I have stayed in more hotels and hostels than I remember, from super luxurious places to others that I would like to forget, that’s why I have written this article that will help you know how to choose a good hotel to stay.
Things to consider before choosing hot
The first thing you should know is that there is nothing free in life, and most of the cheap things, generally, the cost is transferred to other things. For example, the cheapest hotels will usually be on the outskirts of the city, perhaps they are not as clean or they do not have all the services you need.
You have to be aware of how much you are willing to sacrifice comfort to find a cheap hotel. This does not mean that you have to sacrifice it, but at least be aware that you may have to.
So, if you compare 2 4-star hotels and want to find a good and cheap hotel, you will have to look for or sacrifice one of the following things:
The cheapest hotels will usually be found in the places furthest from the tourist area, in small cities this may not make a difference but in large cities, where getting around represents a round trip of 2 or 3 hours plus another 2 or 3 hours from the return, maybe not so convenient.
Access to public transport. Before you start looking for hotels, you should have an idea of the most efficient way of getting around the city where you will be, for example, the most efficient way of getting around in Japan is by public transport, while in India it is by Taxi or Rickshaw… If the hotel where you plan to stay does not have good access to public transport, then what you save per night in the hotel will automatically be transferred to the cost of transport that you will have to pay to move.
I grew up in a family where cleanliness is vital when I was little my mom would not let me play on the ground or in the street so as not to get dirty, she always walked behind me with a damp handkerchief. My room and the apartments where I have lived are always clean, if you don’t believe me, ask my former roommates. But when things are not within my control, as it would be in a hotel room, the truth is that I am quite relaxed and it does not affect me.
I have also not stayed in places where roaches roam everywhere. However, once a dead cricket dawned on my bed and that was a recognized chain hotel, the point is that in many countries, cleaning is perhaps not one of their strengths. Even in mid-range hotels or executives, there will be things that do not measure up to what you are used to at home, but that does not mean that you cannot tolerate a couple of nights. Did you want to save money, right? There is always a sacrifice.
Here it depends on many factors to consider if you are looking for a room with breakfast included or not. The first is the country where you are going to travel, different countries, different foods, and breakfast, which is perhaps the most contrasting part of all of them. As a Mexican, we are used to a mix of Mexican food (chilaquiles, quesadillas, pozole, etc.,) with American food (scrambled eggs, sausages, cereal, pancakes/hotcakes, etc.) for breakfast. When you arrive in China and you realize that the Western breakfast is not something that you will find in the street or the restaurants and that only some hotels have it, it may be convenient if you do not want to have Chinese food every day during your trip (this is also exhausting if you do not you’re used to).
The other factor is cost. If you have already traveled a little around the country, you will have a small notion of how much food costs, and sometimes hotels abuse tourists’ ignorance by charging a surcharge in rooms that have breakfast included. If you already know how much food costs and what other options you could find for breakfast, you can easily skip it and save a little.
Finally, breakfast is Russian roulette. Sometimes it will be a buffet and others just cereal, sometimes you will get an excellent a la carte breakfast and sometimes you will prefer to skip it because you have no idea what it is. Here it is to your liking if you already paid for it but you don’t like it, there is no point in eating it.
If your hotel is on the outskirts, because you wanted to save yourself a little money, then at least make sure it has a good restaurant for dinner or lunch. There are places where you will travel where the best restaurant in that city is the hotel, in large cities I do not pay much attention to this issue. But you always have to consider it.
Free WIFI. My job requires me to have a constant internet connection and if a hotel plans to charge me half a night’s accommodation for 24 hours of wireless internet, immediately that is a NO. In Europe, it is common for hotels/hostels to charge for the use of the internet. Still, I have always preferred to pay a little more or look for another hotel if that assures me that I will have a constant connection on my computer and cell phone. If you only plan to use the internet to check emails and send greetings, you can skip this point.
There are a few occasions where a cheap hotel translates into a large room. You can have exceptional cleanliness and an incredible breakfast and be in an unbeatable area, but most likely, if it is cheap, it is because your room will be small.
Treatment of staff. There are hotels where they will never tell you, please, thank you or they will tell you where the elevator is. For many people, this plays a decisive role in whether to stay there or not. I do not care.
Broadly speaking, these are the factors to consider when finding a cheap hotel, but hey, then now you will be thinking: “I understood, but how do I know if it has those factors or not?”
Simple, the best way to find a good hotel is to read other travelers’ reviews.
Most of my reservations are made through Booking.com or Hostelworld.com. I always try to book private rooms unless the city where I will be is really expensive and the only option is to share it. But if that’s not the case, then room for me alone.
Start by doing a quick search on Hostelworld, even though they are hostels you can sometimes rent private rooms for a fraction of the cost of a normal hotel.
I review the hotel options that exist and whether or not they have private rooms. The price they will normally give you is for a single person and if you want to have the room for yourself you will only have to pay the part of the other people, that is, if the room is for 2, even if you travel only the price they will give you is one person and you will end up paying 2 people. This note is so that you know how Hostelworld works.
If I find something that seems reasonable, I immediately read the reviews.
If I plan to make my reservation online, then NEVER, but I will NEVER stay in a hotel/hostel if it has no reviews from other travelers. If I plan to search and book a hotel the same day I arrive in the city, I always ask to be shown the room before accepting it.
When you are shown the room, the first thing you should check is the bathroom, hot water, and air conditioning, ask how hot water works and if it is available at all hours. In some places, there is only hot water in the morning, and in others, you will have to turn on the water heater to use it.
Continuing, it is important that you read the reviews because this is the true experience of people who have stayed there. Although sometimes they sound exaggerated, I can honestly tell you that they rarely are.
It is important that after you have already stayed at the hotel, you leave a review of your experience, as well as the review of other travelers who helped you choose the hotel, it is only fair that you also share your opinion so that you can help other people in the future.
Knowing how to choose a good hotel is not simple. I think they are one of the things that will take you more time, it is even longer than finding cheap airline tickets, in fact sometimes it takes up to 2 or 3 hours just to choose the hotel of a single destination, but this is because the hotel where you stay makes all the difference between whether you will have a good vacation or not.