I have lost count of the hotels I have stayed in, and for every hotel, I have posted a review. I have booked hotels using Agoda.com and Booking.com and on occasion Hostels.com. If I have been impressed, I say so. If I have been disappointed, I will say so. The beauty of a review is that somebody is going to read it and it will help them make up their mind about staying there.
Hotels belong to an industry called “Hospitality”, and the meaning of that word is: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. If a hotel can’t deliver on any one of the three things mentioned, then it is failing. If it performs all three to a level not acceptable, it is still failing.
I have been going around the world now for over 6 years. The countries I have been to include Australia, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Croatia and Portugal to mention a few. Only on two occasions have I come across a hotel in which nobody at reception could speak English. If nobody speaks English, then you can assume they don’t want any English speaking guests. Right?
How do I evaluate a stay at a hotel? What gets my motors humming and what gets my exhaust backfiring? My first filter I apply to a hotel is the number of stars. However, the star rating varies from country to country. A 3-star hotel in China is not a reasonable place to stay. A 5-star Hotel in China is a great place to stay but is equivalent to 3 or 4 stars in another country. Also, a 5-star hotel in China is cheap by western standards. I never stay in a hotel with less than 3 stars in any country.
In this day and age of technology and staying in touch, no hotel should be without Wi-Fi or ADSL or broadband…whatever. No connection? No stay. Simple. Some hotels, especially in the Philippines like to charge for the internet. Absolute rot but it’s so common there that you are sometimes left with no choice. I haven’t experienced it in any other country.
This is imperative. Bathroom, toilet, bed linen should all be pristine, sanitized, spotless. No exception. Any doubts? Leave.
Service – Reception
This is the face that the hotel presents to the customer. Efficient, polite, friendly and informative is a good start. The staff should actually look and act like they want you to stay there. A speedy check in means the staff know what they are doing. Passport, credit card and registration all done neatly and quickly.
Service – Other
You want your room cleaned, properly. You want room service promptly. You want problems you have encountered in your room on arrival attended to speedily, courteously.
Well, it’s important but not necessarily the number one reason for selecting a hotel. The thing to keep in mind when you are staying at a hotel is this: it’s a place to sleep, not live in.
If you are at a beach resort, you want to be close to the water. Transport in and around the hotel is also necessary. Traffic noise, street noise, clubs and pubs and sounds from adjoining rooms can be irritating but not vital. If you are driving then transport is not an issue, but if you’re dependent upon public or private transport, then the hotel location must be considered.
That information can be found on the booking site. The pictures the hotels take are always misleading. They are taken from an angle that makes the room look bigger. 12 square metres would be my absolute minimum and I’ve only done that once. You roll out of bed straight into the toilet without opening a door!