As I wrote earlier we went on a little vacation recently. We found lovely accommodation and, weather aside, had a great time. Being a big proponent of the vast resources of the Internet, I tried to track down information online regarding a suitable motel. That’s mmmmMotel, not hotel. M not H. Not a great experience.
All those travel sites – Trivago, Expedia, Booking.com – really love hotels, but seem to balk at listing family owned, one-off motels. I guess there’s no money in it for them. Motels, or motor lodges, are a traditional American vacation mainstay. Park your car – for free – and settle into a seaside, pool-equipped, pet-friendly, motel. No room service, no points cards, just a clean economical place to stay.
So if the big travel sites snub motels, how does one find them? Having done extensive research I would suggest looking up “innkeepers associations” by state instead of motels. But the best system in my opinion is to just go to the area you are interested in and do some person to person haggling. Look for those vacancy signs then go in and see what develops.
We were looking for a place not too far from Boston, having learned over the years that a rainy day in a motel at the seaside is not conducive to a good vacation. Whereas a quick jaunt into Boston offers a world of interesting attractions to keep your mind off the bucketing rain. Heading south from Portsmouth, NH along Ocean Boulevard, past the immense estates overlooking the Atlantic, we found few vacancies in this Friday late afternoon. But as we neared Hampton we came upon a motel that, in addition to the flag of the USA, proudly flew a Canadian and an Irish flag. Given my citizenship and background I figured this was an omen.
The Windjammer By the Sea is a gem. Far enough – a few kilometres – from Hampton Beach and all the tacky touristy stuff to be found there, yet close enough to the restaurants for convenience, the Windjammer afforded us precisely what we were seeking.
I was met by owner Anne Pouliot, fifty years away from Galway, Ireland but still sporting a lovely accent. Anne showed us the available rooms, told us the price, then suggested we carry on into Hampton Beach to see how her offer stood up. “You’ll be back, I know it” she stated.
Sure enough after a little comparative shopping we were soon back and checking-in. Our stay was grand. I can’t recommend this place more highly.
So the bottom line here is don’t bother looking on the big travel sites for motels, just throw caution to the wind and do it the old-fashioned way. And if you’ve decided to visit the New Hampshire coast, let me save you some time and gas and suggest you stay at the Windjammer! Tell them Deegan sent you!