Choosing the Perfect place to stay depends on how important a place is to your travels. You are the one who decides whether to spend quality time in your hotel or if it will only be a place to crash in. Whatever the case, the accommodation has to help you get the most out of your trip. Here are a couple of things that I consider when booking a place:
As my fellow American friends say, location, location, location. As I say, location is everything! If you don’t have much time, you can’t waste it traveling, so you have to be right on spot. On the contrary, if you have more time, you could stay further away, possibly saving money, or spending the same but staying at a better hotel. Be sure to check the accessibility and cost of public transportation. In Bangkok, Thailand we stayed at a superb apartment hotel. The best thing was not the pool nor the huge living room but the location. Set in a totally local neighborhood, well connected and next to the river. Perfection!
The specifics of the place are essential. For instance, Salvador de Bahia in Brazil is all about its old town Pelourinho. You should stay there in an authentic old house. It’s not as fancy as any luxury hotel in a wall protected beach, but it’s cheaper and guarantees you the outstanding experience of living in an old authentic house. I loved the one we stayed at! It was like traveling back in time. As you know, I love architecture so staying within a beautiful building is always a pleasure!
Not everybody likes to spend time inside their hotel or guesthouse, but like it or not, it is your home during your holiday. So waking up to beautiful views or having breakfast on a terrace in front of a gorgeous mountain or fabulous beach will make your day. Besides, being in a rush is not the best way to enjoy your holiday. You should always find time to relax, and enjoy the views. I usually ask specifically for views when booking. In Vang Vieng, Laos, a somehow unpleasant city, staying at the one guesthouse across the river was a fantastic decision. Set in the middle of nature, with breathtaking views, not only we avoided the fuss of the city, but saved some time while enjoying nature!
Different people have different criteria when choosing a place to stay, but there are some universal aspects that make good accommodation. The size of the room and the decoration may determine your mood, but what makes your stay objectively comfortable is the quality of the bed and cleanliness. Especially important when it comes to bathrooms. I usually read several comments. Of course not everybody agrees and some comments are obviously out of mark, but you ultimately learn. A very inexpensive place with great quality (that huge bed was so comfy!) was in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Probably the most controversial issue is service. It is you who sets the tone by treating the guy across the front desk politely, you are traveling, he is working, be nice! We shouldn’t expect them to solve unsolvable problems, nor have perfect English. That’s a comment that annoys me. You are in the middle of Myanmar and expect perfect English? And yes, maids are service too, who most of the time make very little, so tipping is a must! In Calafate, Argentina I messed up our reservation (yes, we all make mistakes!). The hotel was wonderful, not only they fixed everything at no cost, but gave us an upgrade.
There are so many exceptionally good hotels all around the world. A contemporary place can’t be luxuriant if it only has ultra comfortable beds, tons of space, expensive decoration and an abundant breakfast (not complaining, those are all things I love). That isn’t good enough, true luxury demands a superb location, great views and to be unique in some way. Be it a historical house, extraordinary neighborhood, views, it has to stand out for some reason. And it’s not necessarily expensive. That’s not even a topic anymore. Check out the place we stayed in Cappadocia, Turkey. You would be surprised how inexpensive it was.
Finding a perfect place to stay involves pondering all of these different criteria and applying it to your personal interests and taste. Of course different journeys demand different criteria. Happy Frog has an extensive experience in choosing quality places to stay and can help you organize your prefect holiday. Just contact us for the best advice and remember, it’s your trip, so you deserve location, views, uniqueness, service and luxury!
PS Sometimes even an exceptional design can buy you!
The hotels mentioned in the text are:
Centre Point Hotel Silom in Bangkok, Thailand
Studio Do Carmo Boutique Hotel in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
Maylyn Guesthouse in Vang Vieng, Laos
Design Suites Calafate in El Calafate, Argentina
Caravanserai Cave Hotel in Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Brasilia Palace Hotel in Brasilia, Brazil
Hotel Medium Renaixença in Sitges, Spain