Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel
The flights are booked and it’s time to choose the hotel for the upcoming trip. The selected hotel is going to be your temporary home and should be comfortable, welcoming, and convenient. A smelly, dilapidated poorly located hotel can be frustrating and can ruin your vacation. There is a wide selection of hotels and Airbnbs available for any given location. So, what things should one consider before zeroing on a particular hotel?
Due to the recent internet explosion, it is easy to check all the required information about hotels – the location, room size, amenities, and appearance. Choosing a hotel may be time-consuming and overwhelming but it is less stressful than flight bookings as there are numerous options on sites like Booking.Com. However, one should not take it lightly and keep a few factors in mind while looking for hotels. Yeah, I know some of the points listed below are quite evident, but I have still listed them down in case you miss the obvious in your excitement of finding a great deal.
Hotel Location – One of the most apparent and vital things that need to be checked is the exact location of the hotel. The best way to find it is through Google Maps and user reviews. If you are looking for a beach resort, you would want to make sure that the hotel is exactly on the beach and not a mile away. Figure out the areas where you are going to spend most of your time, and book in that area. It would be great if you are within walking distance of the areas you plan to visit. If you can manage to find a hotel that has scintillating views in your budget, your vacation will be set. Keep in mind that you may need public transport, grocery stores, and dining options and they should be close at hand.
Hotel Room – The room of the hotel is the place where you are going to spend your time, so it should be prioritized. Check all the specifications of the room – images, size, view, bed options, bathroom, air conditioning, and heating. Don’t forget other amenities like a tea/coffee maker, safe, fridge, and iron board. Pictures displayed by the websites can be deceptive, so check the reviews regarding the cleanliness, size, noise, views, etc.
Hotel Amenities – The services and facilities provided by the Hotel should not be ignored. A hotel with a low basic rate but negligible facilities may cost you more than a hotel that has loads of add-ons. Check whether the hotel has the amenities which you may need during your stay. Room Service, Housekeeping, 24-hour reception, and concierge are a few of the basic services which a good hotel should provide. Other amenities that one should check, depending on your requirements are –
Free Room WIFI Gym/Spa/Swimming Pool Business Center Lift Free parking
Dining Options Airport Shuttle Pet-friendly/Wheelchair accessible Luggage Storage
Hotel Rating – While searching for hotels, the first thing we check is the star ratings of the hotel. However, ratings are not always apt. I have come across five-star hotels that look like three-star and vice versa. Go through the ranking provided by the third-party websites before you freeze on your hotel. These gradings are based on the guest’s review. Read a few reviews to determine what are the major issues which are being faced by the customers and then take a call. Try to go with an 8+ rating whenever possible.
Free Breakfast – It would be helpful if your room rate has free breakfast thrown in. The continental breakfast has something for everyone and you don’t have to worry about food early in the morning. Plus, it saves lots of valuable currency. Check with the hotel regarding the type of breakfast they are serving and then decide whether it is worth considering.
Fine print – You have found an excellent hotel with a great deal and you are ready with your credit card. But wait, did you check the cancellation policy, no-show policy, taxes, resort fees, tipping policy, and other gritty details? Check if the hotel will debit your credit card immediately or just save the details for future reference. Are they charging the full amount or only a deposit? Better to sort it out now than repent later.
Hotel Reputation – Hotels that are part of popular groups are safer options than standalone hotels. We can generally expect a certain standard from reputed chains as they have their standing at sake. It is advantageous to join loyalty programs for good hotel brands. Such Programs prove beneficial as you may get lots of freebies eventually like early check-in, late check out, free breakfast, and room upgrades.
Looking for some unique hotels to stay in?
Check-in/Check-out Time – This is one factor that is significant but overlooked many times. If you arrive in the city earlier than the scheduled checking time or leave the city very late, you would be without a room. Inquire from the hotel if they will allow early check-in or late checkout. Many times, the hotels are understanding and accommodating. At least, they should be willing to hold your luggage at no extra cost.
Hotel Accessibility and Safety – The hotel should be easily accessible from the airport and train station. If the hotel provides a free airport shuttle, it would be a big plus point. Public transport should be nearby so that traveling becomes easy and affordable. The costs of Uber and taxis add up to your budget substantially. The hotel should be in a secure area and one should feel safe approaching it at odd hours. If you are a solo female or traveling with kids, one has to take extra precautions.
