Picking the perfect place to stay that suits your budget and requirements can be difficult. Price is usually the determining factor but this should not be the only thing you look at, case in point, read: Worst Hotel to stay in Hong Kong. So before you click on the “Book Now” button for your Home away from Home for your next trip, here are 5 other things aside from price to take into account when choosing your place to stay:
Location tops the list of things to look out for aside from price and the rationale is really simple. For example, you may choose to stay to stay at a cheaper hostel/hotel that’s slightly further from the place you want to go, but if you add the price of transport into the equation, then it pretty much evens itself out. On top of the price of transport, the time taken to and fro between your hotel and destination has to be taken into account as well. You are only in a country for that many days, would you want to spend 2hours each day traveling instead of sightseeing to save just $20? The opportunity cost of such is often higher.
The reason for your travel should determine the location you pick. If you are on a holiday, you should look for hotels that are close to the beach, tourist attractions, best restaurants etc. You should also consider the proximity to medical services; you never know what might happen. If your trip is mostly business, proximity to the central business district should be considered.
Do a little reverse engineering, plan out your itinerary and choose the hotels/hostels that are close to the region.
Another important aspect in hotel choice is amenities. A family vacation with the children in tow means there needs to be a swimming pool or kids club with several activities to keep them busy.
Business travelers are more concerned with WIFI or secretarial services offered on demand.
Is there a restaurant in the premises? Do you want a spa treatment or perhaps a day of golf, is this possible where you want to stay?
The social butterfly who would never be seen without her pooch would be concerned about how pet friendly the establishment is.
What is your ideal situation?
We personally had one of such bad experience in Korea, Jeju. We opted for a cheaper hostel which was pretty accessible and close to the bus station. But what we didn’t take into account was that it was winter season when we went and the hostel we stayed at didn’t have proper radiators/heaters in place. The windows weren’t very thick either and all they provided us with was the usual air conditioning system and just had us turn the temperature up. It was so cold that we barely took a bath for the 3 days we were there and we had to sleep in our winter coats, yes the same winter coats we wear out in the snow/dirt during the day, but we didn’t had a choice. I remember going out to the nearby cafe for dinner/supper and not wanting to go back home cause it was so warm and cozy at the cafe. In the night, it got so bad that we had to use the hair dryer to blow under our blankets just to keep us warm. It was truly one of the worst experience we had ever since we started our Singapore Travel Blog.
Of course you will be paying a pretty penny to stay at the establishment of your choosing, even if it’s not a five star resort so you want to get value for your money. Can the room service hours be extended?
Do you get laundry service?
Is it possible to get a free meal?
Most hotels would rather give you a discounted rate rather than lose you to the competition. Complimentary breakfasts can make a big difference to your budget, especially when travelling as a family (Read All inclusive vs self catering). If it’s not available, are there appliances in the room that can help you make your own?
While it might make you look like a cheapskate asking for free meals etc, but the price of the meals you have on your own added up, can sometimes be equivalent to the price you pay for a slightly better hotel that provides meals.
This is also partially the reason why some people are turning towards cruise holidays as even though the price may seem higher than what you pay for a normal hotel, the price stated on cruises are usually all inclusive and includes meals, hence the total bill spent tends to be cheaper.
Most travelers will happily share their experiences with others. Check out travel forums or Travel Blogs and read the reviews. A long list of bad reviews means don’t stay there, while some negatives for some i.e. “lots of noise from the children playing” may be a positive for someone looking for a place where they can let their kids loose.
We personally would always try to leave a review on Hotels we stayed at that we personally think matches all of these criteria, so check our Singapore travel blog often and/or Like us on our Facebook page to stay updated! (Never said I was subtle 😉 )
The accessibility of the place you are staying at is also an important consideration.
Does the hotel offer a reliable taxi service?
Is there a shuttle service you can use?
Can you easily find public transport? Ask what transport options you have before booking your room to avoid frustrations.
We have had personal experiences where we had to lug our luggages in the cold winter night for over 20mins just because the hostel was quite a walk from the station. I understand that I’m harping on the winter part alittle too much, but I just wanted to emphasize that things can be very different during winter. Such as a “10min walk from the station” can be worlds away when you compare spring to winter/raining season. One would have to also take into account how hard it can be to pull your luggage wheels over solid ice.
What matters most to you and what your budget permits before you begin your search. When you find a few that are in your budget, consult Agoda and read the reviews off the various sites available.
Everyone has different expectation and needs, whether it is a great location, great food, great amenities or just a simple bed where you can lay your head down for a night. Whatever you need, there’s something out there for you if you know what you are looking for.
So what are you waiting for? Start booking your hotels on our Travel Deals page!