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.
Use several sites
Always use multiple sites to find information about the hotel in question. Look at both the hotel’s own website and several review sites like Tripadvisor and hotels.com. It is often good to look at some smaller sites as these are less likely to contain reviews written by marketing people for the hotel.
Dont trust reviews
Be sceptical 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 fake 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 several 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.