Pricing – It is given that the hotel must fit your budget. The price of the hotel depends on the location and amenities it offers. Once you have decided on a hotel, it is best to cross-check the rates at three/or four of your trusted portals and check all the ongoing deals on hotels. Don’t book at booking portals that are not trustworthy. Go with reliable portals like Booking. Com and Expedia.Com. A couple of times I have landed at a hotel with no booking in my name even though I had booked at a ‘renowned’ third-party website. I was tempted by a great deal they were offering and had a terrible experience thereafter. Booking directly with small and unknown hotels may prove to be tricky and stressful, as the hotel may not respond in case of cancellations or date changes.
Don’t hesitate to call the hotel for clarification while booking. Room near the elevator, vegetarian breakfast, higher floor, quiet room, early check-ins, and other specifics can be requested and clarified before booking. Don’t believe in any travel myths. After the long checklist, you must be mentally exhausted. But planning a holiday is not an easy job and I am sure when you reach the hotel you will be happy to see the results of your efforts.
PS – You can use most of these strategies while booking any type of accommodation – Airbnb, vacation rentals, all-inclusive resorts, and apartments.
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This Post Has 17 Comments
I doubt I’ll be going on holiday for a while but always good to pick up tips! I never book a holiday now without checking the reviews to see what people thought. Although I do find some people are just super picky! I always check location too as sometimes we want to have food or the beach close by and others we’re ok to be a bit off the beaten tracker
Important points to consider
I like how you mentioned that when choosing vacation lodging it’s important to know the exact location of where it is. My wife and I are thinking of looking for a hotel to stay in because we’re considering taking our daughter on a trip since she recently graduated from college and hasn’t taken a break since starting. It seems like a good idea for us to think about staying in a reputable hotel that’s near the locations we want to visit so we can have the best trip possible.
It is important to check the location
My husband’s birthday is coming up next month, and I want to do something really special for him since he has been working 80 hour weeks at the warehouse and is feeling burnt out. It would be great to find a quality hotel for us to stay at so that he can have a good break from work, so this article was very helpful. I love that you explained to find out if the hotel as amenities like room service, housekeeping, and other add-ons.
I do agree that when we choose a hotel for us to check-in, it is important for us to consider the amenities. It makes sense because amenities are important. I will keep this tip in mind.
You made a valid point when you said I should check the hotel or resort’s policy by reading its fine print before booking a room. My husband and I plan to go on an anniversary trip next April. I’m starting to look for nice resorts now to save money, so thanks for this tip!
You are welcome!
My brother has been thinking about traveling more now that his kids can come with him. He would really like to take them with him, so they can have more fun. Making sure that they can get the right size of the hotel room, and rent from a professional could be really useful. I liked what you said about how he should know how to get around the city, and if the hotel is close to the airport, trains, or buses.
I appreciated it when you mentioned that it is great to find a hotel that can provide free breakfast for your family so you don’t have to worry about preparing food early in the morning. My wife and I are planning to take our children for a short getaway so we can enjoy some quality time together since it has been a while since our last trip together. I will keep in mind to look for a hotel that serves free breakfast so we won’t have to worry about looking for food early in the morning.
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This is a great post! I agree with all your tips.I am like you and do a thorough research before I book. I even Google Maps and drop the little man on street view to see around 😆
Smart thing to do
I love how you suggest reading reviews and checking the ratings of potential hotels to make sure that their past guests were satisfied. My best friend and I are going on a trip together and we need to find the perfect hotel. We’ll be sure to research reviews and ratings so we can find an amazing hotel with a great reputation.
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I liked how you pointed out that you should consider the exact location of the hotel. We’re planning to go to California this summer and have been wondering how to choose a hotel to stay at. We’ll keep this in mind since we plan to stay in a few different cities. It would be interesting to see some of the historic city centers in the state.
I like that you said that you should consider the amenities when choosing a hotel. I think that would help make sure you could have a fun and comfortable stay. Thanks for these tips on choosing a hotel.