If you’re looking to book a hotel for a vacation or a business trip, at least be sure to check guest reviews and know the surrounding area, suggests an expert. Since a comfortable, clean, well-located hotel is essential, making the right choice will be worth the effort and expense.
Vikas Bhola, regional manager for the Indian subcontinent, on the online accommodation booking site Booking.com, shared some tips that can help you narrow down your search for the right accommodation:
* Search for the area you want to stay in, then search for hotels in that area. Looking at the location of the hotel on a map is also helpful. If you plan to use public transport, check the distance between the hotel and the nearest metro station, bus stop or tram station.
Also read the region in which you are staying. Is it full of bars and clubs or is it in a quieter part of town? Evaluate according to your needs.
* There is always an element of the unknown when booking a hotel online. Is the hotel family-run? Is it close to good restaurants? Are the rooms clean? Customer reviews are your best friend in this area.
Read all recent reviews to verify if the hotel or accommodation is as good as it looks in the photos. Also read traveler’s advice such as room recommendations or nearby restaurants.
These reviews are genuine and trustworthy as they are written only by customers who have stayed in and left the property in question.
* Look for “book now, pay later” offers. Booking a flexible room rate is a great option if you are unsure of your exact travel dates, as it allows you to change your reservation without penalty.
This way, you can book the accommodation of your choice before payday and have a guaranteed reservation that you can pay for after your stay is complete.
* Are you traveling in a large group? Consider renting other accommodation such as an apartment or villa, especially if you are not particularly keen on staying at a hotel.
Private accommodation can be cheaper and you have the benefit of having the facilities of a home, such as a kitchen and living room for the group to relax together.
* Loyalty programs are also a great way to get deals on accommodation. Signing up for the rewards program can help you get an additional 10% off select rooms, in addition to great perks like free airport transfers, late check-out, or welcome drinks.