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modern hotel room with king size bed

What Is the Difference Between a Hotel Suite and a Room?

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When booking rooms for your next vacation, you may increasingly see at many leading establishment the option of choosing a hotel room or suite. At its most basic, most of us consider a suite to be a significant upgrade from a traditional hotel room, where there is a separate bedroom and lounge area or living room, versus the traditional hotel room where the lounge/seating area is located in the bedroom itself. But this is not always the case. Here’s a closer look at what sets the hotel suite apart and what will most likely be paying that extra money for.

So What Is a Hotel Suite Anyway?

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind that different hotels use different labels to refer to the various types of accommodations that they offer. In general, a single room will include a king or two queen or full sized beds, whereas a suite usually means that the room is extra big or that there are actually a series of connected rooms. Standard rooms are almost always exactly what you expect: the indicated number and size of beds, plus a television, writing desk, reading chair, dresser, closet, and private bathroom. However, when it comes to the modern suite, there are actually a wide range of room configurations that are considered suites these days, offering a host of different amenities. Here are the most common:

  • Hotel Suite with Separate Bedroom: This is the classic room setup that most of us think of when we hear the word “suite.” Here, there are at minimum two rooms (sometimes more) that are clearly defined, meaning you can close the door between them. Usually this is a bedroom and a living room area, but in some deluxe suites there is a second bedroom and sometimes a kitchen area as well. Almost always, the living room area contains a sofa that can be converted into a bed.
  • Hotel Suite with Expanded Living Room Area: Often called a junior suite, this type of suite is typically a larger room that features a separate seating area, often with a pull-out sofa that enables more guests to be accommodated. In some cases, there will be a small divider between the part of the room where the beds are and the seating area, but it’s important to understand that this type of suite almost always is only a single room.
  • Hotel Suite with Full Kitchen: A full kitchen will usually feature a full-sized upright refrigerator and freezer, a stove, a sink, an oven, and sometimes even a dishwasher. In almost every case, it will be fully stocked with dishes, utensils, and cookware as well. Keep in mind that just because a suite has a kitchen doesn’t mean it’s a full suite (with a separate bedroom). In fact, many hotels offer what are sometimes called studios, which are configured like a junior suite with the added advantage of a kitchenette—altogether in a single room.


Points to Consider When Choosing between a Hotel Suite and Room

The best way to make sure you get the hotel room you are looking for and that best meets your needs is to ask yourself the series of questions listed below. And secondly, be sure to look into the room details offered by the particular hotel you are booking with to see if the name they give to the type of accommodations is what you think it is.

  • How many people does the room need to sleep? If you have more than four people in your party, then a suite may very well be your best option. While most standard hotel rooms will provide a cot or rollaway for an extra charge, standard rooms tend to be cramped as it is, and the extra bed may make things too close for comfort.
  • How much time do I need to spend in the room? If you will be entertaining guests or think you will be spending a greater amount of time in your room, then booking a suite will almost always be your best bet. Standard hotel rooms can be quite cramped, and this will ensure you have the space you need.
  • Will I want to prepare meals while traveling? If you are looking to save money by eating in, then the full-kitchen upgrade is well worth the cost. However, if you don’t want to be bothered with shopping and cooking, then the standard mini fridge and microwave will probably suit you just fine.
  • What’s my budget? A hotel suite will almost always cost more than a room, but this doesn’t mean that the suite is always the most expensive option. For instance, if you are traveling with a larger party, it will often cost less to reserve a suite than it would to reserve two separate rooms with enough beds to accommodate everyone.

What this all means is that it’s a good idea to read the fine print on your room before booking at any hotel. If you’re unsure, be sure to contact the hotel directly. Not only can they give you all the details, but they can attach a note to your reservation to make sure you have the accommodations you need to make your stay a good one.


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