It’s so difficult to find a decent hotel – and by that I mean, somewhere centrally located which has some character and will look after you with a high quality of facilities and decent reviews – not that much to ask for…right?
Well, when I was looking for hotels in Rome, this was proving to be really tricky. Although there’s a plethora of hotels (not to mention B&Bs, apartments and hostels), the process of booking your bed for the night can be more overwhelming than deciding which destinations to visit! The ones I saw were either dire and dated or super modern and expensive!
And once you find somewhere that looks good enough and fits your criteria, you then read the reviews and it’s not as good as you thought it was or worse still there are no rooms available! Having been through this trauma, I’ve now got a simple strategy:
– Location: chose which area you want to be, either near the main sights or on the outskirts so you can experience the local culture over the tourist sights. Aim to be able to walk to the sights from your hotel if you’re in a city.
– Type of hotel: do you want somewhere to sleep and leave your things, or somewhere you can spend some time relaxing – boutique, brand hotels, B&Bs where you will meet the owner or staff, farm-houses.
– Reviews: as much as TripAdvisor has taken a bashing over the reviews being fake, it’s a great place to start to get a ranking of the hotels and it’s facilities. Put in your location and type of hotel and then start going through the top 20 to find a few you will like.
Once you have a shortlist of hotels, then check prices and availability on the hotels’ websites, hotels.com and booking.com. I find that the hotel can usually match what you’re getting on other sites so worth calling them.
You want to make sure that you leave the hotel feeling like it was worth it and you wouldn’t have wanted to stay anywhere else. If you would return to the same area and stay in the same place again, then you know you chose the right place!