A hotel can make or break a vacation. It is therefore very important to find a good hotel for your vacation or business strip. This is true regardless of where you are going. Equally true is that it is hard to choose a good hotel at a destination where you do not already have a favorite hotel. The rating of the hotel does unfortunately often not say much as the rating testifies more to the amenities the hotel offer than the actual standard of the hotel and the service the hotel offered. I have lived in 3-star hotels that have offered rooms, facilities and service with a much higher standard than some 5 stars hotels did.
Luckily finding a good hotel has become more easy with the development and expansion of the internet. You now have a world of information available about different hotels and what people think about them. By reading reviews of the hotels and looking at the images you can usually get a rather good idea about the standard of a hotel. It is, however, important to keep a skeptic mind and not just believe everything you read. Below you can find a list of different thing to think about when looking for a suitable hotel online.
Where do you want to live
Make sure you know exactly what you want to find. Know how central you want the hotel to be located. How far from certain attractions you want to be and in which type of hotel you want to live. This will help you to quickly narrow down the search a lot and make sure you do not spend time looking at and reviewing hotels that wouldn’t fit your needs anyway.
Are there any other services that you want the hotel to feature. Do you want a hotel with a good restaurant or an on-site casino then you should limit your searches to only casinos that offer these features. There is no point in browsing through a lot of hotels that do not offer a casino if you want to live in a hotel that features a casino. Hotel websites make it very easy to filter your results so that you only see the hotels that feature your desired features. Make sure that you use this feature.
It might not be possible to find a hotel that offers everything you want to find. But you should start with a narrow search and then widen it as needed. If you are looking for a hotel with a casino in Las Vegas then you might find what you are looking for with a very narrow search. If you are looking for a hotel with a casino in rural Ohio then it might be impossible to do so, and you have to try a much broader search.
Use several sites
Always use more than one site to find information about the hotel in question. Look at both the hotel’s own website and a number of review sites like Tripadvisor and hotels.com. It is often good to look at some smaller sites as theses are less likely to contained reviews written by marketing people for the hotel.
Dont trust reviews
Be skeptical about the reviews. Understand that even if most reviews are honest there is always a risk of bought or otherwise fake reviews, this risk is much greater when dealing with smaller hotels. If a lot of reviews have very similar content that is a common sign of faked reviews. If you have one positive review contradicting the bad review underneath several times it is also likely that you have fake reviews on your hand.
Some bad reviews are ok
You should also be aware that no hotel will have only positive reviews. One or two negative reviews among a number of good ones should not deter you but if more than 20% or so of the reviews are bad you might want to start asking why.
Look for mentions of the things you think are important in the reviews as they are the things that are more likely to make or break the hotel for you.
Consider more than the price
Don’t look at the price too much. While it is good to find a cheap hotel it is always better to pay USD 10 extra and stay at a hotel you will enjoy than living in a hotel you do not like as much and that might diminish the value of your entire vacation.