How To Choose Multi-Night Lodgings

Leaving for a day ride from a good snowmobile staging hotel.

Photo by Martin Lortz

Related: Finding Snowmobile-Friendly Accommodations

Are you looking for a good snowmobile staging hotel? For the purposes of this article, I’m talking about a staging hotel that you’re going to trailer to. And then stay for several consecutive nights while using it as a base for various day rides. This is one of the snowmobile tour types I listed in a recent article.

I’ve found it’s usually worthwhile to do some homework in advance to select my snowmobile staging hotel. There’s no point to inviting disappointment by choosing one at random. Not when you’re going to be staying there for multiple nights.

Why Stay At One Snowmobile Staging Hotel?

Arriving back at our snowmobile staging hotel after a great day loop.

Photo by Martin Lortz

Many see advantages to staging from one place instead of saddle bagging. You don’t have to pack and unpack everything every day. Also, you can bring more food, drinks, gear and other stuff with you. Plus, you have more time to relax, socialize and use hotel facilities.

What’s more, riding options include changing your daily route depending on grooming and weather reports. Or riding shorter or longer days. Leaving later when it’s freezing cold in the morning. Or not going at all. And you’re not leaving your valuable tow vehicle unattended for long periods of time.

Best of all, 2-stroke riders don’t have to carry extra oil on day rides. And you’re always relatively close to your snowmobile staging hotel. So, your trailer’s handier if there are any sled breakdowns. In fact, some riders I know even bring an extra sled along, just in case.

And staging from one location for day rides is a good way for novice riders to get started away from home. But please check out my beginners tips first!

Good Snowmobile Staging Hotel Criteria

Ground floor rooms at a snowmobile staging hotel.

Photo © by Craig Nicholson

Almost any snowmobile-friendly lodging can qualify as a good snowmobile staging hotel provided it meets certain criteria. While there are many such accommodations available, some make better snowmobile staging hotels than others. Here are some factors I consider when choosing my good snowmobile staging hotel…

Road Accessibility

Since I’m going to trailer in, not arrive by snowmobile, getting there easily is a top priority. So, a property accessible by a good is important road. One that’s paved, well-travelled and frequently ploughed and sanded. These attributes reduce the possibility of not being to get there or leave if there’s a storm.

Same goes for avoiding a long, meandering or remote drive to the lodgings from a main road, especially after dark. And I don’t take anyone’s word for the actual hotel location in relation to good roads. I get online and find out for myself.

Parking For Trucks & Trailers

Photo by Martin Lortz

Just as with a saddlebag tour, I need on-site parking for my tow vehicle and trailer. From the time I arrive until I leave for home. So, my good snowmobile staging hotel has plenty of adjacent space that’s well-lit at night. It’s also as secure as possible from prying eyes and sticky fingers. Ideally, this means some combination of a gated compound, video surveillance and even a night watchman. Or trailer parking within sight of my room. Even so, I throw on a couple of locks to make my rig more difficult to steal than the next guy’s.

Secure sled and trailer parking

Photo © by Craig Nicholson

Parking For Snowmobiles

Overnight sled parking in front of ground floor rooms.

Photo by Martin Lortz

I’ll be parking my sled at this lodging for several nights. Potentially, that makes it a more noticeable target for those who might be tempted to make off with it. So, sled security is also top of mind. Preferably, this comes in the form of a heated garage, secure compound or electronic monitoring devices. But it’s also good to park it in front of my ground floor room with its own exit door to the outside. Regardless, I also lock my sleds together.

Sled locked together photo © by Craig Nicholson

Trail Accessibility

A good snowmobile staging hotel provides trail access on the snow.

Trail access by snow covered back alley photo © by Craig Nicholson

Since I’m going to be riding from the same location each day, the lodgings must have direct trail access on snow. This does on mean “nearby the trail” or “follow road to trail”. It means riding on snow to the main trail. For instance, main trail access could be by local trail, unploughed roadside or back alley, or on top of snow banks. But not on bare pavement. Obviously, snow cover is dependent on what part of the season it is. So be aware that hotel access on snow covered pavement will deteriorate in meltdowns or late season.

