Considering that you could probably spend more than 12 hours a day in your hotel, it makes sense to invest a little time before you depart, to make sure that you choose the right one for the trip. Regardless of your budget, a little research goes a long way when selecting your hotel. Here are some quick tips to choosing your right one.
What’s Your Agenda?
Depending on the agenda of your trip, it is always a good idea to stay near the places that you are going to visit often. Whether it is a shopping, business or sightseeing trip, check out their location on Google Maps, and be sure to choose a hotel within that vicinity. The nearer the better. Imagine being able to just take a short stroll to your favorite shopping complex or night spot on a daily basis. As a general rule, try to stay within 2km of the places you are going to visit. Excessive traveling is not only time consuming, but can also be tiring and costly.
If you can’t find a place to stay near the places you are going to visit, the next best bet is to stay near a transport hub, such as a train station or bus stop. Taking the local city train is almost always the best way to get around town. Another good bet is to stay within walking distance of a large shopping mall. That way you can just walk to it whenever you feel like grabbing a quick bite or buy something from the pharmacy or supermarket. Shopping malls usually have good access to public transport.
Check the Reviews
After you have narrowed down your hotel choices, the next thing to do is check the reviews for those hotels. To date, the single best website for you to do so would be on Tripadvisor.com. Go through the ratings and make sure the hotel that you select have at least 3 (over 5) stars. Most importantly, you should take a look of the photos taken by real travelers (not the professional ones) of the hotel. Take a look and see if it meets your expectations. Hotel booking websites such as Agoda and Booking.com also have lots of real customer reviews that you can refer to. Be sure to only select a hotel with good reviews.
Believe it or not, the prices of hotels found on their official websites and hotel booking websites can vary greatly, as much as up to USD25 per night, if not more. Because of that, you really want to make sure that you are getting the best prices. For starters you can check the hotel’s official website for their prices. After you do that, you can compare it with the prices found on hotel booking websites like Booking.com and Agoda. Tripadvisor.com has a new feature where you only need to enter the date and it will list out all the prices found on various booking websites. Generally, booking websites such as Agoda often offer rock bottom prices. You can also collect and redeem points in hotel booking websites such as these. With that said, you should not neglect checking the hotel’s official website too. The hotels sometimes have promotions, such as free nights or early bird discounts that can end up being cheaper than the prices found on hotel booking websites.