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Our Week Staying at an Extended Stay America (my completely honest review!)

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Over Christmas break, our family traveled to Wichita, KS to visit both of our families. While we were there for six days, we stayed at an Extended Stay America. They had contacted us about possibly trying out one of their hotels and because we were going to be staying in Wichita anyway, we said we’d love to try staying there instead of our usual hotel.

It was our first time to stay at an Extended Stay America and we weren’t sure what the experience would be like! I wanted to share a really honest review of our thoughts on this hotel chain for those of you who might be interested in trying out this hotel chain for an upcoming vacation or some travel you have planned this year.

First off, Extended Stay America is designed for longer stays and is a really affordable option compared to most hotel chains — especially if you are planning to stay somewhere for a week or longer.

From the research I did, you’re usually going to pay around $69 to $79 per night for a regular room. However, they offer weekly, biweekly and monthly discounted rates.

Plus, they have discounts for seniors and military and government personnel. They also have a free Extended Stay Rewards Program where you can earn instant rewards + get $2500 annual savings on other brands.

The rooms are spacious and every room has a full kitchen! We loved having the ability to bring all of our own food and cook all of our meals in our room! It definitely not only allowed us to eat healthier, but it also saved us quite a bit of money.

No matter where you stay or what room you book, every single room at all locations has a fully equipped kitchen with a full-size refrigerator, stovetop, and microwave. You can request a large assortment of different types of kitchen items — we got pots, pans, dishes, utensils, and a few other items. There were a number of other appliances we could request, too.

Some locations even have ovens and/or dishwashers! Because we got a larger room, ours had both.

They also offer a FREE grab-and-go breakfast every morning. This free breakfast included: coffee, hot tea, hot chocolate, instant oatmeal, pre-packaged muffins, and an assortment of granola bars.

They also offer free in-room wi-fi and cable. I will say that the free wi-fi speed was a little on the slow side and we ended up paying $3 per day to upgrade to the much faster premium wi-fi. I thought $3 per day was incredibly reasonable and the premium wi-fi was much faster and worked on up to six devices!

The rooms aren’t fancy, but they are very adequate and we found the facilities to be clean. They also offer a small workout room that had three different pieces of fitness equipment in it.

They also have laundry facilities on-site. It cost about $5 in quarters for a load of laundry to go through the washer & dryer (including the cost of detergent). This seemed high to us, however, we haven’t used a laundry mat in ages, so I have no idea what the going prices usually are for doing laundry at laundry facilities!

I’d say one of the biggest differences between staying at a regular hotel and at an Extended Stay America is that they don’t offer daily housekeeping services — unless you want to pay an additional fee. They do offer weekly housekeeping services for stays over 8 days.

Since we were only there for 6 days, we didn’t get housekeeping services. However, we just told the kids that we were all going to be the housekeepers and they had fun trying to make the hotel beds as well as the hotel housekeepers usually do! 🙂

We did find that we needed fresh towels about 4 days in and we went to front desk and asked for them and they said we could have fresh towels or sheets any time we wanted them!

Speaking of the front desk, we found the staff at Extended Stay America to be extremely kind and accommodating. They definitely seemed like their job was to serve their customers well and they went out of their way to do that.

Overall, we were very pleased with our stay at Extended Stay America and felt it was very worth the price you would pay. We would definitely stay there again and would recommend it as a great option for budget-conscious families — especially if you are going to be staying in one location for a week or longer.

Thank you to Extended Stay America for offering us the opportunity to stay in their hotel for free in exchange for this review.

Save 20% Off any Extended Stay America Reservation!

Want to book a stay at Extended Stay AmericaUse promo code MA7SM at checkout to get 20% off one reservation booked online with Extended Stay America by 1/23/17 with a checkout date on or before 5/31/17. This coupon code is valid on a stay of 1 to 29 nights at any Extended Stay America hotel.

Discount will be applied at hotel upon check-out. Reservations based on availability. Offer cannot be combined with any other offer or negotiated or special rate, including but not limited to Advanced Purchase. Valid only on original reservations.

