Whether you are looking for a clean but budget room to simply sleep in, a mid-range place in a central location, or a luxury resort-style space to chill out in, choosing the best hotel is the key to having a fantastic vacation. Unfortunately, doing that can involve a lot of time, research and effort, and even then you may not end up with the best deal out there. Skip that level of trauma by using this simple guide to sourcing a handful of hotels you will be happy to choose between, and not have any regrets about choosing.
Decide on your must-haves
Narrow your search by location (country, then the ocean, inland, city, rural type parameters). Are you looking for something brand name/corporate, quirky, boutique, bare-bones? Do you really want to be close to something like the airport or the main sights of an area? Should the vibe be family, romantic, business or party orientated?
Educate yourself on what should be standard
These days most hotels offer once optional extras like breakfast and air-conditioning as part of the room fee, and non-city centre places generally offer free parking too, so don’t be too swayed if these things are used as key promotional points.
Use photographs as a guide only
We all know that professional photographs are exactly that – they are excellent at making their subject look amazing rather than simply pleasant, and that’s what can make them misleading. Sites which allow regular customers to add their own, amateur pictures are more reliable.
Hop over to a decent comparison site
There are plenty of these around, but for speed go to one that compares the best results from most trustworthy deals found by such sites. The results will feature price comparisons for rooms under different offers, helping you to find the best hotels according to your particular set of needs.
Check the website of recommended hotels
Comparison sites can only include a certain amount of information about a hotel, so looking directly at a hotel’s website is a good way to get extra bits of information. That way you can look in more detail at the places they offer to eat and drink (with full menus an opening hours), get the skinny on extras like spa and fitness facilities – perhaps even make a reservation, and catch any news on upcoming events like renovations or large events which might influence your final decision.
Check out the location of all hotels on your shortlist
What matters here decides on your personal tastes and needs, so for example, on a business trip a seriously corporate location may well be worth sacrificing a good selection of local restaurants for the convenience of getting to daytime meetings, but a family on a short break may really want to be within a (realistic) walking distance to the beach. This is something you should really check for yourself as website information can be vague – think of those ads boasting a place is say ten minutes from the airport – at 3 am when the roads are deserted!