Hotel Living

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LuigiLikesPizza
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:54 am

Hotel Living

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:29 am

I plan to retire early next year. I am downsizing even further and will leave the local area (Washington DC) permanently.

I am looking at my current apartment lease terms and my retirement date... to make a long story short, the apartment management only offers limited flexibility in length of lease terms and a month to month term is outrageously expensive - not even within the realm of reason.

I need to remain within a reasonable radius - or (easily get back to via plane, train, etc.) the area for any unexpected face to face meetings, although I'm only required to physically go into the office a few times per month.

When I add all expenses of apartment life, they approximate a mid range hotel room. I've been thinking a hotel room has some advantages - and given this would be for less than a year, I would be done with it before it started to grind on me. I will be taking many 3-4 day weekends off of work during this timeframe, so it seems advantageous.

So, realizing this an unconventional living situation, I am curious to hear any tips or suggestions. I am certain many consultants have lived like this. The difference for me is that I will be paying all my expenses and also seeking to optimize hotel reward programs. I will put my belongings in storage.

Thanks

jebmke
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by jebmke » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:38 am

Are you looking at a short term (< 1 year) stay or are you planning to check in and out depending on whether you are in town or not.

If the former, you mighty check to see if there are any short term apartment situations that are geared toward executive stays. I have used these before when moving to a new location before selling my house in the old location and moving.

I also commuted for over a year between Baltimore and Milwaukee -- flying out Sunday night and back Friday night. Became a fixture in the Milwaukee Hyatt.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

LuigiLikesPizza
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Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2016 7:54 am

Re: Hotel Living

Post by LuigiLikesPizza » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:50 am

Are you looking at a short term (< 1 year) stay or are you planning to check in and out depending on whether you are in town or not.
Probably a combination of the both, depending on work schedule & vacation weekends and weeks.

There may be periods where I want or need an extended stay - of a few weeks possibly or times I only need to be in town for a few days.

I realize it sounds a bit chaotic or disruptive, but I plan to totally streamline my possessions and lifestyle - basically a suitcase and a laptop life.

August
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by August » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:52 am

I lived mostly in hotels for several years while working a traveling job (250-ish days a year in hotel). For staying more than a few days, I'd recommend an extended stay style hotel. I found Marriott and Hilton to have the best rewards, even better if you get one of their credit cards and use that at their hotel.
For what you are proposing, staying in one location, I'd look into an AirBnb type rental or a short term rental. Forming a relationship with an AirBnb owner may also allow you to come and go and even leave some items there for a scheduled return. A corporate apt may also be an option. Often they are more expensive if furnished and for short term than a regular rental but probably comparable or less than a hotel and more comfortable for you. This would also provide you with a better kitchen and thus allow you to continue your normal eating routine.

texasdiver
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Location: Vancouver WA

Re: Hotel Living

Post by texasdiver » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:19 am

Washington is absolutely full of short term rental options. There is a whole industry that does short term furnished apartments for people traveling in and out of DC on short term assignments. I made use of them several times when I worked for a Federal agency. Actually they are mostly just normal apartments and there are separate furniture leasing companies that bring in the furniture. You look through their binder and pick the style and furniture package you want and they deliver and set it all up. But prices are going to be pegged to the long-term Federal per-diem rate as that is their market.

The advantage to a short term furnished apartment is that you get a full kitchen and dining room. I like to cook and could never live out of an ordinary hotel room. Would make me crazy.

The other option mentioned by others would be to find a longer-term AIRB&B type situation.

But the best option with the least hassle would be to approach your current rental company and see if they will be flexible on your move out date. Maybe they will negotiate a 6 month lease or a month to month arrangement for however long you need.

2015
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by 2015 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:59 pm

A sibling has been working in IT and doing this for years in cities all over the U.S. (the Bay Area, Denver, to name a few). Currently, he's working for some big outfit in Seattle living in a hotel. His stay arrangements vary, from month-to-month, to extended stay, depending on his job arrangements.

btenny
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by btenny » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:37 pm

I lived in a Hilton hotel for 6 weeks in Atlanta way back when. It was OK. The hotel offered a special deal with the clinic I was visiting. I got a weekly rate and free full breakfast at their buffet for $400 per week as I recall. The hotel gave me a big room with a view and a desk and a nice easy chair and small refrigerator. The hotel had a full gym and a pool and a business center and free parking. The hotel also had take out laundry service and some washers and dryers. The rate included maid service twice per week and towels as needed. I ate out most day for lunch and dinner.