Discounts do not apply to extensions/modifications. Cannot be applied to reservations already booked. Only one promotion discount per thirty days can be used by the same guest at the same hotel location. Offer valid only at Extended Stay America hotels.

Go here to book your Extended Stay America reservation and use your 20% off coupon code.

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  • HokieKate says:

    I haven’t tried Extended Stay America, but I’ve found that hotels catering towards longer stays have been much nicer when traveling with a family. I’m a fan of Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, and Homewood Suites. It’s easier to find a room that sleeps six and generally more room to spread out. Like you said, having a kitchen offers great savings.

    • Meg says:

      Thanks for sharing! -Meg, MSM Team

      • Ron says:

        I live in Va…about 25 miles south of DC and have stayed at an AmericanExtendedStay in Orlando many times and was always pleased with the facility,location and prices….

        Book well in advance if you can as this gives you the luxury of checking prices say a month before and the price may be even lower,particularly in Fla…

        If possible, as I did before first using one, I visited the hotel to look at a room….In high tourist areas like Orlando and DC, the savings can be significant if staying for 6 days or more plus you can prepare meals in your room,thereby saving money for other adventures….

  • Mary says:

    I’m really glad Crystal had a good experience. But, I would definitely say to look at reviews of the ESA you plan to book because my experience was nothing like this. The room was dirty and had an odor, the trim along the walls were falling off, and the kitchen wasn’t clean and the stove burners weren’t attached to the range…being an electric range it was unusable. Not that I would want to cook in there with the other things going on in the room. My family and I cancelled our room and didn’t bother to stay. So again, I really glad Crystal had a great experience! Just make sure to check reviews online to the specific one you plan to go to so you hopefully don’t experience the same as I did.

    • Thanks so much for mentioning checking the reviews. That’s such a great tip!

    • Sabrina says:

      I’ve always had postive experiences with the ones we’ve stayed at (in suburbs of larger cities) like Crystal had and and heartily reccomended them for short stays since you can cook!

      But yes, always check reviews.

  • Need A Nap says:

    Also a great possibility for times you might not think about it, like when we went to the homeschool convention in Cincinatti. We stayed at a different but similar place (no breakfast though), which allowed us to bring in and cook our own food and saved us $ every day. 🙂

  • Stephanie says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed your stay. I had a much different experience the only time we ever stayed at Extended, and because we booked through Priceline, we were unable to get our money back. Needless to say, it was so bad that we had to find a new place and ended up paying for two hotels. That was our first and last visit. I believe it was also our last time with Priceline. We had friends that booked the same place and time, and I’m thinking they also had to find new lodging.
    Within brands, there are huge variations of cleanliness, etc. I have found Trip Advisor to be quite accurate, although not a perfect indicator of a facility.

    • Kerry Lilly says:

      I too had a bad experience when purchased through Priceline. Dirty washcloths in shower and left over food from whomever was there before us in the fridge and cabinets. Moldy smell and I went out and bought my own bed linens from Walmart because the sheets were stained. The staff was rude and not helpful. Could not get Wi Fi to work and staff couldn’t fix it. Leaking roof in hallway and garbage cans were under the leak. Neighbors were loud and partied both nights we were there. Never again. My son stayed elsewhere and had great accommodations. You get what you pay for.

  • Patricia says:

    On one of our job relocation/moves We stayed at an Extended Stay America for a month while waiting for our house to be finished & ready. With 4 children & 2 large dogs.
    They were wonderful & friendly the entire stay. We did our own housekeeping by choice (dogs), but the staff was just terrific! Helped us find our way around, and offered services we didn’t know about.
    I was sad when our next move didn’t have one. The executive apartment we rented that move was awful!

  • Beth says:

    How many people do the rooms accommodate?

  • Sara says:

    I was considering this for my family of 5’s Spring Break trip but during the booking phase I ran up against that annoying “Room Occupancy is limited to 4″…which is why we always stay at Hampton Inn, we all fit. You’re a family of 5, did you book two rooms or is there a different was to set it up?

    • Some of their locations have a larger suite offered. It’s about $10 more per night. That’s the one that we did. It has two queen beds + a pull-out sofa bed.

