When we are planning our trip, one of the biggest decisions that we have to make concerns the hotel we are going to stay in. Whether the journey we are going to make takes us just across the country or across the wide ocean, there are so many factors that we need to consider with regards our accommodations alone.
The hotel has to be comfortable enough so we are assured of a good night’s rest and some of the comforts of home even when we are far away from home. It also has to be accessible so we do not have to waste time traveling to and from the hotel just to get to the places we need to go to. Most of all, the rates of the hotel we have in mind should fit our budget and leave enough room for other expenses that we may have during our trip.
Unless we have stayed at a particular hotel before, it is impossible to know what kind of facilities that a hotel or whatever kind of place that we are thinking of staying in has. We would also have no way of determining the quality of these facilities unless we have been to the establishment before.
Picture to the left shows Fairmont Chateau hotel at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
How can we choose the perfect hotel to stay in while we are planning our trip if we have not been there before? The answer is simple. We go to the Internet and surf for hotel websites. A hotel that is serious about its business is likely to have a website.
We can actually see just how good a hotel is by just looking at its website. A hotel that invests in a website that is informative, updated and at the same time pleasing to the eye is bound to have high-quality facilities and high standards of service. If the site contains broken links and has not been made up-to-date for more than a year, we can forget about making reservations at that hotel.
When visiting the website of the hotel, take a good look at the pages describing the rooms of the hotel. Make sure that the look of the rooms featured, the size of the bed, and the look of the bed itself appeals to you. Also, if the website has pictures of kids posted on it, it is more than likely that the hotel itself will be full of kids. Having kids around the hotel’s premises is okay in some cases, especially when traveling with kids ourselves. But if peace and quiet is highly desired, best go for a hotel that does not have pictures of kids on its website.
Another thing you have to pay close attention to is the text of the website itself, particularly on the amenities and the location of the hotel. For example, many hotels bandy the phrase ‘breakfast included’ among the amenities they offer. It must be made certain whether this amenity can be ordered via room service or if it is necessary to come down to have it. It is also best to ask what exactly is this the kind of breakfast served and if choices are available.
Yet another fine print that you need to read closely when browsing the hotel’s website is the location. The actual location and the accessibility of the hotel are often hinted at subtly or beautifully embellished. For instance, the phrase ‘a short walk to the beach’ may indicate a distance that is not so short at all. On the other hand, hotels that proudly say that they have ‘convenient airport location’ may only be good for stopovers, not for long stays.
Most importantly, we should take the time to read reviews on the hotels we are considering staying in during the trip. There are many travel websites where these reviews can be found. Or better yet, we should ask around among our friends and relatives about the hotels we are considering for the journey. Their feedback may prove invaluable.