I have also stayed in several Extended stay hotels for a week or so several times on business and various vacations, etc.. The rooms were bigger than the hotel and had a full kitchen but no free breakfast and no gym. They were about the same price. I prefer a hotel vs these extended stay setups due to the gym and free breakfast offered in most hotels.

I also have stayed in a rental property for 3+ weeks set up by friends. That was a nice deal. It was a fully furnished mobile home including silver ware, towels, etc. but no maid or cleaning service. I liked that the best. It was about the same price, $400 per week. I have not tried a AirbNb or similar setup.

So yes hotels and rentals are fine but only for 2-4 weeks IMO. I could not take a very long period of 3-4 months or more in a hotel. It is just too small and confined to suit me. I like my own bed and house and stuff. Plus I am partial to home cooking.

Good Luck.

Jimmie
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by Jimmie » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:48 pm

I'm on the road 250+ days a year. So far, the posters that answered before me said everything I could possibly bring to the table. Review every bit of their wisdom.

Good job, everyone!

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tnbison
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by tnbison » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:52 pm

I lived in and out of hotels for a couple of years early in my career. One thing to keep in mind is as soon as you stay for over 30 days(<--I think that is the time frame) all taxes are refunded/credited to your stay because your are legally a resident of the hotel.

August
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by August » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:56 pm

Not to contradict btenny but I think whether gyms and/or breakfast is provided varies by hotel. When I was on the road most of the Marriott and Hilton extended stays (those are the two chains we stayed at the most) offered gyms, sometimes pools, free breakfast seven days a week and a free dinner/social hour Mon-Thurs. It probably depends so anyone reading this should of course research the specific hotel.

btenny
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by btenny » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:11 pm

August. My data is old and not for those high end extended stay places. Where we stayed was nice and clean and basic and cheap. I am sure things are very location dependent. We also stayed in a Golf resort suite for a week while getting our floors fixed. That was nice. Good views and a place to cook and a nice lounge etc.. but is was not cheap. So. I think you pay for those features.

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celia
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Location: SoCal

Re: Hotel Living

Post by celia » Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:31 pm

Maybe your current apartment will be more flexible than you think since you are already a current tenant. The rules you read probably apply to a newcomer inquiring about staying for one month. The landlord wouldn't want to rent an apartment for one month, then have to clean it and find another renter when they can rent by the year instead. So your situation may fit in with the intent of not making extra work for anyone. It doesn't hurt to ask!

I live in an area where hotels/motels cannot be rented for more than a month. The cities here consider long-term renting outside the intent of what a hotel is meant to be.

traveltoomuch
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Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:48 am

Re: Hotel Living

Post by traveltoomuch » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:03 pm

Pay attention to lease early termination terms. While their month-to-month offer might be outrageous, maybe the terms for walking away early are more tolerable?

What's your proposed mechanism for keeping yourself fed while living in a hotel room, and how does that compare to your life now?

Consider the hotel's laundry arrangements. Using a hotel's coin-op laundry (if it has one!) can be annoying - few machines, possibly inconveniently located. Consider asking for a room near the guest laundry machines.

I hear that you're planning to streamline your life down to a suitcase, but I would find that tricky. I have too many hobbies that demand special clothing or gear. Add seasonal variation to that (winter boots and jackets?) and you're talking about some volume. There are accoutrements of life that are easy to get by without for one week that you start to miss after three weeks - like a bottle of laundry detergent, full-sized toiletries, etc. There are things that you use occasionally at home that you might not think about putting into a suitcase - a roll of packaging tape, first air supplies, cold medications, scissors, a Sharpie, the backup disks for your laptop, etc. The number of those will likely surprise you. Moving all that out of and back into a hotel for a four day weekend could be annoying. It might also disrupt any special rate deal you have with the hotel. Here's an older post that mentions some similar challenges.

