Choosing accommodation can be a daunting experience. There are endless factors to consider, including price, location, amenities, reviews, and the list goes on. The process of choosing a hotel is often so overwhelming for some travelers that they leave it up to their travel agent. But to guarantee a stay in a place that is right for you, all you need to do is a little research. You have to know what you want and then look for it.
Seasoned travelers generally agree that there are a few important unwritten rules of accommodation that can really make a lot of difference to your trip. So keep reading to find out what you should remember when choosing a hotel!
10 Location Is Key
Most of the time, location should be one of the most important factors when it comes to choosing a hotel. It’s all well and good if your hotel is cheap, or if it has amazing amenities, but will all that be worth it if it’s located miles and miles away from the main sights that you want to see? Probably not.
If you’re on a tight schedule, having to spend hours commuting into the central part of the city, or to whatever highlights to want to see, is going to ruin your trip. In addition to wasting time, you’ll also waste money on transport. Sometimes, it’s better to pay more for something central.
9 Read Reviews But Also Check The Hotel Website
Reading reviews is a great way to learn more about a hotel, and get a feel for whether it’s for you or not. But don’t focus solely on the reviews and avoid looking at the hotel website altogether. Sometimes, hotels address issues that are pointed out in reviews, and this information should be available on the website. There’s also the chance that some reviews are biased, or simply written by people who have completely different expectations from what you would have.
If you have any pressing questions, it never hurts to actually call the hotel and ask.
8 Only Take Into Account The Most Recent Reviews
When reading reviews, try to only look at ones that have been written in the past year or so. A review that was written five years ago probably won’t give you an accurate portrayal of the hotel now. Remember that reviews are all about getting and responding to feedback, so a hotel shouldn’t always be judged on shortcomings it had years ago, especially if those flaws have since been addressed.
It also works the other way. If a hotel was amazing five years ago, it might not have been maintained well and be completely different today. To play it safe, refer only to reviews that were written recently.
7 Don’t Ignore The Poor And Terrible Reviews
It’s a good idea to take into account the poor and terrible reviews of a hotel, even if some of them say more about the guests themselves than the hotel. The odd poor or terrible review that complains about random things shouldn’t worry you. What you should pay attention to, though, are patterns.
If you’re noticing that most people are complaining about Wi-Fi issues, or location, or noise outside the rooms, then that’s probably a true reflection of what you’ll experience at the hotel. Pay attention to those trends and evaluate whether they will make a difference to you.
6 Newer Hotels Are Generally Cleaner
Some of the world’s best and most famous hotels have been operating for years. But it’s also true that some hotels that have been operating or years are outdated and unhygienic. Generally, the newer hotels are cleaner than the old ones.
If the hotel has been renovated or updated within the last four years, then you can often expect it to be clean and well-maintained, according to Oyster.com. Generally, if it’s been longer than six years without any renovations, you might not be happy with the quality of the décor and furniture.
5 Make Sure The Amenities Are Up To Your Standards
Another thing to consider when choosing a hotel is the amenities. The main ones to watch out for include air-conditioning, parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast. These might not be important to you (for example, if you’re traveling in winter time or you’re not planning on driving), but you should keep in mind the types of amenities that do matter to you.
A complimentary breakfast can end up saving you lots of money while traveling because it means you can load up in the morning and then you don’t have to pay for a big lunch or any lunch at all.
4 Find Out What Kind Of Guests Stay In The Hotel
Finding out what kind of guests usually stay at a hotel can help you decide whether it’s the kind of hotel that will suit you. You can usually find this information out from reviews. The kind of accommodation that tends to be frequented by backpackers is obviously different from the kind preferred by business travelers, so you’ll often be happiest in a hotel that draws in guests that are similar to you.
Even though a hotel has a great position and is a great price, it might not be the right place for you if you’re looking for family-friendly accommodation but it’s designed for couples, and vice-versa.
3 If You’re Splurging, Make Sure You’re Getting Value For Money
Sometimes, you’ll work out your budget so you can splurge a little more on accommodation. If you are paying a lot more for your hotel, make sure you’re getting value for your money. Research the hotel by reading reviews and checking out the website to find out exactly what you’re paying so much for.
Surprisingly, more expensive accommodation isn’t always better than cheaper accommodation. It might be expensive because of the view, the location, the amenities, or even just the name. Whatever it is, make sure it’s worth it to you.
2 Some Hotels Have Loyalty Programs
When choosing your accommodation, it’s worth checking in to see what hotels have loyalty programs. If you’re going to be traveling a lot, often staying in a hotel that rewards you for constant visits can end up being the best way to go. You might be able to earn points toward staying there for free in the future.
Some hotels are partnered with frequent flier programs, so you might also win points toward that by staying in certain places. To find a list of qualifying partners, simply check on the hotel website, or even on the airline website.
1 Choose Something That Works For You
Ultimately, every traveler wants something different from their hotel. You might be looking for a resort complex offering lots of entertainment and dining options, a quiet and relaxing retreat, or a romantic room with a phenomenal view. The best thing to do is to work out exactly what you want from your stay, and to find a hotel that meets your own demands.
Do your research and pay attention to the reviews, but the most important thing is to keep in mind your own individual priorities when choosing accommodation, and go from there.