Similarly, my good snowmobile staging hotel is located at or near a major trail intersection. Such positioning means I can ride in several different directions without having to constantly repeat one trail over and over again. Meanwhile, it should also be somewhat central to trail options sufficient for several days of loop riding. I always check on a trail map to see where the place is located in relation to surrounding trails.

Service Accessibility

Photo courtesy of Ontario Tourism

The longer I stay in one place, the more important it is to have services handy. Primarily, this means a nearby gas station and convenience store that are open every day with long hours. But having alternative restaurant choices close is also preferable. And a snowmobile dealer within easy reach has saved more than one day ride getaway when something broke or went missing. Better still if they have sled rentals too, just in case.

On Site Restaurant

Photo courtesy of Ontario Tourism

Hopefully, my staging hotel has a good (and licensed) restaurant onsite with a variety of tasty and reasonably priced meal choices. Having such an eatery means I can go eat without bothering to don jacket and boots. Or without taking a cab unless I want to unhook my tow vehicle and maybe lose my parking spot.

I just make sure that the restaurant is open early for breakfast everyday so we can get riding without delay. And that its dinner menu is broad enough that we won’t be bored eating there for several consecutive nights. In this regard, also be aware that snowmobile meal packages often have more limited choices than the full menu. Ideally, there’s also a bar with a finger food menu for lighter meal options.

Hotel Amenities

Photo by Martin Lortz

Most of the amenities characteristic of a snowmobile-friendly lodging also make for a good snowmobile staging hotel. But with a longer stay, some take on increased importance. Sometimes on saddlebag tours, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to enjoy a hot tub, spa or sauna. So, I ensure my snowmobile staging hotel has these facilities and maybe an indoor pool as well.

Meanwhile, a 24-hour front desk is also very handy for longer stays. And, as I mentioned previously, I much prefer accommodations with ground floor rooms including both interior and exterior exit doors.

Photo by Martin Lortz

Besides being an advantage for sled parking and accessibility, an exterior exit door also makes it considerably easier to unload and reload all my stuff from my tow vehicle. And to pack and unpack my sled for each day ride.

Room Amenities

One thing I look for in a room is a good bed. That’s key to getting enough good sleep every night. And to being well rested to ride again. So, I’m not afraid to request a room with their newest beds when making my reservation.

I also look for a fridge. That’s because I bring more drinks and snacks from home when staying over for several days. Having a fridge is also more convenient and a can be a money saver.
Next, I must have 100% reliable WIFI in my room. I can live without it for one annoying night while saddle-bagging, but not more. Same goes for multiple electrical outlets to plug in almost every known device and appliance. Okay, I admit to bringing more apparatus when I’m staying multiple nights!

A good-sized room is also an advantage. That way, I can spread out my stuff better to dry and organize for the next day. And keep it separate from my roommate’s gear! Also, upon arrival, I check for extra pillows and hangers to make things more comfortable for my stay. After all, this snowmobile staging hotel is my home-away-from-home for several days, so I try to make it as much my own as possible.

My Last Word On A Good Snowmobile Staging Hotel

You can learn some things about your potential snowmobile staging hotel from their trail map ad. Other info is listed on their website or other sites that show up in a Google search. But if in doubt, don’t be afraid to call the hotel and ask. And don’t hesitate to specify and confirm any requests you may have about your room, its location or configuration when making your reservation. Just be sure to say that you are coming to snowmobile and ask for their package. Or for a better rate if you are booking multiple rooms, multiple nights or midweek!

Finally, you may not always be able to find a snowmobile staging hotel that fits all my criteria. But at least you should know what your priority must-haves are, and select accordingly.
Only then will you know what to expect beforehand. And be able to plan your longer stay with a greater degree of certainty.

Check out more planning tips!

The tips and advice in this blog are the opinions of the author, may not work in every situation and are intended only for the convenience and interest of the reader, who has the personal responsibility to confirm the validity, accuracy and relevancy of this information prior to putting it to their own use.


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