Our friends at Consumer Reports magazine have done it again, advising us on where to best spend our money -- this time on hotels. In the July issue, the magazine reviews hotel chains, dividing them into four categories and rating them within each. Here are their top places to lay your head when you're out of town, based on data from 35,000 readers reporting on more than 157,000 nights spent at hotels:

In the "Luxury" category, with rooms that typically cost between $90 and $500, the best were The Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons (NYSE:FS).

In the "Upscale" group, with rooms from $80 to $150, winners were Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) Resorts, Embassy Suites, and Harrah's (NYSE:HET).

The "Moderate" category sported rooms from $60 to $100, and the best-ranked choices were SpringHill Suites and Homewood Suites, with Wingate Inn also doing well.

The "Budget" category rang in with rooms between $40 and $70, and the winners were Sleep Inn, Extended Stay America (NYSE:ESA), and Microtel Inn/Suites.

Investors should note that Marriott International (NYSE:MAR) owns the Ritz-Carlton and SpringHill Suites chains, while Hilton (NYSE:HLT) owns Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites. Choice Hotels (NYSE:CHH) operates the Sleep Inn chain, and Cendant (NYSE:CD) owns Wingate Inn. Fool writer Seth Jayson recently assessed the investment merits of Hilton -- check out his findings.

One interesting observation made by the folks at Consumer Reports is that some of the differences between fancy and non-fancy hotel chains are disappearing as many lower-tier chains are adding amenities found at their more costly competitors, such as pools, cable TV, and Internet access. This brings to mind what happened with discount brokers over the past few years. Many have added a host of services previously offered only by full-service brokerages, such as stock research, financial planning tools, and more. (Learn more about what brokerages offer these days in our Broker Center.)

Get great advice in Tim Beyers ' article, "5 Tips for a Foolish Trip ." Then plan your next vacation via the Fool's Travel Center, or visit the Travel & Vacation discussion board for the latest deals and opinions.

Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article.