8 Pointers for Choosing a Reputable Hotel Online

1. Be aware of your top priorities.

How can you possibly expect to choose the best hotel for you if you don’t know what you want from one? Prior to looking for a place to stay, quickly note the items you will need for a comfortable night’s sleep. Is breakfast complimentary? Would you feel more at ease on a smaller, more personal property where the employees know your name? Are you prepared to treat yourself to something opulent? Do you like ostentatious interior design, business-like spaces, or vintage decor? To put it simply, consider your needs about location, cost, and the hotel’s essential facilities first. From there, you may go deeper into topics like the property’s past, its environmental policies, and its distinct personality, like its “party vibe” or “romantic atmosphere.”

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2. Recognize the Holy Grail of comforts.

Similarly, there are four (the Holy Grail) facilities that you should confirm a hotel offers before you book, as these are the most frequently mentioned grievances on review platforms such as TripAdvisor, our parent business. These include Wi-Fi, breakfast, parking, and air conditioning. Additionally, you have to constantly inquire about any fees related to these facilities. You don’t want to check into a hotel thinking the Wi-Fi would be free to discover it really costs money (yes, a lot of hotels still charge for this fundamental feature). If you’re still unsure, check our reviews for this information and give the hotel a phone or send them an email.

Here are some further pointers on the Holy Grail of comforts:

On hotel websites, certain amenities, like parking or breakfast, may be listed without a cost. It’s not always free just because of that. Don’t forget to check!

In other nations, air conditioning is not always a given, even if it is in the United States (there are some exceptions). It is typically not given or is only offered in specific rooms if it is not included in the room descriptions.

Hotels will occasionally claim that they have parking, but in reality, the parking is at an off-site third-party garage.

There are times when renting a stay will include breakfast and other times it won’t. Before making a reservation, be sure you have a clear understanding of what you want.

3. Visit the lodging’s website.

Even though our own ratings are quite thorough, occasionally it takes us some time to update them in response to hotel policy changes, new hotel facilities (such restaurants or spas), or renovations. Verifying information on a hotel’s own website is a smart idea. Making a direct phone call to a hotel also doesn’t harm.

4. To find the precise location of a hotel, use a map.

Location, location, location is everything while traveling, and you won’t be satisfied when you get there if you don’t know where your hotel is in relation to where you want to go in the city. It is generally not advisable to believe the hotel’s own description of its location. They frequently state things like, “It’s easy to get to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre from our hotel.” The hotel may be implying that you can “easily” walk to a metro stop 15 minutes away and then “easily” take a 20-minute metro journey to a station near these attractions, contrary to what many visitors expect, which is that they can stroll to the destination. Look up the hotel’s location on a map before making a reservation. Make sure you calculate how long it would take to walk to various sites of interest, restaurants, shops, and attractions. If nothing is accessible by foot, where is the nearest bus or metro stop? Are the streets around the restaurant just home to two establishments? in order to ease your own burden. In addition to providing you with a map showing the hotel’s location, we also provide you with an accurate estimate of how long it will take to go to nearby restaurants, shops, and significant attractions by vehicle or on foot. In addition, we offer evaluations of the neighborhood’s general environment, commercial, residential, and historic city center types, and safety.

5. Find out when the public areas and rooms were last updated.

Too frequently, travelers assume that hotels will provide them a tidy, contemporary stay, but that isn’t always the case. Find out when a hotel’s entire property was updated before making a reservation. Keep in mind that hotel photos might be deceptive. We treat this seriously, which is why we send photographers to accurately document a hotel’s offers. Here, we even display side-by-side comparisons between our pictures and promotional shots.

Expect clean, well-maintained décor if the hotel has upgraded or remodeled its areas in the recent four years. Nobody likes to see crumbling wallpaper or filth in the showers! Things start to seem ancient after four to six years, and if they are older than six years, you might not be happy. When inquiring about the hotel’s updating history, don’t limit your questions to the interior design. Additionally, you should find out when the mattresses were changed to avoid sleeping on a bed that is wobbly and full of springs.

6. Highlight guest reviews that have been online in the past year.

It might be difficult to discern ratings while reading guest reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and other websites. Some hotels may have had an excessive amount of favorable ratings since, five years ago, they were outstanding in terms of management, décor, and facilities. Still, a lot may happen in five years, such as new staff hires, a change in decor, or an ownership transition. As a result, the favorable evaluations from five years ago may conflict with the unfavorable ones from the current. Thus, when conducting research, be sure to concentrate on reading evaluations that are from the previous year. This should give you a decent idea of what to anticipate throughout your visit.

7. Go through TripAdvisor reviews labeled as “Terrible” and “Poor.”

This may be the greatest advice for anyone wishing to reserve a hotel room because it will reveal the dark side of a hotel’s issues. Once you go through the ones from the past year, you’ll begin to see a pattern of problems. Whatever the situation, take note of the pattern and decide whether those significant problems—which may include Wi-Fi connectivity issues, cleaning concerns, or complaints about reservations—would be a concern for you. For example, some visitors may not find it problematic if a hotel does not have air conditioning, particularly if they are visiting London in December when air conditioning is not necessary.

8. Determine who the hotel’s key customers are.

As a hotel critic, one of my responsibilities is to describe the kind of customers that stay at each specific hotel. Different sorts of hotels appeal to different types of tourists, including couples, business travelers, families, single travelers, backpackers, individuals in their 20s, groups of friends, and budget visitors. Prior to making a reservation, ascertain the type of visitor who usually stays there. You may accomplish this by either reading the hotel review or by visiting the hotel’s TripAdvisor website and swiping down to the “Traveler Type” area, which is located directly above the reviews section. You may want to go elsewhere if you’re looking for a peaceful retreat but find that a hotel is more popular with groups of friends or families with young children.

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