15 Online Hotel Reservation Tips
With more and more hotel reservations being made online these days it is always going to be difficult to tell whether or not the hotel is going to be any good before you arrive – by which time it is usually too late to change your mind if you don’t like the place! To help you out here, the following are 15 tips to online reservations that should help to ensure that you make the right hotel reservation.
Before booking the hotel online, always check the following:
1. will you stay in a single, twin or double room? Some online hotels advertise all three; however, they don’t specify which you’ll have until you arrive. To avoid any disappointment, make sure this issue is clear from the beginning.
2. does the hotel have room service and restaurant facilities? A lot of hotels advertising online do not offer room service. Moreover, whilst many may state they have a restaurant, it later transpires this is only for breakfast – not for lunch and dinner. If these are going to be important to you, check this out carefully.
3. telephone, cable television, on-suite bathroom and 24-hour front desk service. Again, a number of hotels that advertise online do not have direct telephones to your room, cable television, nor do they have on-suite bathrooms. Furthermore, a number will not have front desk service during periods of the night, which may be an important amenity if you need to book out late at night.
4. smoking and non-smoking rooms. A number of European hotels do not differentiate their smoking and non-smoking rooms. If you are a non-smoker, make sure you let the hotel know this at the time you make the booking.
5. sports facilities. More and more these days having gym, pool and spa facilities is an important aspect of your stay.
Booking Your Room
Before you book the room, you need to be asking yourself the following questions:
6. does the hotel accept your credit card? Paying by credit card should help to protect you if you experience any problems.
7. what is the hotel check out time – and, importantly, is there any time of the day when you will be excluded access to your room (for cleaning, etc. purposes)?
8. does the hotel have a safety-deposit box?
9. is the room charge net or gross local sales tax? – many hotels do not include tax in their advertised room rates, which can make for a surprise when it comes to time to settle the bill.
10. will you be charged a fee if you cancel the booking nearer the time?
Local Amenities And Sight-seeing
It’s no use having a cheap hotel if you’re going to be stuck out in the middle of nowhere. As such, before booking your reservation online, check out the following:
11. where’s the nearest train and/or subway station?
12. does the hotel have taxi or limousine service?
13. are there other hotels in the nearby area?
14. are there any major landmarks nearby?
15. are there any restaurants, shops, and supermarkets nearby?
Assuming that the answers to most of the above comply with your needs, it should be safe to go ahead and make the booking. However, always make sure you take a look at the photographs of the rooms before making your final decision and be cautious of any hotel which doesn’t have photos of its rooms available on its internet site. Also make sure that you keep your online booking reference close to-hand.