There’s much to love about travelling, but it’s not always going to go right to plan! There are plenty of variables that play a role in determining whether your trip is a success or failure, including where you stay. Choose the right hotel, and you’ll be on your way to having a comfortable, relaxing trip away from home. Choose the wrong hotel, and you’ll find that your enjoyment of your trip is compromised. But what are the signs that you’ve picked the right place?
A Good Website
One of the main problems with booking a hotel is that while it may once have been great, it has now fallen behind the times. So it’s recommended to look for signs that there’s still life in the hotel, that it is actively managed and looked after. If a hotel is taking the time to ensure that it’s social media pages and website is on point, then it’s likely they will have made an effort with the quality of their accommodations. It’s when a hotel has all but abandoned their pages that alarm bells should begin to ring; staying on top of these things is the first sign that they still care about their appearance and reputation.
I would never book a hotel without looking at reviews! If the hotel you’ve chosen has outstanding reviews, then you can be reasonably sure that you’ll have selected a great place. Of course, all hotels have bad reviews, but it’s important to remember that even they don’t have to suggest you’ve picked a dud. It’s always worthwhile looking beyond the rating, and reading why they’ve left a negative review. You might just find that they decided to give a 1 star review for ridiculous reasons that are out of sync with your own values. I once read a 1 star review for an amazing place that was put there because they were upset about the fish in the sea! Some peoeple…
No Surprise Charges
At their best, hotels function as a temporary home for travellers. When you’re at home, you want to feel safe, secure, and well taken care of. You don’t want to be on your guard or have doubts about the motivations and actions of the people around you. If you’ve booked a hotel at one rate, but then find that you’re receiving surprising additional charges after the fact, then it’d be reasonable to have second thoughts about the place you’ve selected. This will show that they’re trying to squeeze as much money as possible out of their guests, which could suggest that they’d be happy to save money on other areas of their hotel too.
A Warm Welcome
You can tell a lot about how you’re greeted when you arrive somewhere. If it’s warm and happy, then you can be reasonably sure that the rest of the trip is going to go well. The best welcome we ever got was at Viking Beach Resort in Thailand. We arrived by long boat and all the staff had lined up to wait for us, taking our bags and presenting us with cold drinks – it was utterly delightly. If your welcome is cold or non-existent, then you would rightly raise eyebrows. However, that’s not to say that your stay would be less than enjoyable just because they didn’t roll out the red carpet and throw confetti as you arrive; but it would surely be a sign if they did!
Touches of Quality
Surface aesthetics are fine, but the real magic lies in those little touches of quality that can really enhance a stay. If your hotel has gone to the effort to ensure that the small details are noted, it can make such a difference. So what do these look like? It could be that they’ve added fresh flowers or bottles of water in the fridge, or perhaps they’ve taken the time to buy hotel quality tablecloths from Richard Haworth, which help to elevate the overall appearance of their dining room. For us, again in Thailand, we were given a little foot spa before entering our cabin, to ensure no sand got inside! Once you arrive, be on the lookout for these small details which give your hotel a luxury feel.
Smooth Check In
A great hotel knows that guests don’t want to mess around when they arrive; they just want to get checked in and begin enjoying their trip. A hotel that understands this will ensure that the check-in process is as smooth as possible, with minimal complications. Of course, sometimes technical systems have problems but by and large, the process of arriving at your hotel and entering your room should be fluid. Some hotels even have self-check-in desks now, where you can get your key and all the necessary information without any queuing or waiting around whatsoever.
Handling Issues and Problems
The test of a hotel – indeed, any business – isn’t how they cope when everything’s going well. It’s what they do when there are problems that really count. A great hotel will go above and beyond to ensure that its guests are happy and satisfied during their stay. If you’ve got an issue and they’re blowing you off, then they’re not all that concerned with your happiness and comfort.
Read more about my travel adventures and tips here. Where was the best place you’ve ever stayed? Let me know x