How To Choose A Hotel – Expert Tips
Whether you’re travelling for business or pleasure in Queensland, you are certainly spoilt for choice with the myriad of varied and naturally beautiful locations to visit. However, choosing the perfect hotel can be a daunting task, particularly because of the range and variety of options on offer. From pricing and location to a hotel’s facilities and features, there are a number of important things you need to consider. Here are our top tips on how to choose a hotel.
Consider your budget
Getting the best price on your hotel accommodation can be a tricky business, particularly with the popularity of online booking sites these days. However, choosing a hotel online that’s within your budget is simply a matter of searching for the location and features you’re after and then comparing the prices between your preferred options.
You can also go to an individual property’s website for pricing, however the parity clauses some hotels have with online booking sites means they offer them the most competitive rates. This results in many hotels not being able to actually offer the best prices on their own websites. The best way to bypass this issue? Once you’ve chosen a hotel, call them and discuss pricing with them directly. Cancellations, off-peak periods and even weather can cause prices to drop, and the people who will know this first? Hotel staff of course. They will also have better idea of the hotel’s capacity on any given day, and will be able to check for last-minute availabilities for you. This also gives you a chance to garner more information, including asking important questions that may convince you that you’re choosing the right hotel, including about room options, facilities and dining and transport recommendations.
Determine its location
In terms of choosing the perfect hotel for your needs, you should also consider the specifics of its location. If you are travelling for business, it’s worth factoring in things like Wi-Fi connection and nearby transport services, and if you’re planning a holiday getaway, the possibilities are probably endless in terms of finding things to amuse both yourself and your family! Whether it’s local restaurants you’d like to try, art galleries worth visiting, local markets to peruse, outdoor pursuits to take on, or iconic attractions to tick off the bucket list, are they easily accessible from your hotel?
The easiest way to determine your hotel’s suitability in terms of location, is to Google-map-it. A basic map will give you an idea of an area’s topographical features (like beaches and national parks), but you can also narrow down your search with the ‘Explore’ option to include local attractions, restaurants and other points of interest. And your options will also include their respective distances from your initial search destination (ie. your hotel!)
Explore the facilities
Everyone’s needs are different when it comes to the number and type of facilities they prefer when it comes to choosing a hotel. A comfy bed, air conditioning and decent TV and Wi-Fi services are all probably imperative, but many hotels also offer pay TV services and a variety of on-site leisure facilities including swimming pools, spas, gyms and entertainment areas.
When it comes to dining options, many hotels offer room service, and some even have their own on-site restaurants where you pop in for a cake-and-coffee, grab a quick bite for lunch or indulge in a delicious three-course meal prepared by local chefs.
Prefer to enjoy self-prepared meals in the comfort and privacy of your own room? Opt for a hotel that offers rooms with well-functioning kitchenettes that include the standard must-haves like cooktops, ovens and basic kitchen tools.
One of the most valuable tools you can use in terms of choosing the right hotel are customer reviews, however it can be difficult knowing which ones to trust. Many sites are consistently criticised for what’s called ‘astroturfing’ whereby fake reviewers work on behalf of companies to leave positive reviews. However they are still worth researching to garner other people’s thoughts and recommendations.
Here are few tips when using these sites:
- Check different sources in terms of reviews about the same hotel.
- Look for tell-tale signs of fakery, like a sudden increase in positive reviews over a short timeframe that don’t match earlier reviews.
- Beware of reviews that appear to be submitted by different people but are similar in tone and style.
- Check the public profile of the reviewer to see what other reviews they've posted – are they balanced and consistent?
When reading reviews, you should generally look for a hotel with a rating of eight and above and hotels that have a range of reviews. If you have a hotel in mind, read both the positive and negative reviews. The negative ones will obviously highlight issues, but positive reviews can also provide specific information about the hotel’s location, facilities and other benefits like its fantastic customer service.
Decide if you like the ‘vibe’
When choosing the perfect hotel, it’s ambiance and vibe are certainly influences in your decision making process, however of course these can be very subjective. Some people prefer to stay with a big hotel chain, others prefer smaller, more intimate establishments. External factors like lighting, décor and fit-out can all play a part, however a hotel’s ambiance can most accurately be described as the feeling that guests experience while they are there. Hotels should create a warm and inviting mood, enhance the character of the property, and ultimately allow guests to relax, just as they would in the comfort of their own homes. And it can be very valuable – if a hotel creates the right vibe from the get-go, you’ll be more likely to return to them in the future. Which is a win-win for both you and your hotel!
After a hotel on Queensland’s beautiful central coast? Contact the friendly team at Kacy’s on (07) 4130 1100 for more information.