You might find yourself wanting frequent access to your storage unit. Choose a facility with extended access hours. If you have a dresser or other drawer unit, consider placing it near the door of the storage unit for depositing the things you decide you no longer need and for storing things you think you might want later.

You say you can get away with coming into the office only "a few times a month" - would you consider renting a real apartment further afield (e.g. in Frederick or beyond) to save on cost and perhaps get better terms?
Last edited by traveltoomuch on Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:53 am, edited 3 times in total.

jlcnuke
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by jlcnuke » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:03 pm

Regarding one of the downsides of hotel life - food.

If you're going to spend a significant period of time on the road, and you have room, a small grill or propane stove can do wonders towards improving what you can have at a given price-level. My brother has spent years on the road and takes a small grill and a propane smoker with him on the road. He'll grill something up on the weekend and have if for leftovers a couple times during the week by storing the leftovers in the mini-fridge in the hotel (or full-size fridge when staying in an extended stay place when they have them). Of course, you have to have room to lug that stuff around to do it though.

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tennisplyr
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Location: Sarasota, FL

Re: Hotel Living

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:19 pm

I needed a place to live for a few months between homes (NY to FL). Looked into extended stay, way too expensive. Used VRBO for a 3 month stay, worked out fine for me. No worrying about furniture moving, cooking or expensive hotels. Also may want to check these:

http://www.airbnb.com
http://www.homeaway.com
Last edited by tennisplyr on Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Those who move forward with a happy spirit will find that things always work out.

liberty53
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Location: Boston Area

Re: Hotel Living

Post by liberty53 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 4:22 pm

I have also had extended length stays in hotels over the years. One of the things I found very annoying was the tendency of the maids to be loud in the hallways and slam doors as they went in and out of the rooms they were cleaning. They didn't expect guests to being hanging out in the rooms during the weekdays. This drove me nuts because I either had to work during the day in the room, or often had to work nights and try to sleep during the day. Of course most of the hotels I spent time in mainly catered to the business traveler crowd. I would imagine hotels oriented towards vacationing customers would be quieter.

Jimmie
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by Jimmie » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:45 pm

jlcnuke wrote:Regarding one of the downsides of hotel life - food.

If you're going to spend a significant period of time on the road, and you have room, a small grill or propane stove can do wonders towards improving what you can have at a given price-level. My brother has spent years on the road and takes a small grill and a propane smoker with him on the road. He'll grill something up on the weekend and have if for leftovers a couple times during the week by storing the leftovers in the mini-fridge in the hotel (or full-size fridge when staying in an extended stay place when they have them). Of course, you have to have room to lug that stuff around to do it though.
If you're going to spend a significant period of time on the road, stay at an extended stay hotel with a kitchen. There are many brands of extended stay hotels out there at cheaper price points than full-service hotels. This is much better than trying to set up a hibachi on the desk of a regular hotel room or hanging beef jerky off the handrail of the balcony. :shock:

Jimmie
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by Jimmie » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:48 pm

liberty53 wrote:One of the things I found very annoying was the tendency of the maids to be loud in the hallways and slam doors as they went in and out of the rooms they were cleaning. They didn't expect guests to being hanging out in the rooms during the weekdays. This drove me nuts because I either had to work during the day in the room, or often had to work nights and try to sleep during the day.
I would have no problem complaining directly to the hotel manager about this experience. Worst case scenario is they give you a few thousand hotel program points for addressing their deficiencies.

jlawrence01
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Location: Southern AZ

Re: Hotel Living

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 6:12 pm

I sold my house in Chicagoland in August 2014 and could not move until December.

I tried to use AirBnB. That was a disaster. The owner accepted the deal one week but changed his mind and canceled the reservation a week in advance.

We ended up staying at a Wyndham Hawthorne Suites for a couple months. While it was not as fancy as the Marriott/Hilton properties, it was about half the price and the Wyndham rewards are a lot better.

MarvinK
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Location: DC

Re: Hotel Living

Post by MarvinK » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:32 pm

Craigslist Rooms and Shares
Furnished Rooms are common, If you really want housekeeping, most house situations would agree to it.
https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/search/roo

traveltoomuch
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Re: Hotel Living

Post by traveltoomuch » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:57 am

Here is a thread from last summer that may have some useful insights.

extended stay hotels [to snowbird for 3 months?]

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