    • Stephanie says:

      Comfort Suites almost always sleep six. If you don’t need a kitchen, that may be an option. Thry always have a fridge and microwave, as well as a decent breakfast.
      As a family of six with two boys that are 6’8″ and 6’6″, the average hotel room never works for us.

  • Amanda says:

    We have enjoyed staying at Staybridge Suites, which is also an extended stay hotel. They are awesome, we have stayed at them in a few different locations and have not been disappointed. The rooms are nice and clean, they offer a kitchenette, where you could cook a whole meal. If you get a 2 bedroom suite, the bedrooms are divided by a living space and kitchen, so there is also some additional privacy. The pool was not all that busy during the week, because there were a lot of business travelers at the hotel who weren’t interested in the pool. The thing we liked the best was the food!! There was a complete hot breakfast included each morning (waffles, homemade oatmeal, eggs, variety of meats, various pastries, fresh fruit, cereal, hashbrowns, you name it they had it), plus in the evening they offered a meal as well. The evening meal was also included at no additional charge, each night was a different theme. One night was pizza and salad bar, one night was Mexican, one night was hotdogs/hamburgers with various sides. Very impressive amount of food, PLUS for the adults, complementary wine and beer. The evening meal is a family friendly event, so the whole family can partake. So, you get a room and 2 meals per day. We found that we ate a big breakfast, had a light lunch wherever we spent the day and then came back to the hotel for our evening meal. It worked out great!! Now, we look for Staybridge Suites wherever we travel.

    • Thanks SO much for this incredible review of StayBridge Suites! I’ve never stayed there before and now I want to try one out!!

      • Sheila Modine says:

        We’ve also stayed at a Staybridge with our family of 5 plus my mom & it was great. The staff was fantastic, the rooms were clean, and the kitchenette was great. We booked it for the room space, so I wasn’t prepared to cook in the room. Now that I know what they have, I will prepare differently. I didn’t know about the evening meal. I’ll have to double check that the next time we travel. We’ve also stayed in an Extended Stay and it was ok, not fantastic, but not horrible. It’s interesting to see everyone’s different experiences. It’s just the difference in locations, just like any chain, even in the food service industry or retail stores.

  • Rachel says:

    I recently stayed at an ESA in Virginia with my husband and five young children. The hotel lobby, hallway, and room were filthy. A football camp was staying there at the same time and the boys were running the hallways and taking over the elevators being loud and rude. The lobby was filled with people who use ESA as a residence and the lobby was being used as a living room. The sheets were dirty, the bathrooms had no toilet pape or garbage cans, and the room stank of mold and mildew. My mother’s room had an unmade bed and a loaf of bread sitting in the middle of the floor. Of course this could be an isolated incident, but ESA do not have good reputations or reviews overall. I’m glad Crystal had a good experience; however, readers need to be extremely cautious when using this motel chain.

  • Katie M says:

    Our house flooded and we actually lived at this hotel for six weeks. Customer service was wonderful and very accommodating. It was great to have a kitchen and they even accommodated our dog. I can’t say enough about them!

  • Kelly says:

    I am so glad you had a good experience!! We stayed at a Mainstay Suites in PA last summer and did not have a good experience! One thing to take into consideration with many extended stay type hotels is there are people who use them for long term residences; therefore many allow smoking and pets. At the motel we stayed at we definitely could smell cigarette smoke and pets throughout! Also, to put it bluntly, there were some very shady looking characters living there!!

  • Stephanie says:

    We love staying at Residence Inn for short and long stays! They have full kitchens and many times you can get two separate bedrooms, which is nice. Residence Inn also offers a full hot breakfast and many locations offer a light supper certain days of the week. We’ve stayed at them all over the US and have never had an issue!

    • Meg says:

      Thanks for sharing!! -Meg, MSM Team

    • Sara says:

      I stayed at a Residence In. When our house was being painted. We were there for a week with two big dogs in a two bedroom suite. It was very nice and we did cook our meals sometimes, sometimes we ate their meals, and sometimes we walked to neighboring restaurants. I would recommend it highly! No dog smells in a dog friendly hotel is a big plus.

