The rooftop lounge at the Graduate Richmond Hotel

Graduate Hotels Hall Pass

US Road Trip – July, 2021

This blog post is not endorsed or sponsored by Graduate Hotels. However, this post does contain affiliate links and we will earn a small commission from any bookings competed using these links.

We purchased a Graduate Hotels Hall Pass! What is that? Well, the extremely popular, super-speedy-selling-out Hall Pass was a $500 pass to stay at any Graduate Hotel property any night in the month of July. Oh course, there are terms and conditions like having to book all of your stays in advance, only five consecutive nights at any one property, some properties not available on weekends, etc. But, with 30 absolutely unique and beautiful locations within the US to choose from, OMG WHAT A DEAL!

Graduate Hotels are located in university towns across the country (with two even in the UK!). The properties pay homage to the local area are curated to showcase the spirit of each community. The decor aims to provide a sense of nostalgia to those visiting their alma mater and a sense of curiosity to those new to town. The interior design of these hotels is enough in itself to make me drive across the country.

Graduate Tucson
Graduate Tucson

So, we decided to join the frenzy to try to secure a Hall Pass when they went on sale in June. Hall Passes sold out within an hour, so sadly this deal will not be available by the time of this post. However, this is the second year the hotel chain has offered the Hall Pass. The promotion started in 2019, and each Hall Pass was $400 then! For obvious reasons, the Pass was not offered in 2020, but here’s hoping they will do this again next summer. Just be sure to visit graduatehotels.com and sign up for email updates.

When the Passes launched, the Graduate Hotels website had some major technical difficulties. After the online countdown ended, the site got stuck in a fatal loop refresh. I really thought “oh well, it’s not meant to be”. I knew they would sell out fast and I really thought we only had about a 50/50 chance anyway. But, thanks to someone on Instagram who literally cracked the [computer] code, I was able to obtain a direct link to purchase a Hall Pass and it worked!

Graduate Oxford
Graduate Oxford

Once we had the pass secured, we wanted to immediately begin booking our stays before the hotels filled up. They only sell a limited amount of Hall Passes, so naturally, they only allow a certain amount of rooms to be booked under the Pass per night, per property. So, naturally, my dentist called with a last-minute cancellation and I had been trying to get in before we left.

We knew going in that if we were going to do this, we were going to treat it like a challenge in a way. We wanted to visit as many properties/cities and use our entire month of included lodging. Our plan of action was to make sure we spent at least three nights at the properties we were the most excited about – Nashville, Annapolis, New York, and Seattle. And then, we would fill in the rest with stops along the way. But, due to the dentist delay, we missed out on booking Annapolis. But, other than that, we got everything we wanted!

So, here is the trajectory we ended up with:

A visual trajectory of our trip. don’t worry, we will drive on actual highways!
Graduate Fayetteville
Graduate Fayetteville

It is going to be a fast-paced trip for sure. We did try to find a balance between seeing a much as we can and giving ourselves some down time to work and play. Some places are going to be one-night stays on the way and we may only have time to check out the hotel and get a cup of coffee or a meal. I’m sure that does not mean we will find them any less interesting. We are definitely going to end up in some places we never would have gone to otherwise, which is very cool!

Graduate Hotels are super pet-friendly, so we are able to bring our dog, Elvis, with no concerns. However, we will have to pay an additional pet fee of $25 a night. The pet fee brings our total from $500 for a full months of lodging to $1225. This is still an amazing deal considering that the rooms we were able to book would have a going rate of around $4500 to $6500 if we paid full price for 29 days including the pet fees. Plus, $1225 is less than our monthly bills were at home before we sold the house!

Graduate Nashville
Graduate Nashville

Wait, Emily, you said 29 days and there are 31 days in July… Well, as you can see from the map, there is a long way between Tucson, AZ and Fayetteville, AR (about 18 hours) and between Lincoln, NE and Seattle, WA (about 24 hours). So, those nights we will not be staying at a Graduate property since there are none in between those destinations.

Obviously, there will be other expenses, including gas and food, but we feel like this is a seriously good deal and a fun way to see some cities we may have never seen otherwise! You can expect a blog post, Instagram post, and a YouTube video for each property we stay at. We will keep you up to date on how it goes, if we think it was worth it, and how much we saved with the Hall Pass! (Visit the blog post linked below to see how much we spent on the entire trip).

Graduate Tucson

Graduate Tucson

With a stay at Graduate Tucson in Tucson (West University), you’ll be within a 5-minute drive of University of Arizona and Tucson Convention Center. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage.


