Department of Defense Lodging Rates

This isn’t exactly real news, but it is important if you don’t already know it.  The rates for very similar military accommodations can vary greatly depending on which branch of the military is running the operation.  Military servicemembers and their families are often eligible to stay in Department of Defense lodging on a space available basis.  My family has taken advantage of this numerous times, to visit family, go to swim meets, or just travel for the sake of traveling.

What is amazing to me is how different prices are between the services.  In my experience, Army lodging is super-expensive, Navy lodging varies, and Air Force lodging is always really cheap.  Just this week, I’ve stayed in an Army Lodge and an Air Force Inn.  I paid $135 per night, plus $7.50 for each additional person, for a one bedroom apartment at the Army Lodge.  A few hours away, I paid $39 for a single room, but a four bedroom apartment there is just $52.00 per night!  I just fail to understand how prices can be so different, even within the same market.

This is important to you because sometimes it is easy to choose a cheaper facility.  They are usually the Air Force Inns.  If you are driving through an area, check a little distance out to see if you can save some money.  For example, if you are going to the Hampton Roads, Virginia, area, you have several choices.  You could stay at the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story for $66.00 for a small suite, or you could stay at the Langley Inn at Langley Air Force Base for $41.50 for a bay view suite.   Thinking of hopping an AMC flight to Hawaii?   You might choose between a room with two queen beds at the   K-bay Lodge for $132.00 per night, or a remarkably similar room at the Pearl Harbor Navy Lodge for $99.00 per night.Taking the family to see the sights of Venice, Italy?  You could choose to stay at the Army Lodge in Vicenza, where can get a one bedroom suite for four people for $90.50, or you could go down the road to Aviano, where the Air Force’s Mountain View Lodge will cost you just $41.50 for a two bedroom apartment.

Crazy, isn’t it?

I’d love to hear some sort of reasonably justification for the variety of prices between the services.  I’d also like to know if you have any secret military lodging tips that help you to keep expenses down and family fun up.

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.
  • Espinosa

    My question: Why was the military lodging contracted out to a company from the U.K. which just about trippled the overnight cost at Tripler Army Medical Center even when you are there for medical reasons. I was there when it was run by the military, but the next time I was there, I had to stay at a local hotel because the rates were too high at Tripler. Any answers out there?

  • The army had privitized their lodging to the likes of holliday inn express and others, to run and update. I hate it wish the military still ran them!!

  • Roger

    Navy Lodges are not part of the DOD Lodging network. They are for profit non-appropriated lodging run by the Navy Exchange Command.

  • CdR

    Many people get Navy Lodges and Navy Gateway Inns confused with each other…. Navy Gateway Inns are a part of the Dod Lodging network.

    • KateKashman

      Just so everyone is clear: the Navy Lodge and the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites are different. For accounting purposes, the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites is considered a part of the DoD Lodging network and the Navy Lodge is not. The Navy Lodge is run by the Navy Exchange system, which is a separate command from the Navy Gateway Inns and Suites. However, for practical purposes, both the Navy Lodge and the Army’s privatized IHG Army Hotels serve the same function as DoD Lodging run by the military itself: they provide on-base accommodation only available to authorized patrons.

  • m bockel

    DoD has a list for all DoD lodging operations

  • Krista

    The lodge at Kbay and the lodge at Pearl Harbor are thirty minutes away, which on the mainland is very close. However on Oahu that is “all the way on the other side of the islaned.” It’s not really a fair comparison. Here on the windward side your choices are very limited in that the Kbay lodge is almost the ONLY hotel on this side of the island. On the Leeward side the Navy lodge is competing with probably a hundred or more hotels in the Waikiki/Honolulu area. I don’t know if it effected the price but the lodge at KBay was recently renovated and added on a new wing.