You have decided to go on holiday and you know where you need to go. But you are unsure of which hotel to book. Here are 12 things to consider when choosing a hotel.
- Recommendations. Get recommendations from your friends, family or colleagues who have stayed in that area before. If you can get somebody with similar tastes and preferences to give you a recommendation then you are more likely to get a hotel that suits you. You can also check on TripAdvisor for others recommendations for the hotels you are thinking of staying at. You can also consult your travel or tour agent about the best places to stay. Your travel agent is also likely to get you a better deal than if you book the hotel yourself.
- Location. You need to think about the location of your hotel in regards to the things that you need to do. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing in the middle of town then it would be best to get somewhere in town or close to town. If you want to relax and maybe get away from the busyness of everyday life than a rural area or a scenic place would suit you better. Also, distance to the beach, parks, tourist attractions, restaurants, movie or theatres also matters.
- Fees. You need to find out what is included in the fees that the hotel is giving you for packages. If you must have access to the internet you will need to find out if the hotel has internet and WiFi and if it is free or you have to pay for it. Some hotels also offer some services like laundry, gym, spa on a complimentary basis but many don’t. If you need any of those extras it is important to know how much you will be charged for them.
- Star rating. Hotels are categorized by star rating. The more stars a hotel has the better it is. This is a great way to compare hotels and check on options depending on your finances. The higher the star the more expensive the hotel is because it has better services and infrastructure.
- Meal plans. What type of meal plan does your hotel have? Some hotels offer packages that are bed and breakfast, others offer half board, all-inclusive and full board. What option suits you? Which meals would you like to have at the hotel? What are the costs of a typical meal?
- Type of hotel. Do you want to stay at a name brand hotel (chain hotel) which usually has standard service or you would like to stay in a family owned hotel where standards of service may vary.
- Facilities. What does the hotel have in terms of facilities? Is there a pool? Different restaurants? Facilities for children? Spa? Golf course? And if the hotel does not have these facilities can you get these facilities close by and what are the charges?
- Family friendly. Is the hotel family friendly if you are going with children? Do they have a kid’s club? Some hotels do not allow children under a certain age so it is important to know in advance if they will cater for your children. Also, some hotels also allow children under a certain age to stay for free and others charge a percentage of the adult rate. Find out what your chosen hotels offer. Does the hotel also offer kiddie meals? Some hotels may have cuisine that is not suitable for young children as well.
- Accessibility. Transport is an important factor. If you are flying for your holiday do you get airport transfers? If not how far is it to your hotel? If you are going by car is there somewhere to park? Does the hotel offer shuttle services to the local attractions, parks or shopping centre? How will you get around by either private or public means?
- Check-in times. Some hotels have a strict check-in and checkout times. It is important to find out what times the check in or check out times are. Also, some hotels have a late checkout time which is good if you have a flight late in the night.
- Security. How is the security around the hotel? Is the hotel in a secure neighbourhood? Are there safes in the hotel room to keep your valuables? How are the locks in your rooms, are they easily breakable? How is the lighting inside and outside the hotel? In case of an emergency does the hotel have emergency exits? Check out this post on Travel: How To Minimize Your Chances Of Getting Robbed At Your Hotel.
- Services and amenities. Is room service available? What things come with the room in terms of toiletries and bath items? Are there facilities for you to make some coffee or tea, blow dry your hair, laundry etc.