The hotel you choose can make or break your trip. Below are a few golden tips to help you choose the right accommodation.
Shop around for prices
The first thing to consider is your budget. Some hotels charge as little as £40 per night, while others charge over £1000 per night. The more expensive hotels tend to be in a better location, tend to have better amenities and tend to have better quality service.
You can shop around for hotel prices online via many different sites. The most popular examples include Booking.com, Expedia, Trivago, Kayak and Hotels.com. Be wary when shopping around that prices can change from day to day. Some hotel booking sites will even store cookies on your PC and increase prices when you return to a hotel listing to take advantage of your interest (browsing in Incognito Mode can prevent this).
Consider the location
It’s important to consider the location of a hotel. Some hotels may be very cheap because they are located far away from attractions or because they have unpleasant surroundings. This could ultimately affect the quality of your stay.
For example, when staying in Bangkok, you could find plenty of cheap hotels on the outskirts. These hotels could save you money, but you’ll likely waste time and money travelling to attractions, plus there may not be much to see out of your window. Something like this hotel riverside Bangkok option could guarantee scenic views and attractions on your doorstep.
Look up reviews
It’s important to check out hotel reviews online. If a hotel constantly gets bad reviews, you may want to avoid it. Instead, look for hotels with plenty of glowing reviews.
It’s important to remember that online customer review ratings are different to hotel ‘star ratings’. A five star hotel can still get poor online customer reviews, just as a one star hotel can get lots of glowing reviews. The hotel star rating system is more of a reflection as to the range of facilities rather than the quality of service (a five star hotel may come with a fancy bathtub and large TV in every room, whereas a one star hotel may come with nothing more than a bed in each room). I personally live in the recent review section and check reviews from the countries I’m from as we most likely will have a similar standard expected. TripAdvisor is your friend and Pinterest serves as great visual inspiration. Check out my Pinterest Travel Board for ideas.
Research the amenities
It’s worth checking exactly what amenities are on offer at the hotel. Things to look out for include on-site food and drink, wi-fi access and parking (if you’re driving to the hotel).
Resort hotels will typically come with more extensive amenities. Things to look out for include swimming pool facilities, gym facilities, spa facilities, kids clubs and evening entertainment.
The level of amenities is likely to depend on the occasion. If you’re planning a honeymoon, you may want all the luxuries you can get. If you’re on a business trip, you may be happy with the basics.
Know what’s included in the price
In some hotels, you’ll pay extra for everything from breakfast to wi-fi. Others are ‘all inclusive’ – which typically means that you get free food and drink. However, some all inclusive hotels may only allow you to choose from a certain selection of free foods and drinks, plus you may still have to pay for things like wi-fi and parking. As a result, such ‘all-inclusive’ hotels can end up being a lot more expensive than initially budgeted for.
Read the hotel description thoroughly to get an idea as to what is free and what isn’t.