What is your checklist for deciding on a hotel?

While I have safely slept in hostels in several countries (e.g. Iceland, Japan, Switzerland), based on the advises I learned from others, in some countries (e.g. Indonesia, UAE, USA) for the safety, hygiene and/or value-for-money reasons.

  1. Essential criterias: safety + location [1] + budget-friendly
  2. Always consider alternatives (#pandaAlt) “Search 2-3 websites, and then check the hotel’s website. Don’t forget to try calling, as hotels often match rates.”
  3. check for cancelation policy (I prefer booking with free cancellation / modification, unless I am certain that I will stay on particular dates there) [2]
  4. free wifi (unless if I am staying minimal hours in the hotel rooms and have a daily access to internet elsewhere)
  5. smoke-free [3]. No or minimal carpets, because carpets usually retain strong cigarette smells.

On 20161110, I learned an important lesson that unsold hotel rooms are often at discount when it’s closer to the date. Comparing the booking that I did in September 2016 and new bookings today, the difference amounted to ~ USD 720! That’s a lot of savings. I separated the date ranges into several bookings instead of a single booking.

On 20170111, I was reminded again to always use latch lock when sleeping/showering because hotel staff has ‘master card’ to unlock our hotel room.

[1] To save time, choose an accommodation site that is not too far from sightseeing sites or work locations (for business trips).

[2] grep “20161022 lesson” ref2016/*accommodation_winter2016*txt | On 20170317, our smart mother sent me an advice via whatsapp to check on the possibility of placing my baggage in the store room of the hotel that I was staying when I leave for ~ 2 weeks. Thankfully, the hotel staff agreed hence I reduce moving things (2017 has been a year in which I moved things a lot, in spite of my backache and post-surgery recovery).

[3] On 20161119, the opposite 2-bedroom unit had a strong cigarette smell in spite of being on a non-smoking floor and with the sign of no-smoking on the door! Thankfully, the former guest of our unit did not smoke. See 20161119_141429*floor_plan.jpg. It’s always good to familiarize ourselves with evacuation plan in case of fire, earthquake, etc; know where the emergency staircases are and ensure that the ground floor door of emergency staircases are functional.

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