Last weekend's trip to Denver solidified for me, a theory I had been working on about the optimal number of stars for a hotel to have. When I was first married I assumed that a person would always want the most stars they could get for their money; I have since changed my mind. I have decided that 2 1/2 star hotels are the ideal hotels for me & my family's needs. One star hotels are out of the question unless completely desperate (they are rare anyway.) 2 star hotels are very basic and are fine if you just need a place to sleep for a few hours. A 2 1/2 star hotel is generally very clean & respectable, they offer all the basic amenities (TV, pool, internet, iron, shampoo, etc) and also will often provide you with a free continental breakfast. Anything higher than 3 stars offers VERY nice accommodations and can meet any needs you may have but you must expect to pay for every need that they meet. They are usually the kind of hotels where the bed is even more comfortable than the one you have at home but everything else comes at a price. Last weekend we got ourselves a room at the 3 star Sheraton hotel for $52.00. Excellent price but I almost wish that we would have paid $49.00 for the 2 1/2 star hotel instead. The room was great! The bed was extremely nice. And the hotel itself was beautiful. But we couldn't get on the internet unless we wanted to pay $10.00 to do so. There, of course, was no free breakfast. Breakfast was offered at their in-house restaurant at between $8-$15 a plate. And the thing that really pushed me over the edge is that the rooms were stocked with bottles of arrowhead water but with labels that stated that they would charge the room $3.50 EACH if they were consumed!! $3.50 for a bottle of water that I could get for $1.00 at the Target down the street sitting there all convenient and tempting next to the ice bucket. For the extra $3.00 I paid for the room at the 3 star hotel, I earned the privilege of PAYING for internet, breakfast, & water. I think from now on I'll stick with 2 1/2 stars...and I advise you to do the same.