What steps do you take to ensure that you’re booking the right hotel at the right price? Do you have a system in place that allows you to find and compare a variety of hotels in a reliable and time efficient manner?
Many years ago, booking a hotel was a chore. If you didn’t want to call the hotel direct, your only other option was to rely on the services of a travel agent. Either way, you never really knew what you were getting.
Fast-forward to today and the industry is driven by technology. For you, the traveler, this means one thing: you have the ability to find and compare hotels online.
Even if you are in a hurry to book, here’s something you should always remember: you should never make a final decision until you collect all the necessary information.
You can learn a lot by reading online hotel reviews, including the following:
1. The Good
What do other travelers like about the hotel? From the cleanliness to the on-site amenities, you’ll soon find a common theme as you make your way from one review to the next.
It’s important to focus a lot of your time on the positives of each hotel, as this gives you a clear idea of what you’ll get if you decide to book.
For example, you can use Expedia to search for the perfect Niagara Falls hotel. In addition to the basics associated with each hotel, you can read in-depth consumer reviews.
2. The Bad
There is nothing worse than booking a hotel room with the best intentions, just to find that nothing is working out as planned.
Although there is no way of knowing what the future will bring, you can prevent a big mistake by focusing on the negative side of every online review.
This doesn’t mean you should believe everything you read, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for trends.
For instance, you may find one traveler after the next complaining about the comfort of the beds or the cleanliness of the rooms. In this case, you can’t afford to overlook the information. Instead, you need to take it into consideration as you make a final decision.
3. The Ugly
Even if you are staying at one of the best hotels in the world, there is always the chance that something could go wrong.
By reading online reviews, you can better understand what types of problems – if any – other travelers have had before you.
Sometimes, a review goes beyond “bad” and quickly moves into “ugly” territory. An example of this would be a traveler whose room was broken into while they were away for the day.
One ugly incident shouldn’t necessarily scare you away from a particular hotel, but it definitely gives you something to think about.
4. The Amenities
Are you the type of traveler who books a hotel based on the on-site amenities? Is this something that can “make or break” your trip?
If so, you need to read plenty of online reviews before booking your room.
For instance, you may have your eyes set on a Vegas hotel with a top of the line spa experience.
While many Vegas hotels have a spa, some are better than the rest. You can read reviews to learn more about services, cost, extras, and much more.
Every hotel talks up its amenities. You get the real truth by reading online reviews.
5. The Customer Service
It doesn’t matter if you are traveling for business or pleasure, some hotel chains have a better reputation for customer service than others.
Good customer service has a way of putting your mind at ease. Bad customer service has a way of ruining your experience, while also ensuring that you never stay at the property again in the future.
As you read online reviews, pay attention to what people are saying about customer service. It’s a good thing if a lot of travelers are making note of the positive experience with front desk employees. It’s a bad thing if they’re doing nothing more than complaining about each and every worker.
But Never Forget That Opinions Are… Opinions
Online hotel reviews are funny. One person will love his or her experience, while another traveler will bad mouth everything about the hotel. This is why you need to form your own opinion.
In addition to reading reviews, check out the hotel’s website for a clear view of what it has to offer. Along with this, don’t hesitate to call the hotel to ask questions and test its customer service.
Once you form your own opinion, it’s easier to book with confidence.
There are hotels with a good reputation among travelers, as well as those that have some work to do in this area.
If you’re worried about making a mistake, read as many online reviews as you can find. This will give you a better idea of how other travelers have been treated, and what you can expect if you stay at the property in the near future.
Do you read online reviews before booking a room? Do you focus on any details in particular? Have you found this to be a good way to learn more about the hotels you are most interested in? Share your personal approach and past experiences in the comment section below.