It has always been a somewhat tedious task choosing the right hotel, and with the huge number of programs, deals and promotions that are available these days, it can be completely overwhelming. It also doesn’t help that most hotels these days have websites that are full of slick promotional copy and tantalising photos, promising total luxury the moment you step inside the lobby. So, how can you tell which hotels will live up to the hype, and most important of all, which hotel is the best one for you?
Since all travellers have different needs in a hotel, you must ask your self what are the most important things for you. Whether you are searching for a great B&B, a great deal or an amazing location like at the Golden Mare Barbati in Corfu, we have broken the hotel selection process down to make it much easier for you to locate the best hotel for your next trip.
What Is Most Important?
Before starting on your search, figure out what kind of accommodations you want to have and what your budget will allow. Is location more important than price to you, or is a hotel under £150 per night your limit? Do you need to have a hotel that has a fitness centre and spa, or would you prefer staying at a small property featuring plenty of local charm?
After you have determined what your top priority is, you can then do a more targeted search. The following are the most common factors in selecting a hotel, along with tips for how to find properties that meet each of your specific needs.
You can sort the results by price on almost every big booking engine. Use a booking engine to find out what is available as well as test rates on properties you are interested in. Then go to the hotel’s website to book your room directly. The majority of hotels will guarantee the lowest rate when booking on their website and will match any lower price that you find elsewhere.
All the major booking sites let you look at your search results plotted on a map. That way you can tell which ones of them are in areas that you prefer or are on the beach. A traditional guidebook is also a useful source for locating hotels in specific locations, since hotels are frequently plotted out on a city map and listed by neighbourhood as well.
The majority of the leading booking engines let you specify amenities whenever you are doing your searches, such as having a restaurant on location, a swimming pool, or a fitness centre.
Frequent Flyer Miles and Loyalty Programmes
If you do a lot of travelling or belong to a frequent flyer programme it might be worth becoming a member of a hotel loyalty programme. You can earn points towards a hotel stay in the future, and you might be able to earn airline miles as well if the hotel you are staying out has partnered with your frequent flyer programme.
Travellers wanting to minimise the environmental impact they make can look for hotels via several different organisations, including the Green Hotels Association and Green Globe.
If you are going to be taking the kids, then you will want to check for family-friendly policies as well as special deals.
Real Life Experiences
These days, not many of us book a hotel without checking out online reviews that have been left by fellow travellers on websites such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and other booking websites. You can learn whether the Wi-Fi really works, how clean the rooms are, how friendly the staff is, and more.
Many review websites also let users upload pictures of their hotel and usually they are less glamorous and more realistic than the professional photos that you see on the hotel’s website, which are sometimes years old!
It is always a good idea to be a bit sceptical about traveller reviews. Overly positive reviews might have been written by disguised hotel employees, while there might be some negative reviews coming from travellers who are really fussy. However, despite some misleading reviews, the majority of traveller ratings are unbiased, honest and a very valuable resource to use when deciding which hotel to book.