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You have thousands of choices when you travel, but at the end of the day lodging breaks down into two categories: Chain versus independently-owned hotels. Each brings its own benefits and compromises and attracts different types of travelers.
In general, chain hotels tend to be able to offer a larger variety of services, provide a reliable amount of consistency from property to property, staff experienced employees, and are a safe bet in terms of knowing what you're going to get. The consequence of the consistency is a lack of creativity, though, as chain hotels sometimes suffer in the personality department.
Independently owned hotels have a little more risk involved, as they are typically stand-alone properties that may or may not live up to your expectations. However, the upside is huge, as they tend to have more personality than chain hotels and give guests a more localized experience, especially in the case of small, boutique hotels. There is also a higher likelihood that your tourism dollars will remain in the destination, as opposed to chain hotels with revenue streams that lead back to their corporate office in other city or even country.