What is the most important factor to you when choosing a hotel?
Choosing a Hotel
Location (though price is a close second)! There's nothing worse than picking a property then finding out you have to hike a mile to see anything worth seeing.
My biggest thing is cleanliness. I grew up camping in an RV and using other property's sheets, blankets, etc. really skeeve me out. So cleanliness tops my list!
I like to be in the mix, so I chose Ambience/Local Flavor. Location would be my second choice, thought I'm not going to donate a kidney to finance a stay in the hottest spot.
I voted for location; after all, I donít want a hotel in San Francisco when I want to be visiting Los Angeles. But it does depend on the circumstances. Location is generally most important, but is especially so for a short stay, such as overnight. For longer stays approaching a week or more location might take a back seat to amenities, especially since for a longer stay weíre more likely to have a car and therefore be able to get around more easily. Sometimes the area seems to be best visited in a B&B, so that becomes important. But always price must be taken into consideration -- look at all of the hotels with the most important factors, then choose the lowest price.
I voted points/loyality programs.
But, just to clarify, if I think I can save a lot of money by using Priceline, I'll do it.
Example... In June, I paid $53 a night for the Marriott in Portland OR by using Priceline. I would never spend $150 a night when a $53 room is potentially available.
I use www.betterbidding.com and www.biddingfortravel.com to review what winning bids have been accepted.
If you read the reviews of a hotel on www.tripadvisor.com and www.biddingfortravel.com and www.betterbidding.com, you can get a feel for hotels in a city.
For example, all the reviews I read about 4* hotels in Portland weren't very impressive. Usually, a 4* property is one I would bid on. It guarantees a quality level, vs a 2*. I try not to bid 2*. I usually bid 3 or 4*.
In Portland, many posters were reporting the Benson hotel for winning bids at the 4* level. Most reported smallish rooms with one (1) bed.
On the other hand, most folks who bid 3* were reporting the Hilton as a winning bid. Since you're never guaranteed what hotel you'll get, and since I was in a gambling mood, I bid 3* and got the Marriott! Big hotel chains always have 2 beds available; and that's what I needed, 2 beds.
Bottom line, bid for a 3 or 4 star, vs a 2 star, and you should be ok.
Read the above websites, and whatever you do, don't overbid!!
I put price, only because I've been in a money saving mood lately. Also, nice hotels are great, but paying so much money to sleep in a nice room isn't worth it to me. I'd rather sleep in a not so nice room and go eat out a fancier restaurant.
I lean more towards the interesting hotels - ones that have forward-thinking design, or a good bar, or a well-respected restaurant. Mostly, I find the ones that have a connection to local artists in some way to be the most interesting, like The James in Chicago, 21c Museum in Lousville, or Hotel Des Artes in San Francisco.
I think all of your options you've presented are great. I also have found that Perfect Escapes (http://www.perfectescapes.com) is a good site to check for luxury hotels, right along side some of the other luxury sites you mentioned, like Five Star Alliance (http://www.fivestaralliance.com) and Leading Hotels of the World (http://www.lhw.com).
Besides that, I tend to check out the reviews on Trip Advisor, use some of the price comparison sites, figure out the location, and then mostly, take the advice of friends.
I'm disabled, so I look for hotels that have accomodations for me.
A penny saved is a government oversight.
I want people to know "why" I look this way. I've traveled a long way and some of the roads weren't paved.
Since having kids, choosing a family-friendly hotel is key for a fun family vacation. I look for places with a pool and preferably a kiddie/wading pool, cribs, high chairs, restaurants that welcome kids, kitchenette or at a bare minimum a fridge and microwave. I often prefer staying at vacation homes now because it provides more room and a kitchen and washer/dryer.
Trekaroo is a great place to find out which hotels are great for families. Parents share their experiences and rating on the kid-friendly of hotels across the US. You can check it out at http://www.trekaroo.com.
While selecting the hotel to stay with my family, I consider following parameters:
Nature of hotel- family or business
Amenities – suitable to our personal interests
Location- easy commuting to favorite places
Prices- should be within budget, prefer all inclusive
Most important to us is price within a particular area or location, for a given level of service - whether measured in diamonds, stars, Hotel & Travel Index category, or guest ratings, which I consider the least reliable of these, although reading them at a reliable site such as TripAdvisor give one a good indicator of what to expect at a hotel or other property. The advice here at Independent Traveler is very reliable and also easy to follow/ understand and use.
I like staying at luxury hotels for cheap Before buying on Priceline or Hotwire, I usually check out www.hoteldealsrevealed.com. Although Betterbidding has a great forum, the hotel lookup tool at hoteldealsrevealed.com is sweet.
It's all about the local flavor!
I voted for location; as many people share the same thinking! My first preference would be location then I will go for price. If I need to stay for long then other things like amenities all should be considered, but for a day or two price and location should be fair enough!
Location and price, within reason, for a four or three star/diamond motel/hotel with good writeups on Trip Advisor or other reliable sites. AAA diamond ratings are the most reliable, we've found, although others are good too. I've always been afraid to bid, probably not valid but I don't like things I read, like the hotel's ability to assess "resort fees" and other add-ons, so I find a decent deal and reserve.
Last edited by CountFlorida; 06-20-2010 at 02:39 AM. Reason: add bidding part
I usually stay in the newest hotel in town to try their services. If I like it then Iíll go back next time.
If we're in transit- airport, station etc., we don't want to pay loads for an unused gym etc....so it's clean, cheap and handy.
For holidays, we want more, and probably take a hotel with many facilities- if it's in the right location.
In Egypt, no less than 4/5*