Did you ever try to book a hotel without reading reviews about it? We all need a place to stay and relax when we are away from our home.
As a human being, there are some basic needs that we need, and shelter is among those needs. And especially when you are traveling or just looking for a place to stay when you are away from home.
Whether this is a business trip or a vacation with the family, A comfortable hotel room and quality service is what we are always looking to have.
There are some personal requirements and needs that a hotel should meet and almost all the of us today have a quick way to handle this task and can make a difference.
We perform a simple task which is researching on our phone, computer or a laptop on the world wide web (google, yahoo, bing, msn, ask or any preferred search engine) for some criteria that we have in mind.
With this tools, we can easily determine some points and views of a lot of people about a certain hotel and Personally, I love to book a hotel with a fast and reliable internet connection and with a safe location then others will follow. But I am not contented with my own answer so I reached out to 22 travel experts and asked them the following question:
Here are the following necessary criteria according to our experts:
Gary Arndt of Everything-Everywhere
Internet Speed. I will often check speeds before I book a room.
Loyalty program. If a hotel is part of a loyalty program that I belong to, that is a plus.
Location. I don’t want something which is too far from where I want to be.
Price. I’m pretty frugal when it comes to hotels. I’d rather spend 2 nights at $100/night than 1 night at $200.
Windows that open. I don’t like the super high rise hotels. I like hotels where I can open a window and not have to turn on the air conditioning.
Shannon O’Donnell of A Little Adrift
As a solo traveler, the location is important to me. So my ver first factor in narrowing down accommodation is to look at the locationâ€”I prefer staying somewhere central so I can easily visit the main sites, restaurants, etc.
From there it’s a combination factor of price and reviews. I’ve usually already picked hotels in my price range, so I narrow down options based on feedback from other travelers. I will look for comments about the quality of the property, if the free breakfast is actually good (or if it’s just white bread and boxed juice). Reviewers are the best way to understand the vibe of your stay.
Fast and free wifi is an absolutely must, so this will tip the scales for me in terms of which property I book, if one has a better connection (again, based on the reviews). On-property cafes and such are also nice because as a solo traveler sometimes if it’s too late or too early to walk the streets alone, I like knowing there’s a communal space where I can write and snack.
If all things are generally equal, then I will factor price in next, picking the property with the better ratio of value for location and amenities.
Noise level. I am a light sleeper, so I always search the reviews for an indication of if the rooms are sound proof, and I pick locations that are central (#1), but then a bit tucked away so that it’s not as loud!
JB Macatulad of Will Fly For Food
Price – The price has to be within our range.
Location – It needs to be centrally located near public transportation and in a safe area.
Cleanliness/Amenities – it needs to be clean with its own private bathroom and good wifi connection. A TV, refrigerator, and free breakfast are big pluses, but not musts.
Positivity of Reviews – It matters a lot what other travelers say so a highly rated hotel/B&B is always a major plus. We never book rooms at hotels/B&Bs with overwhelmingly negative or little to no reviews.
Non-strict Cancellation Policy – You never know what can happen before a trip, so accommodations that allow us to cancel without penalty a week or so before a scheduled booking is preferred. I’m always hesitant to book a room at a hotel/B&B with a strict no cancellation policy.
David Ways of The Longest Way Home
Look at the official hotel website and compare the room photographs to the booking site – you’ll get a better idea
Don’t spend hours reading the reviews. Compare a couple of review sites just to make sure they are saying similar things.
If flying into a new big city consider a hotel pick up service, while it might be more expensive for a first visit it can really take off some stress
Look at the payment options of the hotel and read the small print. Are you paying everything upfront or just a deposit? Some hotels don’t require any payment until you arrive.
If anything seems strange about a hotel based on a booking site or website then send them an email. Their “human” response will tell you a lot about how they treat their customers in person too!
John Bardos of Jetset Citizen
Location: Make sure the hotel is located where you want to be. A bad location makes for a bad travel experience.
Reviews: While you can’t always trust online reviews they are a good starting point.
Breakfast: Is breakfast included and is it good? Starting your day with a good breakfast saves you a lot of time and hassles. I love to read the local newspaper and have a few cups of coffee before exploring a new location.
Airport Shuttle: It can save a lot of time and money to have the shuttle pick you up and take you back to the airport.
Special Offers: I love it when a hotel offers free drinks on arrival or other benefits. I often pay a premium for a transit hotel that has a fantastic evening buffet in a exclusive lounge. That is worth a lot to me.
Sabrina of Just One Way Ticket
Reviews. If the hotel is zero reviews or even worse – terrible reviews – I won’t book it.
Free WiFi is important. I need to be able to get things done.
Location (preferable city center or walkable to nearby public transport)
Facilities such as pool and gym, especially if I stay longer than just 1 night.
Free breakfast is always a bonus.
Laura Hall of Kid and Coe
Family friendliness. Can I fit my whole family (2 adults, 2 young children) into one hotel room? Will they be disturbed by loud noise at night? Is there somewhere for them to run and play? All critical for me
What is the breakfast like, and is it included? A great hotel breakfast is on my list of favourite things ever.
Location. Ideally somewhere that I don’t need to hire a car or if I do, it has parking. I usually book a hotel for a city center
Facilities. I prioritize anywhere that has a swimming pool and/or a spa. It’s also great if there’s either gym access or entry to a local health club.
Charli Moore of Wanderlusters
Location, I always check the proximity to the sights I want to explore during my stay.
