How long do you spend researching hotels?

Apr 5th, 2019, 02:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 5
How long do you spend researching hotels?

I've noticed I have spent hours researching the hotels we are looking at going to (most are considered 5 star properties and are not exactly cheap so I want to make sure we are getting exactly what we want). Does anyone else spend this much time researching high-end hotels? There has to be a better way than spending this much time on the internet?!
floridasun is offline  
Apr 5th, 2019, 04:02 PM
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I think it's an excellent way to spend time on the internet -lol.
suze is offline  
Apr 5th, 2019, 04:13 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2019
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@suze You don't ever get frustrated with the amount of information, though? Maybe it's just because I'm semi new to planning travel. I don't know what reviews are real and which are fake and it's just taking a long time to sort through it all.
floridasun is offline  
Apr 5th, 2019, 04:37 PM
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Doesnít matter if theyíre high end or not. I spend the same amount of time whether Iím looking for high end or mid range or hostel.

I personally enjoy the time spent looking, though...if I didnít enjoy it, and didnít feel that I had to do it to get exactly what I wanted, then Iíd hire a travel agent. Or book the first thing I came across that had decent reviews, a decent price, in the location I wanted.

To narrow it down:

Pick location first. What do you want to be near?

and then look at what there is in that area. Chances are youíll only find two or three great options, if even that. Read reviews. Pick the one that appeals the most to you. Half hour tops.

you donít need to read all the reviews. Read the ones that are recent, look at what people are actually complaining about or what they liked specifically. Decide if you care about whatever it is theyíre complaining about. Like for example: I googled four seasons Seattle and one review talks a about the size and price of the room, another talks about the unpleasantness of the poolside white might matter, the second they knew when they booked, and the third is just wacky.

Last edited by marvelousmouse; Apr 5th, 2019 at 04:45 PM.
marvelousmouse is offline  
Apr 5th, 2019, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 552
Basically I do exactly what Marvelousmouse suggested. The only things I add is I'll look at Google Streetview to get a feel for the area. Not much point being "near" the sites if you're in a car only high traffic zone that makes walking dangerous.

But location first. Then read the bad reviews. Decide if they matter to me. Then back to location -)
Traveler_Nick is offline  
Apr 6th, 2019, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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hi- nope I don't get frustrated. But I don't try to evaluate every last possibility. Maybe this will help...

Say I was going to Paris or Amsterdam for the first time. I would first get a good paper street map of the city to work from. Then do a little research in a guidebook from the library &/or online forums to figure out what general neighborhood in a central area I wanted to stay in.

For Paris I pick the 5th arrondissement (maybe 4 or 6). For Amsterdam I choose canal rings, Leidseplein or near Vondelpark. and I know I need a room priced under 200 euro per night. and I in theory i know my dates of travel.

Now yes a little bit of research in the specific area I want (using a general website like hotels or booking dot com to get started) and fairly quickly pick 3-4 finalist hotels, only then read the Reviews on those. So see I'm not looking at every single hotel in all of greater Paris I'm not even trying to sort through the huge amount of information available... so it's really not overwhelming at all.

And it's easy to get the hang of reviews. Fake ones put up by the business or friends. People who always hate everywhere and everything. "One post wonders" i.e., a screen name with only one post every either wildly for or against something.

good luck, have fun!
suze is offline  
Apr 6th, 2019, 07:41 AM
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marvelousmouse~ great story about the 4Seasons Seattle. and so true about reviews.

does the person posting sound sane? do you care about the same things they do? that's my criteria!!
suze is offline  
Apr 8th, 2019, 08:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Usually I like to see real foto from Google maps and I think tripadvisor is very helpful.
el8482 is offline  
Apr 9th, 2019, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 534
When looking at hotels I prioritize based on 3 criteria in order:

1. Distance from city center/attractions
2. Price
3. Tripadvisor Reviews

The first two don't take very long at all, especially if you're using or Kayak. I then scan a good sample of TripAdvisor reviews. Time would be better spent studying your destination IMO. To each his own I guess.
tailsock is offline  
Apr 9th, 2019, 10:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I (honestly) do not understand your angst over this - enough to start two threads re similar 'issues' How do you select a luxury hotel to stay at?

You decide WHERE you want to go, then google what hotels are in the area. Two properties - one having 90% 5 star reviews won't be that much different than one with 87% 5 stars. Look at the rates, a few photos, street view on google map . . . and pull the trigger. Sounds like you are trying to make a career out of it.
janisj is online now  
May 16th, 2019, 08:38 PM
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A lot of the time, I book a hotel recommended by a Fodorite whose opinions I trust. Over the years, I know by their other posts if our travel styles mesh enough to know that a hotel they love is one I would love too.

If I'm using points, a lot depends on how many points per night are needed and how close I really need to be. I love points but hate "spending" points. In the past there were really good Hilton points deals and I would plan an entire vacation around bonus weeks - example a week in Hawaii. That's not the case now.

