When traveling, our eternal question has been – what is the best hotel value where we are traveling? Should we look for a quaint boutique hotel or stick with a chain operation?

In the past, we have had great stays at great little boutique places like The Sea Spray Inn at Vero Beach, the Inn at the Beach in Venice and the Bentley Boutique Hotel in Osprey. But then again, when we stay at a chain, we rather know what to expect – plus we can earn points. And those points may be used later to reduce the cost of our lodging.

So this time, we went to the La Quinta Inn & Suites of Melbourne – Palm Bay. Parked right next to the Days Inn, we had stayed there previously and had been well satisfied.

The Melbourne La Quinta sits on New Haven Avenue just off I-95.

As close as this facility is to both a I-95 and New Haven Avenue we enjoyed a very quiet visit. That, despite the fact we had a corner room facing both of those thoroughfares. Additionally, the location made it easy for us to go north, south east or west both quickly and easily.

Our Lodging

I simply must tell you, for our pricepoint, we could not beat the accommodations. Plus, we had a room at the top. Our fifth floor window gave us what my wife referred to as “a penthouse experience.”

When we arrived we were greeted by a spacious room dominated by a king-sized bed. It was comfortable with side tables that were set up for all of our needs.

The room was large and the bed was as comfortable as it was attractive.

The room also had all the basic necessities. It featured a nice work station, flat screen TV, refrigerator, microwave and plenty of drawer space. There also was an in-room safe for valuables.

The bathroom was just as nice. One of my favorite features was its large walk-in shower.

The room had most of the creature comforts we are used to when we travel.

Although the room was well appointed, due to the current CDC guidelines, there were a number of items we had to request. Among those were a coffee maker, an iron & board, a blowdryer and a Bible. Why? Because these are things that require special cleaning after each guest, so they are doled out only on demand.

So we went downstairs, obtained said items, then trundled back upstairs to set up shop.

The Current Situation

In fact, we noticed that the downstairs lobby, which had been so inviting only a few months back, had been stripped bare. The seating area which had previously been used for the morning’s continental breakfast, was almost unrecognizable.

This once was an inviting dining area.

Became this:

The same area now was all but stripped bare.

In fact, the continental breakfast was no more. Instead of making our own waffles, getting juice and the like, the staff dispensed bags of pre-packaged breakfast items. We then could take our sacks back to our room and consume them there.

Our breakfast options this time around.

Needless to say, we opted for dining out. Sadly this time, our breakfasts at a couple of former favorites did not stack up to the experiences of the past. But that just gave us resolve to try a number of new places we had discovered on TripAdvisor.

Best Hotel Values

But to get back to our quest for the best hotel value in Melbourne – or the best hotel value anywhere for that matter, it depends on your needs. For us this time, we wanted a place on which we could rely. Plus going to a chain gave us the option of both earning points and using collected points to reduce the cost of our stay.

But there are plenty of great values out there – both boutique hotel and chain lodging facilities. We suggest using TripAdvisor to make your decision before you leave. It will help you get a good deal and avoid unnecessary hassles when you arrive.