largest hotel group, Protea has properties in eight countriesKenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa and Malawiplus one outpost in London.They range from country inns and mountain retreats to seaside resorts and city-chic spots. The urban hotels tend to be edgiera purple pool table here, neon-pink lighting therewhile the out-of-town properties are more likely to feature native artwork or old-fashioned canopy beds and floral-upholstered furniture. Sample rates: from $131 at the PH Thuringerhof in Windhoek, Namibia; from $165 at the PH Cape Castle in Cape Town.
proteahotels.com
Properties: 120
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: Resort

Rotana Hotels
Beginning with the Beach Rotana Abu Dhabi in 1993, the Rotana group has grown to include dozens of properties in Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar and more; by the end of 2012, their roster should total more than 70 properties in a variety of price categories. The "young and fresh" Centro sub-brand is the most budget-friendlyand even those properties feel decidedly upscale, thanks to features like floor-to-ceiling windows, flat-screen TVs, and marble-topped desks. On-site dining and amenities like full gyms and rooftop pools enhance the experience. Sample rates: from $116 at the Centro Barsha in Dubai; from $81 at the Centro Al Manhal in Abu Dhabi.
rotana.com
Properties: 70
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

Plus: 5 New Hotel Brands to Watch

Eaton Hotels
A sub-brand of the luxury Langham hotels, Eaton Hotels are split into Eaton Smart and Eaton Luxe options, plus one Eaton House Apartments location in Hong Kong: Eaton Smart properties have on-site eateries and gyms or pools, while Eaton Luxe adds extras like 24-hour room service and complimentary internetand an aesthetic that's straight from the pages of a Pottery Barn catalog. There are currently one Eaton Luxe (Shanghai) and two Eaton Smarts (Hong Kong and New Delhi Airport.) More are set to open in China through the next two years, along with one in Bali in 2014. Sample rates: from $107 at the Eaton Luxe in Shanghai; from $142 at the Eaton Smart in Hong Kong.
eatonhotels.com
Properties: 4
Average Size: Large
Typical Location: All

dusitD2 
Thailand's luxury Dusit brand has earned raves for its sleek boutique sub-brand dusitD2, which is both design-focused and more wallet-friendly than its exclusive siblingand comes with resort-worthy perks such as on-site spas, spacious pool decks, and concierge service. At present there are only two dusitD2 locationsone in central Chiang Mai, another near the beaches of Pattayawith two more in the works (New Delhi and Pasadena, California.) Sample rate: from $130 in Chiang Mai.
dusit.com/dusit-d2
Properties: 2
Average Size: Medium/Large
Typical Location: Resort

CitizenM 
Citizen M's first outpost, at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, revolutionized the concept of the transit hotel. Now, the budget brand has expanded to city centers (Amsterdam and Glasgow currently, with London and New York on the way). Their "affordable luxury" concept shows up in swanky lobbies outfitted with Eames loungers and 24-hour canteens, and in the guest rooms, where colored mood lighting, wake-up calls, in-room movies, the thermostat, and even the window blinds can all be controlled from the same high-tech mood pad remote control. Sample rates: from $92 in Amsterdam City; from $94 in Glasgow.
citizenm.com
Properties: 3
Average Size:Large
Typical Location: All

The Big Sleep Hotel
With their floral Orla Kiely wallpapers, pastel accents, and clawfoot tubs, this mini-chain of hotels (one in Wales, two in England) might be better suited for girlfriend getaways than stag weekendsbut some of the rooms do come in blue, and the prices for the family suites can't be beat (from $55 for a double plus bunk beds in Cardiff). All rooms have flat-screen TVs, tea/coffee makers, and WiFi and broadband (for a fee), and rates include a buffet breakfast.Starting rate: from $46.
thebigsleephotel.com
Properties: 3
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: City center

YOTEL 
Inspired by the modand modulardesign of first-class airplane cabins, YOTEL's four branches (three at airports in London and Amsterdam, one on New York City's west side) feature supremely compact rooms (aka "cabins") with fold-down work desks, flat-panel TVs, and, in some cases, bunk beds. The WiFi is free, kitchenettes are in the hall, dining is on-site, and rates are by the hour. Sample rates: from $113 in London Gatwick for 24 hours; from $99 in Amsterdam Schiphol for 24 hours.
yotel.com
Properties: 4
Average Size: Medium
Typical Location: Airport/highway

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