In other cases, I use reviews to get an idea of two or three hotels that may work and then dive in deeper to study those choices. No matter what reviews or search engines I've used, I always book directly with the hotel. Most of the time, I'm thrilled with my choices.

I "knew" for years, that I would be staying in goddesstogo's favorite hotel (and room) in Venice on the Grand Canal. Unfortunately, it was completely sold out for my dates. I used a search engine to find options within a price range, canal view, etc. and then whatever other factors were important to me. I found a hotel I LOVED but it was a bit of a splurge on that trip. Another hotel on that trip, I'd read a recommendation on slowtravel at least 15 years prior and knew I'd stay there. Ditto Capri. Once I found the hotel, it felt right - and it was better than I imagined.

I don't spend hours and days and definitely don't spend time second-guessing. I do like to have balconies, terraces, etc. if possible.
starrs is offline  
May 17th, 2019, 02:37 AM
Join Date: May 2019
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I don't really spend so much time looking for a place to stay, it depends of the city and dates. Normally I use booking for it and also I check travel blogs to find a perfect hotel or hostel for me.
isaa94 is offline  
May 17th, 2019, 02:14 PM
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I use Google street view to see the area where a hotel is located and to see if the building has an inner courtyard where I can request that location for the room. Having a quiet room is number one and I have many hotels that I return to because of that factor.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 20th, 2019, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 102
Like others here, I enjoy the research. I also have a list of priorities that matter for my husband and myself. We enjoy a balcony with a view, and make it a priority over other things, like breakfast reviews (or even having breakfast available). We also like to be able to walk to town for dinner or shopping. So we put those amenities higher on our list than others.
We have friends that would rather spend money on good food or upgrade their seat in the flight, and don't care what's out their window of the hotel.
So list your priorities, and don't read all the reviews! Do look at some of those that rated the hotel poorly, but look at their reasons, and realize some people will always find something to grumble about.
mdinbc is offline  
May 25th, 2019, 04:26 PM
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Starrs, I remember you picking hotels for Italy. The splurge one since you saved so much on the villa. I look at the location, husband does google street maps. My travel friends leave it to me to pick houses and apartments which cause me great angst till they get there and approve. I send links and they are like we trust you. Next trip I have three hotel stays but the one in Munich was all about location for Christmas markets. One night was a layover so picked a hotel airport and another night needed one close to train bu nice restaurants. We could have used points but was a hike from the train station. I think that is my big criteria. Houses are all about the beds and bathrooms plus washing machine. We lucked out on one in Ireland that had a washing machine and a dryer. In summer I love a terrace or balcony. I take reviews with a grain of salt. I think with hotels you can be a bit more honest. I want a good review back on airb&b and VRBO. I have privately told owners about their airb&b sitters and cleaning and they have thanked me. Our last place in Paris had several broken things and the person that met us didn't know how to work anything. I gave up on oven but did figure out washing machine and tv on my own. Just give me the wifi code and leave dude. He was useless. Planning is so much fun and we all have our own systems.
Macross is online now  
May 25th, 2019, 10:25 PM
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Posts: 7,708
Hi floridasun,

Like so many folks who posted above, I do spend a fair amount of time in the research, and I do LOVE doing it.

I discovered about a decade ago that having a great view is my biggest priority -- and I discovered that with a Paris apartment rental on a narrow street with direct views into an apartment on the other side of the street. It actually had an impact on my mood during my stay, so now I research the views assiduously. This preference may also stem from the fact that I live in the Alps, and the views from every window of my apartment are postcard perfect. I would not enjoy a vacation that offered worst views....

I start with a map, usually Google map, and then look for hotels in the area. I love being by the water, so I locate the hotels or apartments that are next to the lake or river or sea. Then to booking dot com and do a search, and use the map to select a few. Then I look through all the photos, looking most intently at what the windows in the rooms reveal.

I tell you honestly that I don't care much if the staff is rude or helpful...I'm a big girl, and a capable girl, and I can usually get my needs and wants addressed, one way or another.

I do look for some specific items in the reviews, such as how far to walk to restaurants and shops, if the facilities were broken, if the breakfast is extensive or bare, where the transport links are, etc.

And I do enjoy all the planning -- I get to take a mini, vicarious vacation while I research, as I picture myself in the hotel, walking on the street, standing by the window and enjoying the view. It's all fun.

I am a bit baffled by your comment that, because you are paying for 5-star properties, you want to get what you want.... Do you imagine that people with a lower budget are happy getting ripped off? That people with, perhaps, less disposable income are happy to spend it on a hotel they don't enjoy?

Anyway... Hope you do find great properties as a result of your hard work!


Last edited by swandav2000; May 25th, 2019 at 10:28 PM.
swandav2000 is online now  
May 26th, 2019, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 2,144
Swandav, perfect!! I love planning. Sea views and mountains are the best.
Macross is online now  
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