Wifi – I can’t live without it! Especially if I am in a country where data roaming is expensive
Reviews – checking reviews helps me to choose between hotels that have similar facilities and room rates
Price – although I always budget, I try and look for value for money instead of just a cheap nightly rate.
Transport connections – I tend to opt for hotels close to public transport connections to save spending money of taxis.
Rich Brown of Rollingfox
Location (obviously) – I like to be close enough to where I plan to spend most of my time but try to avoid tourist trap locations.
Price – This is more about value than the actual price, for me the sweet spot is usually in the 3-4 star hotels. I’d get a good idea of the going rates by comparing online first.
En-suite – It’s important I have a private modern and clean bathroom/shower.
Wi-Fi – Restrictions on wifi is a red flag for me, I need fast and reliable internet access.
Friendly Staff – You can usually figure this out by reading reviews before booking. If I go somewhere new it makes a world of difference to get valuable local info from the hotel staff.
Chris Christensen of Amateur Traveler
Quality – I usually judge that based on user reviews
Location – How easy will it be to get there and to get from there to what I want to see.
Bed – If I wake up with a sore back after sleeping on an old mattress, that’s never good.
Internet Speed – I make my living on the internet.
Alice Teacake of teacake travels
Solo female safety: Does this hotel have a good track record of being a safe and secure place for solo females? Read the reviews, check out the photos and decide if you feel good here.
How far is it from where you’re coming from? Can you easily get to the hotel or is it in the middle of nowhere? If it is in the middle of nowhere, are you happy with how far you have to go to get there?
What is included? You may want breakfast, a pool or a gym to work out in! Check if the hotel has the facilities you require.
Is the hotel eco-friendly? Does the business support the locals? For responsibly conscious travelling, ask some questions to find this out!
What time is check out? Sometimes you may want a lie in, but hotels can be very strict about check out times, and make them early!
Audrey Scott of Uncornered Market
Price: is it good value (e.g., price/service) for the place?
Location: is it close to the main sights, but also a bit of a neighborhood feel?
Internet: is there high-speed wifi in the rooms (not just the lobby)?
Size of room: is there space to move around and a table to work on?
Friendliness and helpfulness of staff: will I feel well-cared for and helped if I have questions or need assistance?
Clelia Mattana of keep calm and travel
Since I usually book my hotels way in advance I always look for those who offer free cancellation options.This way if I have to cancel my trip for any reason I won’t lose my money.
Near to the public transport if it’s not located in the city center. A maximum of 5 min walk to nearest bus/subway station is ideal.
Location: City center is always a preferable option in order to simply walk to the main attractions and make the most of my visit.
Possibility to pay at arrival or via Paypal when booking online. Sometimes I’ve had troubles in booking with my credit cards because I travel a lot and the bank blocks the payment until I call them to fix it.
Room service. I often travel for work and sometimes I don’t have time to eat outside due to deadlines & co
Iain Mallory of mallory on travel
Cost; It must meet the budget
Location; Is it central or ideally located to meet your needs
WIFI; Is this included or a payable extra
Green credentials; Does the hotel and management have a genuine green policy or does it just pay lip service
Reviews; How is it rated by other guests and do these seem genuine
Andre of barcelona eat local
The location, we all travel for a reason, and it is always good to stay close to the attractions we want to visit, the event we are attending, etc.
The reviews, I like reading nice reviews and the negative ones if are well answered by the hotel usually imply that the establishment really care about customer service, which can be a good indicator
The pictures, I like to see where I am actually going to sleep as well as the facilities of the hotel. If an hotel shows only the surrounding ares be wary.
Value for money, it is important to consider this. Value is a key aspect, and I dont mind paying a slightly higher price when I get this. It can come in various forms, for example recently I stayed at an hotel that provided free coffee for their customers, I loved it!
Clear description for all type of rooms. I really hate when an hotel use pictures from their best room as advertisement for their cheapest room that has no view and probably is in a basement. Honesty it is a must!
Hadas Aharon of The fashion matters
Location: You might think that booking a cheaper hotel outside of the centre of the town saves you money. However, before you book an out-of-town hotel consider the price of the taxi from the hotel to where you need to go or whether it is easily accessible by public transportation.
Breakfast: Personally, I love going to local cafes for breakfast instead. Unless the hotel is 5* where I know I’ll have a good breakfast I do not pay the extra for breakfast. Often time, it is even nicer to start exploring a destination without having to wake up early for breakfast or having a limit variety of food to choose from.
Instagram: My number one tip before booking a hotel is to search for it on instagram. By seeing other guests’ photos from the hotel rather than photos from the hotel’s website, you get to see how the hotel REALLY looks like. Is the pool really clean? Is the room really specious? Instagram will give you an unbiased answer.
Facilities: Perhaps, it is important to you that the hotel would have a private beach, an outdoor or indoor pool, or a great spa. Whatever your needs are, be sure to check it out prior to booking a room.
Type of room: Different room types have different prices. You could be paying more for the room size, sea or pool view. Check different hotels for the best value for money for the type of room that you need.
What a Great Round-Up!! A job well-done to those who participated! I hope you will enjoy reading this post and share it with your social media accounts. We are happy to accept your comments and feedback! We at Southpole Central Hotel is happy to accept your bookings for any of your Cebu City’s Future Stay!
29 Junquera St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu
+63 0956 551 2322