Graduate Fayetteville

Graduate Fayetteville

With a stay at Graduate Fayetteville, you’ll be centrally located in Fayetteville, steps from Fayetteville Downtown Square and Fayetteville Town Center. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage. Planning an event in Fayetteville? This hotel has facilities measuring 12000 square feet (1115 square meters), including conference space. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


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Graduate Oxford

Graduate Oxford

With a stay at Graduate Oxford, you’ll be centrally located in Oxford, within a 5-minute drive of University of Mississippi and Rowan Oak. Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. This hotel has 3 meeting rooms available for events. Free self parking is available onsite.


Graduate Nashville

Graduate Nashville

With a stay at Graduate Nashville in Nashville (West End), you’ll be steps from Nashville Broadway and Vanderbilt University. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage. This hotel has 6 meeting rooms available for events.


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Graduate Knoxville

Graduate Knoxville

With a stay at Graduate Knoxville in Knoxville (Downtown Knoxville), you’ll be a 4-minute walk from University of Tennessee and 9 minutes by foot from Neyland Stadium. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage. Planning an event in Knoxville? This hotel has 2370 square feet (220 square meters) of space consisting of conference space and a meeting room.


Graduate Richmond

Graduate Richmond

With a stay at Graduate Richmond, you’ll be centrally located in Richmond, within a 10-minute walk of VCU Institute for Contemporary Art and Altria Theater. Featured amenities include a 24-hour front desk, luggage storage, and ATM/banking services.


Graduate Roosevelt Island

Graduate Roosevelt Island

When you stay at Graduate Roosevelt Island in New York, you’ll be in the historical district, a 1-minute drive from Roosevelt Island and 8 minutes from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Featured amenities include a 24-hour front desk and an elevator. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


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Graduate State College

Graduate State College

A stay at Graduate State College places you in the heart of State College, within a 5-minute drive of Pennsylvania State University and Palmer Museum of Art. Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, express check-out, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Planning an event in State College? This hotel has facilities measuring 3957 square feet (368 square meters), including conference space. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


Graduate Cincinnati

Graduate Cincinnati

With a stay at Graduate Cincinnati, you’ll be centrally located in Cincinnati, within a 5-minute drive of Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Burnet Campus. Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Planning an event in Cincinnati? This hotel has facilities measuring 23000 square feet (2137 square meters), including a conference center. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


Graduate Bloomington

Graduate Bloomington

Graduate Bloomington is in the heart of Bloomington, within a 10-minute walk of Monroe County Courthouse and Indiana University Bloomington. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage. This hotel has 6 meeting rooms available for events. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


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Graduate Iowa City

Graduate Iowa City

With a stay at Graduate Iowa City, you’ll be centrally located in Iowa City, within a 5-minute drive of University of Iowa and University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. Featured amenities include a business center, express check-out, and complimentary newspapers in the lobby. Planning an event in Iowa City? This hotel has facilities measuring 9070 square feet (843 square meters), including conference space. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


Graduate Lincoln

Graduate Lincoln

With a stay at Graduate Lincoln, you’ll be centrally located in Lincoln, within a 10-minute walk of Lied Center and Sheldon Museum of Art. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and luggage storage. Planning an event in Lincoln? This hotel has facilities measuring 14082 square feet (1308 square meters), including conference space. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


Graduate Seattle

Graduate Seattle

With a stay at Graduate Seattle in Seattle (University District), you’ll be steps from Neptune Theater and 3 minutes by foot from University of Washington. Featured amenities include a 24-hour business center, express check-out, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Planning an event in Seattle? This hotel has facilities measuring 5073 square feet (471 square meters), including conference space.


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Graduate Eugene

Graduate Eugene

With a stay at Graduate Eugene, you’ll be centrally located in Eugene, steps from Hult Center for Performing Arts and 6 minutes by foot from McDonald Theatre. Featured amenities include dry cleaning/laundry services, a 24-hour front desk, and multilingual staff. Planning an event in Eugene? This hotel has facilities measuring 30000 square feet (2787 square meters), including a conference center. A roundtrip airport shuttle is complimentary (available 24 hours).


Graduate Berkeley

Graduate Berkeley

With a stay at Graduate Berkeley, you’ll be centrally located in Berkeley, steps from University of California, Berkeley and within a 10-minute walk of Zellerbach Playhouse. Featured amenities include limo/town car service, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. Planning an event in Berkeley? This hotel has facilities measuring 2088 square feet (194 square meters), including conference space. Self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.


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