What To Look For In A Hotel

What To Look For In A Hotel

Searching for what to look for in a hotel?
STOP NOW! And read this first,
it may help you decide for yourself, without further searching.

We are are all different. What you want from a hotel I might not need and I look for in a hotel, you may not give a damn about. My bottom line is I only expect to get what I pay for but I do expect to get what I pay for.

Wilf on Hotels

What I Look ForWhen I look for in a hotel is a bit of a balancing act, I travel within a budget and will cut costs on one thing to have more to spend on something else. I don’t think you have to stay in the same hotel for the full trip and for half the week I go cheap, so I can go better for a few days. it is all about travelling on a budget

What To Look For In A Hotel
“A What I look For” Point of View

The Hotel

It has got to be safe.
I don’t want to walk to the hotel, after a long journey or a late night out and worry that I might be mugged or offered a “Good Time” by a nice lady on the street. I want to feel confident in leaving my belongings in the room while I am out. I am never sure about hotel safes, there is always a pass-code the hotel management can use to open it, should you forget or leave it locked when you leave.

It must be clean.
If you enter a dirty hotel and it’s dirty, the chances are the bedroom will be too. Ask to see the room or just turn around and walk away if you can.

Value for Money
I certainly don’t want to pay more than I need for a hotel room, where basically I am just going to sleep. If it is safe and clean, I only care about all the other things below if they are value for money and the benefit out weights the cost.

I need a convenient location.
Convenient for me does not mean in the city centre, it means easy to get to by walking, public transport or a really cheap taxi ride. I really do not want to pay extra to have a beach or tourist facilities on the door step. I like to see where the locals live.
But Accessibility is an issue to be considered. I have stayed in some hotels where anyone with mobility issues would have found great difficulty accessing the hotel

I need to eat and like to drink
A bar and restaurant are nice things to have in a hotel but I can be very happy with local shops, restaurants and bars, in fact, without these close to hand I would feel like a captive audience for the hotel facilities and would probably be charged extra for the privilege.

I like public spaces
I travel to see new things and meet new people, without public areas, like a garden, a lobby or a bar you do not get the same opportunities for a chat. While I don’t smoke, in a smoking area you often find interesting people, who more than welcome the company and don’t consider it a drag.

The little Extras
I like a published menu, it lets me see what I’m missing or what I want to miss. I like a friendly face on the reception but I like it more if they have some local knowledge to share. I like a luggage store to leave my kit while I enjoy some extra time exploring before a late flight.

Extras that are worth paying for
“Free” parking at the hotel or Airport parking while you are away. A shuttle service to and from the airport to your hotel can save a lot of trouble and extra expense.

I couldn’t give a damn.
I really don’t care if it is “a hotel, with personality”, or rather I don’t want pay extra for faux oak beams and bookcases. I don’t do “quirky”, it normally means the decor is odd or the floors are uneven or both. Charm and the word “Quality” in the title normally are misspellings of the word disaster. I find that Stars don’t mean much in terms of quality, just a sign of the price. Loyalty programs, I always join but never let them override my other preferences.

The Room

Must be Clean and Fresh
I cannot sleep in dirty sheets or a bed with a stained “candle wick” bedspread. I don’t want a room that smells of tobacco and I don’t want to stay in a room with dog hairs everywhere. Apart from that I was happy to sleep in a small room in Spain, with a green lizard on the window ledge.

I need it to be IT friendly
Free Wi-Fi is great but if needs must I would pay for it. But I do need spare of power points to charge my phone and tablet.

Air Conditioning
The only thing almost as bad than trying to sleep in the heat is trying to sleep when it is too cold but at least you can sleep in your clothes if things get too bad. Air conditioning or a window that opens are a necessity.

Light and Noise
I have read reviews complaining about noisy rooms. I have never been in a noisy room where I could not sleep but then I can sleep anywhere, except when it is too light. I need curtains that close and close out the light.

The Little Extras
One little extra I do like is a kettle, with free tea, coffee and little packets of biscuits. An early morning cup of coffee means I don’t have to have breakfast, unless it’s free and a cup of tea and a sandwich can save on a meal if I am in the cost cutting phase of my travel. I love a fridge but I hate mini-bars, I put my own beer in them. I also really appreciate a seating area, it’s much better than reading on the bed.

I couldn’t give a damn
About a television, alarm clock and radio and scatter cushions on the bed. Those fancy coffee machines are never as good as a kettle, they are just not as versatile. I don’t need an iron in the room or laundry facilities, if I were on a business trip, perhaps I would but then someone else would probably be paying.

The Bathroom

Hot Water
Need I say more? I hate luke-warm water but I can put up with it but hate a shower where one second it’s boiling hot and the next freezing cold.

I would prefer a towel and soap
Although like all good “Galactic Hitch-hikers” I have my own travel towel, just in case I fancy a swim. I also have my own travel bottles of shower stuff but I like to keep those for the next hotel, that may not provide toiletries or just provide little sachets of cheap smelling, skin drying, inadequate excuses for customer service. I would “prefer” because am not going to pay extra for expensive smelly things in fancy bottles.

I prefer an En-suite
I am getting to old to walk down a corridor to share a bathroom that is almost certainly occupied. But I will willingly share wash rooms in hostel dormitories because there is always enough capacity and hostels are not hotels.

The Little Extras
There are only two and I would accept either. A power shower that sends little needles of hot water down your back or a full length bath to soak in after a days walking. Unfortunately they always come with a price tag.

I couldn’t give a damn
About a shower cap, shoe cleaners or sewing kits, I have collected enough of them to last a lifetime. I have only ever used a hair-dryer to dry my socks if I washed them and they didn’t quite dry over night. As for trouser presses, I follow Reacher’s Rules if I ever need to press my trousers and put them under the mattress.

I Like To Know

What other people think about the hotel
I like millions use tripadvisor to check out hotels before I click the Book Now Button. I don’t believe every reviewer and know we all have different expectations but too many bad reviews is definitely a bad sign.

I am not yet into “Social Media”, although I might one day join in but there seems to be a new source of information, I am not using. See Hotel Chatter for more information.

Hotel booking sites show what they want you to see.

Oyster Fakeouts What to look for in a hotelOyster Fakeout photos is an informative and entertaining site check it out.

Location Location and Google Maps
I like to use Google Maps and the Street view before I book a hotel.

How to get there
I check out the public transport options with Rome2Rio before I book a hotel or buy holiday transfers.

I Don’t Want to Pay For

I would not pay for these extras but you might want to, so there is no comment, just a list

  • Boutique hotels
  • Central Locations
  • Historical Settings
  • Turn Down Service
  • Bathrobe
  • Slippers
  • Newspaper
  • Mini-bar
  • Swimming pool
  • Fitness Centre
  • Quick and Easy Check Out
  • Concierge
  • Porters

I hope I have got you to think about what you want from a hotel, so now you can stop searching for “what to look for in a hotel”, and make your own list of key words and start searching for the hotel you want.

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