How to Pick a Hotel

1 Jun

I’m currently at that point at planning my upcoming trip where I need to try and book some sort of accommodation. While I have in the past been more than happy to rock up in a town and find somewhere when I arrive, as I’m going to be working for at least the first week I figure it might be preferable to be prepared in advance. So how do you go about choosing the perfect hotel/backpackers?

Location- This is a huge thing for me. I like to do some research and make sure I’m not staying too far away from where the action is (have made that mistake in the past). Also important is the areas you are in for example in Jogja I prefer to stay in Prawirotaman the tourist area which attracts the older, more alternative crowd. That’s not to say I haven’t had some fun nights on Sosrowijayan, I’ve just learnt that I’d rather have a $2 taxi ride than have to sleep in an area with blaring music and police raids all night.

Read reviews- Hostel World and Trip Advisor are the two that I normally look at but facebook and a good old google search also do the job. These of course aren’t always accurate and I’ve stayed at hotels with awful reviews which are brilliant and vice versa. An example of this is a certain airport hotel in KL where my door wouldn’t lock properly and I left at 4am to go sleep for the rest of the morning in the terminal.

Price- Frankly quite often you get what you pay for. I’ve had a few surprises- one that springs to mind is Via Via in Jogja which was super cheap but one of the most enjoyable experiences I’ve had at a hotel.  The backpackers I’ve booked in Singapore for my next trip is slightly more expensive than my usual one but we’ll see how it goes because it looks nice and so far service has been brilliant.

These are my normal three criteria when booking a hotel/backpackers.

Ridiculously small hotel in Malaysia

I do like to go for places that offer something a bit different i.e. an outdoor shower which ended up being an awful idea as it was right on the street, or have different themes or traditional elements. This trip has been particularly difficult with having to find a hotel in Jakarta, normally I stay with friends in South Jakarta which I love but having business in the centre of town its much easier to stay in Central Jakarta. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about places on Jalan Jaksa so have avoided that area and have my fingers crossed hoping this place is alright. I’ll post some reviews once I’ve checked them out!

That’s it for now from me. While I like to travel cheaply I also like to be comfortable so with a bit of extra research I feel you can combine the two. Oh and a sleeping bag liner is your friend! Makes those somewhat dirty looking hotels much more comfortable.

What are your tips for picking a hotel when traveling?

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