- Travel tips
- 29 October 2020
4 basic rules how to choose a hotel in a big city
If you are about to choose a hotel for your next trip to a European capital or any other big city in the world and you are asking yourself how you can find the right hotel for you among the thousand offers you see online, you might find helpful this article with these 4 basic rules I have developed to make your choice easier.
I am assuming that you are going to use one of the many web sites (like Booking or Expedia) where you have at your disposal an array of filters to apply in order to reduce the number of accommodation options, of course only once you have chosen the dates you are traveling.
Rule n. 1. The budget
How much money are you willing to spend for a night?
This depends solely on you, because you can find hostels with a few euros per night or luxurious rooms of some thousands of euros worth. It seems granted that you will decide on a budget basis, but it is not always the case.
According to my experience it is fundamental to choose first and before all the price range that you are willing to spend and make sure to stay within.
Be aware though, that the price range you decide on may give you different solutions in accommodation when you take into consideration the city you are looking into. There are cities that are expensive to begin with and where with a 100 Euro price tag per night you may sleep under the stars literally, especially in their high season dates. There are other cities though, that with the same price you can get a luxury hotel.
Here is before you the importance of choosing the right price range for the city you want to visit and then go ahead and research the hotels that come up as results for that range.
Rule n. 2. The position of the hotel is fundamental
It is easy to tell you to book the hotel nearest to the city centre because, one assumes that that is where the activities and places of interest are, but it is not always the right answer.
Do a research first on what do the different boroughs of the city have to offer. Do they offer peace and quiet, or do you prefer to enjoy the night life or maybe you can go on foot to the various attractions?
Choosing the position is the most difficult one, especially if it is your first time in that city and you cannot compare with past experiences. Only if you go you can decide that.
At least, make sure not to make your life difficult there regarding the transportation you want to use to get to the places of your interest.
My advice for the big cities is to sleep near a subway or train station because those are usually the fastest ways to get around. For example, a big city like London is meant to be crossed by subway or other public means and not on foot.
I make a list of what I want to visit and look to book a hotel near them, in order not to lose my time moving around wasting my time.
Rule n. 3. Cancellation fees of the hotel
If you are traveling tomorrow, your risk of not actually travelling is low. If though you are programming a weekend in advance, pay attention to the cancellation fees.
Anything can happen before a departure (I hope not to you!), but in order to avoid surprises like having to pay for the whole stay and never actually setting foot in that hotel, I recommend that you book a hotel with a free cancellation policy nearest to the departure date you have booked.
If a free cancellation is not available, it is better to book a hotel with a small penalty fee (for example, yu only pay the first night).
When not to follow this rule: Only when the “not refundable” price per night is so low to miss out and take the risk.
Rule n. 4. The reviews of the guests that stayed in that hotel
Once you have chosen the price range, the area on the map where to look and only those with certain cancellation fees, you will discover that your research for a hotel is coming to an end. It is much easier now to make a final choice.
Read what others have to say. There will always be someone that will find a flaw, but in overall the reviews reflect what to expect. How clean it is, its position or the amenities or services offered are the extras to be taken under consideration and help you choose the winner. Before you even begin your trip, you can have an idea of what to expect. Now it is up to you to decide.
Having those few that made the cut of the 4 rules, you can choose freely based on your taste only. You might like small hotels, maybe rustic ones or boutique style, or even the big chain hotel with all inclusive, swimming pools, spas and restaurants. Are you traveling alone or with the family? The choices depend also on that too.
Help yourself by taking the time and looking at the photos online and book what inspires you!
Travel Blogger for passion. I offer my authentic experience in the world of travel.