Lots of friends ask me tips for choosing the best hotel , apartment & B&B.
Admittedly I do spent a crazy amount of time selecting but over the years I have become better at finding good accommodation.
These are my guidelines.
1. When you know where your are going start by googling that place and usually I’ll then go to Booking.com. I have signed up for an account and this pays off because the more you use it to book the more points you earn towards better deals. I also like to use it because all the bookings made ( or even cancelled ) are kept on your account. This is a good reference when suggesting places to friends. It also often lets you book but often allows cancellation without penalty.
2. Then you put your destination in and dates (if you know them ) and when the list comes up I go straight to the map and look at the locations. It’s no good finding what sounds like a great hotel but then finding its away from the main part of town or city.
3. Browse a few to compare. Look at prices and features and read reviews. I focus more on the negatives. If there are just a few picky type negatives I tend to go to trip advisor to see the reviews there and compare. Be careful to check air con if it’s summer, stairs if no lift, parking ……
4. I always Google earth the location and look at the satellite view to see if it’s next to something bad – major highway, tip, railway line.
5. Make a booking but be sure you can cancel without penalty. In peak times this is very important because things book out very easily. You can always cancel if something changes or you find another place.
6. Look on Trip advisor reviews for room tips. They are usually at the end of a review if someone mentions the room they liked. Then if you get a few tips put that in your booking request. Eg: first floor away from the street.
The only time I have broken my own rule on location I was sorry. I had thought it was too far away from the action! But I booked anyway. And despite the good reviews of great breakfast , good beds , free bikes, all day tea coffee …… I would prefer a great location.
I’ve got good lists of places to stay particularly in Italy and France so email me if you want some advice.