Back in 2001, my best buddy and I set out on an adventure to Detroit, Michigan. Being cheap, naive, and young, I booked a room at a Motel 6. This just wasn't any Motel 6, it was a Motel 6 in the middle of Eminem's neighborhood. I continued for a few years, staying at lodges in questionable areas, just to save a few dollars.
Things changed when I decided I was going to stay in the heart of downtown in Chicago. Still being very price conscious, I blindly landed (via Priceline Name Your Own Price) into a great property in the middle of Chi-town. Before arriving, I interacted with the hotel on Twitter. Upon arrival, I was greeted with a couple bottles of beer and gourmet popcorn. I continued to take my chance on Priceline to stay in above average rooms, in great locations, at great prices.
Fast forward to today. Price pays very little role in my decision of where I stay. Here's what's making lean towards staying at a certain hotel when I visit Seattle in spring; they interact with their customers on Twitter and Facebook, they offer a complimentary bicycle, and there is a pet goldfish in the room.