A home by the side of the road

Motels in Europe

Motels in Europe are really pretty much like motels in America: simple, modern, modular rooms with easy highway access providing a cheap place to crash for the night as you're making a long dash from Point A to Point B.

Of course, with all points in Europe being so darn close together—and with most towns or cities you could choose to stop in bring fascinating places to poke around for a while—one could argue that motels are a bit superflous. In other words, why stay in a boring ol' modern motel when you could head into town and sleep in some medieval buidling surrounded by cobblestone streets?

Well, motels are usually a good deal cheaper that hotel in the historic center, and they keep you zipping along without getting distracted by some new town if what you really need is to get where you're going.

Finding motels in Europe

Etap (www.etaphotel.com) - More than 300 basic-service hotels in 11 countries, run by the Accor group (the same folks who own Motel 6 and Red Roof Inn—Etap motels would be more like the latter). Rooms about $50.

Formule 1 (www.hotelformule1.com) - Like checking yourslf into a giant vending machine for the night—when the reception staff is gone (they work only around 6:30am–10am and again 5–10pm), you check yourself in via a machine. More than 370 motels in 12 countries (8 of them in Europe). Rooms run about $35.

Premier Travel Inn (www.premiertravelinn.com) - Combined site of Travel Inn and Premiere Lodges, which are a bit like a Motel 6, but clean, decent (thin walls, though), and the price is usually excellent for expensive spot like Great Britain. I particularly like the London Southwark, which is attached the the venerable Thameside Anchor pub. Rooms start around $80.


This article was last updated in January 2008 . All information was accurate at the time.

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