How long do you spend researching hotels?

Jul 3rd, 2019, 12:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,032
If someone's complaining about rude hotel staff or rude waiters, I like to read their other reviews. Usually if people are being treated badly, it seems to happen to them over and over again regardless of where they go in the world. That, to me, says a lot.
suze is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 09:25 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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True, Traveler Nick & suze!
swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2019, 10:12 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,946
Just got back from our 5 week trip to Europe.. I spent many many hours looking for hotels.. I had to book nine of them.. and we aren't paying for luxury places.. so I feel I have to be extra careful.. if I could pay 500 euros a night I would assume a certain standard would be established to ask for that sort of price.. but if I want to pay 100-150 euros and still get what I want :
(Good location,Air conditioning,Clean and comfy, Fridge and safe) then I have to really do my homework. Have to say I did very well this time.. every hotel ticked all my boxes .. would return to any of them.. ( once and a while one can be a bit disappointed but not this trip!)

I enjoy the process .. it can be stressful, but I do enjoy it.. at a certain point you just have to pull the trigger and make up your mind not to look back..

I use reviews from multiple sites.. tripadadvisor,,expedia etc, and I often will look on forums.. asking sometimes for recommendations .. or just reading posts.
I often use if not familar with a place.. as it willl take my dates and number of people etc and show me a selection.. I then look at tripadvisor reviews because I like the section for photos taken by guests. not the glossy hotel provided photos taken with wide eye lenses etc.. I then google the hotels own website and compare deals.. booking with whichever is best ( some hotels give better prices if you book direct.. or throw in a free breakfast etc ) .

The whole trip planning is pre trip fun for me.
justineparis is offline  
Jul 10th, 2019, 10:50 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 650
We began switching from hotels to rentals several years ago. That new approach has served us well. Staying in a vacation rental provides more flexibility, more freedom and greater privacy. A few rentals have been duds, but many more have been dream rentals. It was wrenching to leave some of them. Happy to recommend specific properties in France & Italy (Uzes, Meursault, Lyon, Dijon, Bevagna, Lourmarin, Castelluccio, Paris, Venice, Erice, Shnrelb, Ravello).
I am done (it is pronounced zee-bek).
zebec is online now  
Jul 11th, 2019, 08:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Zebec,

I am currently planning a trip to Uzs for myself and some friends and helping with their stay in Provence. Could you share your specific property references for Uzs and Lourmarin please?? Do they perhaps have 2 bathrooms?? Nice views??


swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 12th, 2019, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 650
Yo Swan,
It was not my original intent to mention our Trip Report 'Provencal Echo', but seeing as it includes descriptions of those 2 excellent properties in Uzes and Lourmarin, here it is linked below. The properties are very different from each other and yes they have 2 WCs. Both have outstanding internal views, in one case a very large upper patio and in the other, a most unique rustic inner courtyard. As well, the immediate Uzes locale is an attractive street with the valley in the near distance a mere 2 min walk away.
I can't imagine anyone not being thrilled with these 2 rentals, just fantastic. Bon chance!
I am done. The end.

Trip Report: Provencal Echo

Last edited by zebec; Jul 12th, 2019 at 03:35 AM. Reason: mauled by grizzly while typing
zebec is online now  
Jul 12th, 2019, 03:43 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 650
To answer your query straight up, I research rentals for a long time, carefully examining every detail and watching for potential pitfalls. For example, I just completed securing rentals for our upcoming return to France, this time in the Aveyron area. One property was a massive former Templar Commanders home in Figeac which had deliberately retained a lot of medieval decor---impressive but it wasn't clear that it had a proper oven. Not good for our self-catering needs. We eventually cancelled it in favour of a much better-value house. Two of the smaller villages that we'll visit had no grocery shops for non-drivers, so we opted for hotels in both cases. And yes, I took a lot of time to select those.
I am done. The ever-research.
zebec is online now  
Jul 12th, 2019, 04:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,742
Thanks zebec-- I'll check them out!

swandav2000 is online now  
Jul 15th, 2019, 09:47 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 51
I find it more stressful if we are travelling with other people, if its just the 2 of us the process is a little different. We tend to mix it up a bit, city and small villages, public transport and drive, and also length of stay: 5 or more days we will opt for an apartment, unless we are with another couple. If its an over nighter ( say airport hotel, it can be small but has to have a good bed.. I check the bedlinen and covers in the photos as much as I can!!)We like B&Bs, and smaller hotel chains or family run businesses. Area is important to us, I look for the cathedrale in Europe because there is usually a square and reasonable access if we are not driving. Places to eat within walking distance, also I try to group things together that we want to see: for instance in Cordoba in Spain last trip: restaurant for lunch, visit to Mezquite and a Flamenco show all close to where we stayed.We would rarely eat breakfast in a hotel in Spain, toast and tomato and a coffee is easily come by and cost just a couple of euro. I cross reference hotels: I check ratings on Tripadvisor, usually the best and the worst, cross check on and try the hotels own website. I usually book on . Does anyone else go for non refundable rooms? I do but that little voice in my head goes "yes but what if???"
The next trip we are off on this December we have 11 stops, ranging from 6 nights in Bologna (apartment) and an overnight at the airport before we fly home. Eight of those are refundable.
misskdonkey is offline  
Jul 17th, 2019, 07:37 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
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All the time I spend researching hotels really has paid off so I will continue doing it. One of the hardest searches was for Hong Kong.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 18th, 2019, 07:37 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,425
Misskdonkey - "Does anyone else go for non refundable rooms? " If they are substantially cheaper and I know our itinerary is not going to change and I am 100% confident in my choice then yes. I am not going to change hotels so why pay more. If I cannot travel for any reason then the cancellation fees would be recoverable from my travel insurance.

In many countries the price differential is minimal, so I don’t bother. However, I have noticed in planning a trip,to South Africa that there is a much bigger differential. Also, unlikely most countries, in South Africa they usually want the money ( or at least a large proportion) up front when booking. They then say there is "free cancellation” up to say 1 month beforehand. Easy to say when they have your money, but I do wonder how quickly it would take to get cash back from them. Not very happy about this, but that is the way it is.

PS We spent a month in Bologna in an apartment last year and loved it! A fantastic city.
crellston is offline  
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