How to Find the Perfect Hotel for Your Vacation

hotels

Hotels come in all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately, you cannot always tell whether or not a hotel is worth the price you will pay for your stay. Even within a chain, some locations may be clean and comfortable while others are dirty and less than desirable. So how do you choose the perfect hotel for your vacation? Here are the top things to look for when choosing a hotel:

Read online reviews, looking for a fairly high customer rating.

In many cases, you will be able to find online the hotels available at your destination. No hotel is going to post bad reviews on their own websites, but third party review sites often have customer reviews available. Look for high ratings (usually in the form of stars), but at the same time, remember to take this advice with a grain of salt. There is nothing stopping an employee from the hotel from logging online and posting a good review. At the same time, people with good travel experiences are usually not as vocal as people with bad travel experiences. So, although customer reviews can give you some insight, they should not be your only information about a hotel.

Look for a hotel with transportation options.

When you are traveling to a city far away from home, you will probably get there via airplane. That means that you will either be relying on public transportation or a rental car to get from place to place once you arrive in that city. If you can find a hotel that offers transportation to certain areas, that is a major benefit. Many hotels near airports, for example, offer park and fly programs. Some hotels also offer shuttle bus options to local tourist destinations, and all-inclusive resorts may even have day trips available where you can ride a bus to multiple locations all day. Check into these things for each hotel you consider when planning your vacation.

Ask what kind of technological amenities are available.

Not only is it important that your hotel has amenities like vending and ice machines, but it is also important to consider the technological amenities you may need as well, especially if you are traveling for business reasons. Today, many hotels offer wireless Internet connections. Some also offer Internet cafes or self-service business centers for printing, faxing and copying on the go. Beyond the technological aspects, you should also ask if the hotel offers free laundry services, pool access, parking, room service, and so forth.

Look for a room that meets your sleeping, bathing and eating needs.

The most important things you will be doing in your room are sleeping, bathing, and (possibly) eating. So, you want to make sure that the hotel you choose can accommodate you and your travel companions. For example, some hotels only offer king-sized beds in single rooms. If you are traveling with four people, you might have to sleep in two smaller beds if you choose certain hotels. Other hotels may only offer a shower stall and not a full bathtub, which may or may not suit your preferences. Also, do not assume that your hotel has a mini-fridge, coffee pot, or microwave in the room. This is not always the case.

Look for an environmentally friendly option.

Just because you are traveling does not mean that you cannot do something great for the environment. Hotels around the world are beginning to change their practices in order to go green. For example, some will only wash your towels if you leave them on the floor – if you leave the towels hanging on the rack, they will assume that you will reuse them the next night, saving water and energy on laundry services. You can also find hotels that are switching to organic cleaners, eco-friendly pool maintenance materials, and green electricity. If you look, you may be surprised at how green some hotels have become.

Make sure the hotel’s rules suit your needs.

Before booking a room, make sure that your hotel can accommodate you and your travelers. For example, some hotels have a strict policy that prohibits any pets. Others limit the number of pets you can have or limit the weight of the pets. Some are not child-friendly, and some, depending on where you are traveling, even have curfews. Although it is usually not an issue, some resorts are specifically for couples, with no children allowed, senior citizens, or singles. Smoking is another issue – some hotels allow it only in certain rooms. The bottom line is that you need to read the hotel rules before you book your stay, since reservations are frequently non-refundable.

Lastly, when booking a hotel room, simply make sure that you check and double-check all of the options in your area. If possible, talk to people who have traveled to there in the past, and always feel free to ask the reservations desk a number of questions before booking your stay.