9 Tips for Picking a Good Hotel Online

It may be challenging to determine if a hotel is up to your expectation through online platforms. After reading countless reviews and going through numerous websites, one may still find the experience at a particular to be underwhelming. Here are some tips for you to pick a suitable hotel for your next vacation.

The following article post originally appeared on https://sg.oyster.com and was written by Alex Temblador.

At Oyster.com, we try to let travelers know exactly what they’re going to get before they arrive, by publishing comprehensive, honest photography and expert reviews (as an Oyster.com hotel reviewer myself, I should know). But even though we try to make picking a hotel as easy for you as possible, we know that figuring out just what it is you want—and what information you need to pay the most attention to—can sometimes still feel daunting. Luckily, we know just about all there is to know about picking your perfect hotel, whether you do it through us or use other resources, too, and we’ve come up with nine vital tips and tricks to help you find the best hotel for your trip. Yes, it may seem like a lot to do, but we all know the stress, disappointment, and frustration that comes with sleeping in a hotel that isn’t what you expected. 

1. Know what is most important to you.

If you don’t know what you want from a hotel, how can you ever hope to pick the right one for you? Before searching for accommodations, make a quick list of the things that you require to have a good night’s stay. Is it a free breakfast? Do you feel more comfortable in a smaller, intimate property with staff that will learn your name? Are you willing to splurge on something luxe? Do you like old-fashioned decor, business-like rooms, or over-the-top interior design? To break it down simply, first think about what you want in terms of price, basic amenities of the hotel, and location. From there, you can then branch out to things like history of a property, environmental practices, and the personality of a place, such as “party vibe” or “romantic atmosphere.” Once you have a good grasp on what you’re looking for, Oyster.com reviews can help determine whether or not a property fits your exact wish list.

2. Know the Holy Grail of amenities.

In the same vein, there are four amenities you should be sure a hotel offers before you arrive (the Holy Grail), as these are the most often cited complaints on review sites like our parent company TripAdvisor. They are air-conditioning, parking, Wi-Fi, and breakfast. And, you should always check see if there are any costs associated with these amenities. You don’t want to arrive at the hotel assuming Wi-Fi would be free, only to find that it costs a fee (yes, there are still many places that charge for this basic amenity). Check our reviews for this information, and call or e-mail the hotel to double check, if you’re still concerned.

Here are some other tips about the Holy Grail of amenities:

  • Hotel websites might list an amenity like breakfast or parking without a price next to it. That does not always mean it is free. Make sure you check!
  • Though air-conditioning is usually a given in the U.S. (but there are exceptions), this is not often the case in other countries. If it is not listed in the room descriptions, it is generally not provided, or is only provided in certain rooms.
  • Sometimes hotels will advertise that they have parking, but it is actually a third-party garage that isn’t located on-site.
  • When you’re booking a room, sometimes one rate will include breakfast, while another will not. Look closely before booking to ensure you select the right option you’re looking for.

3. Check the hotel’s website.

While our own reviews are exhaustingly comprehensive, sometimes it takes us a little time to update them when hotels change policies, add amenities like a new restaurant or a spa, or undergo a renovation. It’s a good idea to double check a hotel’s own website. Calling a hotel directly doesn’t hurt, either.

Read the full version of the article here.