It´s all about you – what do you like best?
What are your plans for your holiday? You don´t want to spend any time in your room except sleeping? Then you just need clean sheets. But maybe you would like to get a little bit more out of your stay? Start your day with a nice cup of coffee on a balcony looking over the sea or the city? Having a little chat with the hospitable old landlady? Look for and find the lodging that´s best for you.
Who and what is next to you?
Using a Guide book can help you to get a feeling for different pricing in different hotel categories. Apart from that, maps make a lot more sense. They show you the setting of the hotel – which bars or restaurants are close the hotel. Places of interest or public transportation – everything important for the perfect holiday is shown on a map. It´s easy to find the perfect surrounding for your stay. Plus a map is a lot more convenient than Stay.com’s app, e-book guides or Wikitravel.org.
How booking sites can help you
With booking sites it´s all about filters. They are very convenient to help you select the best hotel for you. You can choose the right area, the right price per night PLUS you can select all the facilities vearned for (Spa, pool, etc.). While Kayak.co.uk is great for ambience and Booking.com lists an amazing number of hotels, Hotels.com is the booking site to really ferret out the perfect stay. You can select hotels by distance, by attractions or by types. Looking for a family friendly hotel, for a dogs- allowed place or a romantic retreat? Just go on selecting and enjoying.
The ratings are also extremely helpful. With 4 points plus (hotel.com) or 8 plus (Booking.com) it is highely likely to be a grat place for you to stay. Don´t rely on the points too much, read the comments, the descriptions and take a look at the pictures. That should give you a good idea of the hotel. We also recommend to look up the hotel in the map as well as in the Guide-book.
One site doesn´t fit all
With booking sites there are a lot of kids on the block and no site is the fairy queen. It´s a very good idea to check out various sites. They are all strong on some point, depending on where you are planning to go. Wotif.com for example is great for Australia, Agoda.com can´t be beaten in Asia und for the UK Laterooms is probably the best.
Booking.com is very convenient for the single traveller while hotel.com helps reliably to find family rooms. For B&b or guesthouses Hostelworld is strongly recommended.
Don´t forget the hotel site…
Using special sites to find the perfect hotel – or at least narrow down your search – helps you save a lot of sweat. You might however consider to do the booking itself right on the hotel´s own website. It usually offers more details about the room as well as about the hotel itself. Maybe you are craving for a pool and the hotel is just now rebulding the whole spa area. The pool is closed right now – and there goes your perfect place.
There is always the filthy lucre. The hotel might offer discounts, the booking sites don´t list. There is also the chance you get a better room or a free upgrade when booking directly.
… and don´t waste your money
Other sites make it clear right from the beginning that they are for the spoiled kids. Relais & Chateaux, Small Luxury Hotels of the World or Leading Hotels of the world are sure to find you the most expensive, high-class hotels. Equally sure, they won´t offer savings or discounts. The same holds true for Design Hotels or Mr. And Mrs Smith. They will list small exclusive hotels but and no – however small – deal.
Rumour has it … how to profit from customer reviews
Customer reviews – Google’s hotel finder or Tripadvisor – can be a great help but you sometimes have to read between the lines. A one-star rating and a flood of nasty comments probably tells more about the author than about the accommodation. Try to sort out unreasonable criticism – “no one ever served us food or drink. Many guests starved right in the restaurant” from recurring complaints (slow waiters, broken lights or an overcrowded hotel beach). With Hotels.com you should look at the 2 to 5 comments to get a fairly reasonable idea about the actual state of the hotel. Good for you – if you don´t mind these points you can find good lodging for an even better price.
The masses make the difference
If some comments might be fake and paid for – hundreds of comments won´t. A place with a whole load of five-star-ratings is very likely to be a good choice. Problem is, a smaller lodging with fewer guests might – unfairly – be rated lower. The filter however allows you to search for certain types of hotels, like business or family hotel.
The price is nice? Check twice
Don´t forget to carefully check the price. What about the parking lot, the WiFi or the breakfast? Are they already included or are you in for some unpleasant surprise? Especially when your e budget is tight , make sure – phone or email – that all necessary expenses are included. Then it´s safe for you to say “Yes, I will”.