Hotel Tips

Your best bet when looking for a hotel is via the internet. Special offers, discounts and group deals abound. However, there are a few checks that you should perform when booking online.

Try to find out as much as possible about the hotel. If the hotel is branded as brand new and offering amazing opening specials, try to ensure that you will not be staying at a building site. The hotel may be finished but what about the surrounding area. I once booked into a hotel in a small town in Australia which was having a great opening special, only to find when I got there that the marina upon which the hotel stood was not yet completed. My hotel was surrounded by noisy earth moving machinery that was operational from early morning until late at night.

Try to find where the hotel is situated. Use google to zoom in on the address. Many hotels with names like Airport Plaza are miles away from the airport.

Booking early will generally get you a good rate. However, last minute specials are also available when hotels have spare rooms for a night that they wish to sell. Negotiate better deals if you are staying for a period of time. To do this you need to phone the hotel directly. In large hotel chains, the desk clerks have authority to offer discounted rates at their discretion, usually based on the hotels occupancy. So when phoning around for a hotel room at the last minute, phone the hotel direct and not the central reservations number where possible.

If you arrive at a hotel in the evening with no booking and they have rooms available, the chances are good that if you ask for a better rate than the walk in rack rate, you will be offered one.

Ask when you check in if there is any chance of you getting a room upgrade for free. The later you check in the higher the probability of them saying yes to your upgrade enquiry.

B&B’s offer good value for travelers. They tend to be a little hit and miss though, so ask around for recommendations where possible. Try and research them thoroughly but be prepared for a few dodgy places

If you are on a tight budget, backpacker lodges and youth hostels are a sound option. Families are catered for as well in these establishments. You will usually share rooms and communal bathrooms, but for slightly higher rates you can get a private room sometimes with a bathroom en-suite. Notice boards in these lodges are good for advice on tours, trips and good deals.


Date posted: 28th June, 2011

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