Thursday 9 February 2012

How do you pick a hotel?

Hostel view. Palawan, Philippines.

This month's question on the Travel Belle's website is 'How do you pick a hotel?'. When I first read it, I thought "How can I answer that?" because I'm really not picky, in fact I haven't stayed in a hotel since China, and even then they were always budget hotels. I'm a hostel girl, mainly out of necessity. The last 4 years of travel for me have been about having great experiences, seeing as much as possible, exploring anywhere and everywhere. When that's your priority, where you sleep is really not important, other that it should be cheap. But then I thought about it a bit more, and I realised that even when I'm trawling though hostelbookers and hostelworld there are a few things that will prompt me to pay more or choose one place over another.

1. Does it have social communal areas? When you're travelling (especially on your own, which I actually don't do that much), you want to be able to easily meet other travellers, have a chat about where they've been, where they're going or what's good to see in the place you're currently in. There's nothing worse than a hostel with nowhere to sit and even just be around other people. Who wants to be stuck in your room all the time?

2. Breakfast included. For me, breakfast is an important meal. Living and travelling in Asia means that if you eat like a local you'll be eating rice or noodles morning, noon and night. Not something I want that early in the morning. So if I can find a hostel that has breakfast included, happy days! It means I don't have to wander around looking for a cafe wasting time and it also saves money!

3. Airport/train/bus station pick up. Arriving in different cities every few days, or after a long and tiring flight/bus/train journey and then having to navigate your way to your hostel can be a nightmare. More and more hostels are offering pick up, which is a god send! It means you can confidently walk past the drivers shouting 'TAXI! TAXI! WHERE YOU GO?' and straight to the person holding a card with your name on to swiftly take you straight to the door. If I have to pay, it's usually worth it, and if it's free it's even better!

Anything else that they might offer, towels, tours, internet and wifi are all bonuses. So although I'm not fussy, and I have stayed in some shockers (Harbin so far being the worst) there are some things that will entice me to spend a little more on my accommodation!

The find out what other belles look for check it out here.
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  1. Breakfast is so important to me too!! I'm such a bear when I'm starving. :-) Love that top photo - so gorgeous. :-)

  2. Great job of breaking it all down to what's important to you. And yes, I agree with you and Krista with this breakfast business... it makes everyone's day so much better if it's right there, and you know it comes with the cost of the accommodation.. on this subject of wifi - it's my newer "must"... in most cases I would rather stay at a Hampton Inn that comes with wifi, that a fancy hotel down the street that charges for it :) Thanks for playing, Ruthie!