How To Choose a Good Hotel

I am horribly, horribly fussy about my hotels. I don’t like to stay overnight anywhere, really, so it’s a *big deal* when I have to choose a place for the night. Thankfully, all my experiences have been very good, due in part to my careful researching and planning. Here are some tips for selecting a good hotel:
1. Review the website. This sounds pretty obvious but not all hotel websites are alike. Some of the cheap ones merely place images and fake reviews. Try making a reservation online to see if the reservation box works. If you get a “Call Now to Place Your Reservation!” alert, tread carefully. I only do business with hotels that maintain their websites. It just seems more professional, and, to me, a professional hotel website means that the hotel is probably more professional with their customers.
2. Do some research. I always check out and As much as I appreciate the reviews at TripAdvisor, I do take some with a grain of salt. The key is finding the helpful reviews. There will always be a disgruntled customer, always. I don’t dismiss a hotel because someone had a bad experience with the front desk or the furnace next door is too noisy. But I do pay attention to statements regarding the cleanliness and age of the hotel, billing discrepancies, and any problems with the general manager. I also check out the bed bug registry because the last thing I want is to carry creepy souvenirs home.
3. Do a general Internet search for the hotel name. Sometimes I am able to glean additional information about the hotel when I search the web. Bloggers (like me) often like to review the places they go and they usually publish helpful photos. These photos give me opportunities to see the premises, the room, and get an idea of what I’m getting.
4. Check the hotel’s location. Type the address into Google Maps to get a satellite view of the hotel and the surrounding neighborhood. Your hotel may be as good as gold but if the place is in the middle of industrial ruins or in a bad neighborhood, your experience will be a little less than joyful.
5. Look for hotels out of the metropolitan areas. I am willing to travel a little further from my destination if I am able to get a better hotel or a hotel with better prices. I try to avoid urban hotels (if possible) and instead select a hotel or bed&breakfast that is off the beaten path. These tend to be less expensive, much cleaner and more enjoyable.

5. Purchase your reservation through an online middleman, a.k.a. a hotel price comparison company. Thanks to middlemen, you can save money by purchasing your reservations through them. I have reviewed a LOT of hotel price comparison websites and have purchased my reservations through a few of them. I have never had any problems and have saved quite a wad of cash, too! I’ve been very impressed with the amount of money I save. I once did an experiment making a reservation for a New York hotel through the hotel’s website and then through a price comparison website. The difference in cost was $75! So I always shop around and use a middleman company to make my reservations. I also call the hotel directly after 24 hours to ensure the reservation went through.
Now obviously, your mileage may vary depending on your vacation details, but I’ve always had good success by following these suggestions. Always do a little comparison shopping and be sure to check out online reviews! Have a wonderful trip!

About the Author

I've been traveling throughout New York State since I got the travel bug after touring the Herkimer Home on a school field trip as a youngster. We've been blogging about our travels since 2006 and have visited over half of New York's 62 counties so far.

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