Tips to Getting the Best Hotel Room
Getting a good hotel room may seem simple but actually some work may be required to avoid any disappointments and to ensure you have a perfect stay.
If you are able to look around at various hotels before booking then this would be a good way to start. Maybe you are booking a room for friends and family in Pattaya and are already in the resort city. In this way, you could take some time out to visit various establishments to get a true feel for their offerings.
However, if you are travelling to a place that you are not able to spend time to look around in, then an online booking is likely to be your best course of action. Travel websites such as Expedia and TripAdvisor have been set up to provide as much info as possible about hotels, including user reviews.
Most people book online so as to get the good prices that are often available with advanced bookings. Hotels seldom have last minute offers and even elevate prices for last minute bookings, preferring instead to encourage advance bookings by giving a discount.
Unfortunately the info provided on these websites still falls short of an actual advance visit to check out a place. You will be relying on photos and reviews. With this in mind, try to look at candid photos from reviewers as opposed to the hotels brochure photos. With reviews, there will normally be a mixture of good and bad. Look at the ratio between the two and ensure that bad reviews are firmly in the minority. Even if in low numbers though, it is worth checking them out to see what problems these people had. If they are recurring issues then you might consider checking with the hotel about specific points.
Websites such as Expedia will present you with a good choice of hotels. You can get further information by checking out the hotels’ websites directly. Be aware that portals such as Expedia or TripAdvisor may have extra discounts and may also charge you in your local currency, saving on exchange charges. Sometimes the hotel’s website may have their own special offers, so a check of both websites would be time well spent.
Once you have found a place of interest that is in budget, it is time to specify some booking requests. Firstly, it is normally important for rooms to be quiet room so that you can get a good night’s sleep. Specify in the booking that the room should be not near a lift or near to traffic noise. You may need to get a rear-facing room to avoid noise from a busy highway, for example. A high floor will also insulate against street noise. Next is to ensure you have no connecting door with another room. These are useful for families, but if travelling alone or not as part of a large group then a partition door between your room and the room next door will definitely spoil your privacy. Be sure to specify this as early as possible in your booking.
If you are a non-smoker, be sure to specify the room is non-smoking and also to check that the entire floor is a non-smoking floor. Also, be sure to specify the bed size as an absolute requirement, eg. twin beds or double bed. If you need hard or soft pillows, check what the hotel has available. It could make all the difference between a good night’s sleep and no sleep at all. Some hotels have adopted pillow menus, showing just how important the correct pillow is.
Try to find a hotel that has carpeting in the corridors. This will cut down noise dramatically. A hard floor outside your room will not only create a lot of noise but will also provide for an echo effect such that any noise already existing is amplified.
Another thing to check for is whether or not renovation or construction work will be ongoing at the hotel at the time you will stay. This may not be reflected in website reviews as it may not occur for a long time.
With renovation in mind, some older hotels do renovate their rooms, but might not complete the process for all the rooms in their hotel. With an older hotel, you may find that some rooms are still old whilst others are new and modern. It is worth checking the age of the hotel, the most recent renovation date and also to ensure that you get a renovated room in case there are still older rooms in the hotel.
You can ask about this and all of the above by telephoning or emailing the hotel and checking with them. Some aspects may be subject to room availability and not guaranteed, but most hotels will try to accommodate you, especially if you state your requirements well in advance.
Most online bookings are pre-pay, but some allow for early cancellation, eg. at least 24 hours before the start of the booking. Some bookings are set up such that you pay the hotel on arrival or checkout. This is perfect as you will have a chance to walk away if things are not up to scratch because you will not have paid anything in advance. If prepaying, then the above considerations are all the more important to take into account since you will not get a refund.
Once you have found the perfect room in a good hotel, it is worth keeping a record of it so that if you return you can request the exact same room!