  • Ashley Hines says:

    I stayed at a StayBridge extended stay hotel for a month, they were a little pricy, but offered full, hot breakfast everyday and full, hot dinner 5 nights a week. They also had a gym, heated pool, FREE laundry facilities, and a grill for guests use. They would do minimal housekeeping everyday with a full cleaning once a week.

    With any extended stay hotel I suggest bringing a crockpot for easy cooking. It is especially helpful if you will be doing a lot sightseeing and won’t have much time to cook.

  • teresa says:

    thanks you saved me $30 for a weekend trip for my daughter to audition for college. It’s her top pick school so we wanted to spend 2 1/2 days in the area to check it out while we are in town. Just 6 blocks from campus. might try to rebook three other trips to see if I can get better prices and closer as well. We love to stay here for long family trips as we don’t have to eat out as much, but didn’t think it would work as well for just a night or two. will give it a try. thanks.

  • Sarah says:

    I stayed at an ESA in Virginia for a week-long conference and had a great experience. It was very basic, but the room was clean and was just what I needed. I loved that it had a kitchen so I could save money on eating out. I’m so excited for the discount code to be able to plan a vacation with my family!

  • Theresa L says:

    We don’t travel much, but I want to say that $5 for laundry that includes wash, dry, and detergent is VERY reasonable to me. I occasionally use our local laundromat and it’s almost that much just for the wash. I would be really happy to get EVERYTHING for that much!

    Glad your family had a great time! <3

  • Ginny says:

    When we traveled to DC, we stayed in a Springhills Suites, which were pretty nice. We have a large family, with 2 adults and 4 kids, and they have rooms that accommodate us: Two queen beds and a pull out couch. They have a small “kitchenette” with a refrigerator, microwave, sink and cabinets that allowed us to make some food, but not a lot. I will definitely bring my Instant Pot the next time I travel. They did have a decent free breakfast, too. The rooms, lobby and pool were clean.
    We also stayed one night at the Springhills Suites at the Denver airport and it was just as nice. Another option we like is to do a short term rental with Home Away or Airbnb. It’s usually cheaper than a hotel, more room for everyone and we are more comfortable.

  • Janet says:

    I agree with checking reviews. The one we stayed at was clean, but reeked of cigarette smoke in the hallway. The staff was pleasant and thoughtful.

  • Teresa says:

    Years ago when our youngest played year round baseball on a travel team, we spent many weeks at the Extended Stay Chain. They didn’t have the rewards program and I don’t remember them having grab and go breakfast, but we were always pleased with our stay and our room. It was nice to have the option of bring groceries and eating in after a long day at the field. It did save us a lot of money. The one thing they didn’t have back then was a swimming pool. But as our son once said when we mentioned it, ‘we don’t swim on game days’. He did have some friends who stayed at another hotel, and they invited us to come over and swim after a game a few times.

  • Brenda says:

    I enjoyed reading the “honest” review, as she said she would do. I write reviews quite often as well, when staying at a hotel/motel or eating at a different establishment, etc.

    My son and I were trying to book 4 rooms for the end of the month, as we were staying only one night over to see my brother and family.

    This looked reasonable, and we will soon find out how it is. I think the only drawback will be the breakfast, which I thought might be a little more. Even in Branson, MO. just a few months ago, I tried out a new place, and their rooms weren’t fancy, but had everything we needed, and did have a nice breakfast for the price we paid, was well worth it. I can understand why they don’t have a breakfast here, as they have the “extended” kitchen for people to use.

  • Janine says:

    I don’t stay at hotels often but I have worked in 2 different hotels and I know that they do not change the comforters unless they have stains because it would take a lot of extra energy to wash them every day. so I always bring my own bedding when I stay in a hotel.

  • Reita Oliphant says:

    I just stayed at the Extended Stay America in Charlotte on Yorkmont Road, and I was very pleased with my stay. The staff was very friendly and the rooms are large and clean and having a full kitchen was a plus. Whenever I go back to Charlotte I will be staying there it’s very affordable and clean and offers all that you would need for a stay of 4-8 days.

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