7 Things You Need to Know When Booking a Hotel Room

by Ashutosh Ravikrishnan

Breakfast In Hotel

After finding your dream holiday location, the next thing you will need to settle is your accommodation. Choosing the right accommodation is vital to having a good time – pick a crappy hotel and you might ruin your trip even before you depart.

Follow our seven hotel booking tips to pick a suitable hotel that fits your needs, budget and style perfectly:

1. Is it Value For Money?

Perhaps the most important factor when you’re picking a hotel – is it worth the money you’re paying? Some hotels offer great services and amenities for a considerably low price; think spacious rooms, friendly service, flexible checkout times.

Most hotels have great promotions, especially around festive and holiday periods, so be sure to research different hotels thoroughly before settling on one.

Websites like AccorHotels provide great value-for-money promotions on early bookings: book a hotel at least 30 days in advance and enjoy discounts of up to 30 per cent at big brand hotels such as Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis. They also apply to most destinations, with rooms in London starting from $42 and $313 for rooms in New York City.

2. Is the Location Good?

When visiting a city, you’d probably want to stay in the central district, so that most attractions are within a walking distance. Be sure to check if your hotel is accessible to local public transport options, such as train stations and bus stops, so that you can travel around in ease (and also save money on taxis).

Especially if you’re travelling in Northern Europe, even taking public transport (bus or tram) could be costly, so it would be wise to choose a hotel chain like Radisson where all their hotels are located near major train stations.

3. Is Internet Access Free?

Perhaps the most important factor in recent years: does the hotel offer guests complimentary Wi-Fi access or does it require them to pay (often exorbitant prices) for a few hours of access? Honestly, I don’t understand why some hotels (usually 5-star) are still charging guests for accessing internet when they could have factored in the cost into the room rate.

In this sense, Holiday Inn Express Hotels do a pretty good job. They offer Free Internet, Hot Breakfast and Choice of Pillows to ensure their guests have a good stay with them.

Free Wi-Fi In Hotel

4. Is Breakfast Complimentary?

Start your day right with a proper breakfast at your hotel. Consider your hotel’s meal choices – do they offer only a buffet, or do they offer a more personalised, flexbile breakfast menu?

Some hotels like the Hilton offer bed and breakfast packages, which are included in the room rate. Another hotel chain like Radisson hotels offer Bed & Breakfast Package For 4 where guests are treated to a fresh array of breakfast options, including various cereals, fresh fruit, local delicacies and most importantly, excellent coffee.

Comfortable Hotel Bed

5. Is the Room Clean with Shower Facilities?

A good hotel should have clean, comfortable bedding and if possible, a choice of soft and hard pillows to choose from. After a long day of trekking and shopping, you want to be pampered in the comfort of your hotel room and have an energizing shower, so research the comfort levels of the rooms. Fluffy soft cotton towels, slippers and premium toiletries are generally expected from a 5-star hotel.

6. Is it Family-Friendly?

Young families often require hotels with family-friendly amenities and services. Does the hotel provide a cot for your young one or equip with family rooms? Is the hotel swimming pool family-friendly, or is it meant strictly for swimmers? Modern, boutique hotels might not be ‘baby-proof’, with sharp edged furniture that can easily hurt children, so preferably go for a hotel designed especially for families.

What about food options – do they have a special breakfast menu for young guests? Better still, some hotels offer Kids Stay & Eat Free Package
– kids below age 13 eat free in any on-site restaurant while kids 19 and under stay for free when sharing room with their parents.

7. Is Late Checkout (with no charge) Allowed?

What annoys me the most about hotels is their inflexibility in checkout times. Many require guests to check out strictly at noon, which is a pain to guests who have departing flights later at night. They often have to lug their luggage around with them or worse still, pass time in the hotel’s lobby while waiting for their transfer to the airport.

Some, however, like the InterContinental Hotels pride themselves on their flexibility and offer a late checkout option of 6pm. Do make appropriate enquiries before booking your room.

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