You are planning a holiday abroad for your family, and want everyone to have a good time. You surf the internet for hotel descriptions, but from the pictures that you see and what you read, all hotels project a perfect image of themselves. How can you tell which ones are better? You have never been there and know no one at your destination. At the same time, you don’t want a hotel room that will bust your budget. How do you choose?
Check Independent Hotel Ratings
Well, the first step you can take is to visit hotel search engines for guest ratings for hotels represented by the search engines. In addition to pre-negotiated rates with individual hotels, most agents ask for ratings and comments from previous guests. Reading their comments will give you a fair idea on what to expect from the hotels located in your destination. Be sure to read a few comments in order to get a fair overview. Certain incidences described may only be rare occurrences that may already have been corrected.
Hotel Chains and Facilities
Are they part of an international hotel chain? Most international chains have stringent standards that are adhered to as well as a standard theme across all chains. They may have similar facilities (health clubs, spas, business centers, etc) which are important to maintain the hotel’s high standards. Other things you can look out for include concierge, shuttle services to the city, airport transfers as well as good laundry services.
Perhaps one of the most critical things when selecting a hotel is its location. Hotels that are near to shopping areas, train stations or the city center charge higher rates as compared to those located elsewhere. Analyze a map of the area before you book to determine the nearest shopping areas or access to trains which will give you much convenience in moving around. Also, check with the hotel if they have any large tour groups coming in at the same time. Hotels charge higher rates during high occupancy periods and do not have the flexibility of late check-outs. These are important aspects which, if overlooked, may affect your tour schedule as well as your impression of the hotel’s level of hospitality.
Rates and Discounts
Hotel rates are a huge factor when it comes to choosing a hotel. However, paying more does not necessarily mean that you will receive an equivalent level of service and standards. One of the ways to maximize on prices would be check if they are part of an alliance with flights or car rental companies, which offer discounts to customers of their allies. Sometimes, credit card companies offer their cardholders exclusive rates to special hotels which can be pretty attractive. Additionally, if it’s possible to use your frequent flyer points to redeem hotel discounts, this could help reduce hotel costs as well.
Finally, apart from chain hotels, boutique hotels may are great alternatives for romantic getaways for couples or families seeking hotels of a more distinctive theme. Many boutique hotels have fewer rooms but offer more value added services such as spas within the bedroom, breakfasts in bed or even in-room massages. In the end, your choice of hotel really depends on what you want out of your holiday.
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If you are planning an upcoming vacation or business trip, it's a good idea to put some thought into your hotel selection before making any final reservations. Remember that hotels serve as your home away from home when you're traveling, and selecting the right hotel will make any trip much more enjoyable. You'll want to stay in a place that is comfortable, clean, safe, and where the staff is friendly and helpful. When you're in an unfamiliar place, a hotel concierge can make a world of difference in helping to navigate the area and suggesting fun activities.
First and foremost, it's important to choose hotels that will be conveniently located for your itinerary. If you'll be traveling for business, you'll want to be close to the convention center or offices where your meetings will take place. If you're planning a conference, you should research which hotels have the best meeting and event facilities.
It's much easier to coordinate conferences if all of the participants can stay in the hotel where the events are taking place. Most hotels will offer discounts to corporate clients who are sponsoring an event in their function rooms. If you are traveling for pleasure, make sure that the hotels you consider are centrally located and close to the most popular attractions in the area.
Unless you'll be renting a car, it's a good idea to stay at hotels which are within walking distance of shops and restaurants. That way you'll save money on cab fare and have much more flexibility at mealtimes.
The cost of booking a hotel room is becoming more and more expensive, but luckily, the level of service at most national and boutique hotels is increasing as well. For the amount of money you'll be spending on your accommodations, you deserve a hotel room that is warm and inviting, comfortable to live in and spotlessly clean.
The staff should be welcoming and accommodating. Prior to booking any hotels, you may want to do a quick internet search to find comments posted by other travelers who have stayed at those places. Many people find that traveler recommendations are incredibly useful in helping them decide between hotels.