Booking online has become one of the most popular methods of making hotel reservations. That is true even here in the Philippines, where 73% of respondents in a 2020 Statista survey booked online directly with their chosen accommodation. Another 46%, on the other hand, made hotel reservations via travel agencies or aggregators, while 41% booked via email.
These results are not surprising given the convenience of booking online, along with some other perks, like discounts and coupons. Those who want to book an accommodation in the Pasay-Baclaran-Makati area, for instance, can avail themselves of a Pasay City hotel promo when they book online via the hotel’s own website or through a travel agency or online booking service. Now, whether you prefer the former option over the latter, make sure to keep the following tips in mind so you can book a good hotel online.
Determine How Much You Are Willing Spend
Your budget will determine what type of accommodations you can realistically afford, and that will help narrow down your search for the ideal establishment. You can refine your search criteria based on what you are willing to pay for.
For instance, if you are on a tight budget, you can search for one-star hotels that offer the bare minimum in terms of room inclusions and amenities. But if you are willing to spend much on accommodations, you can expand your search to include five-star establishments that provide a luxurious experience and world-class, state-of-the-art amenities.
Set Your Criteria
How good a hotel is will largely depend on what you want from it. So, before you even start your hotel search, list down the things that would qualify an establishment as “good” in your book. Just make sure that you factor in your budget when you create your own “what-makes-a-hotel good” list. What that means is that you should not be expecting five-star amenities such as spas and fitness centers when you can realistically afford only one-star establishments.
That said, you can start your list with these basic amenities: air-conditioning (for a good night’s sleep), WiFi (to stay connected), and breakfast (to start your day off right). You can then include other criteria that suit your preferences, like parking, transport accessibility, and 24/7 concierge availability.
Leverage Online Booking Services
One of the best ways to find hotels that suit your budget and preference is by checking out an online booking service. Sites like Booking.com or Agoda keep an accessible database of hotels, inns, and even AirBnB that you can peruse, so you can check out multiple accommodations with accompanying pictures and then compare them later on. Equally important, you can filter your search in various ways: by price range, by type (i.e. one-star, five-star), by location, and so on.
Online booking services also offer benefits such as discounted rates and coupons, which you can use to upgrade your stay or lower your bill even more. Additionally, hotels actually prioritize bookings made in these sites to avoid getting bad reviews (more on these later), so you are likely to find a room in the establishment of your choice.
Read the Reviews Thoroughly
Another great advantage to using online booking sites is that you can find reviews of the various accommodations listed. These reviews are written by people who have actually stayed in the hotel, and they will help give you a concrete idea on what you can expect from that particular establishment. Having said that, do not be blinded by a single glowing review. Instead, read several reviews and check if there is a consensus as to the overall experience being offered.
Check for patterns as well. For instance, if several reviews are applauding the hotel’s food, chances are the food is, indeed, good. Likewise, if several reviews are lamenting a hotel’s poor housekeeping, then the likelihood is that it is actually a problem. But as you read these reviews, make sure to consider the following two things. First, they should be written within the year to ensure they are up-to-date. Second, read them with your own expectations and preferences in mind. Reason being is that an issue for someone, such as the lack of air-conditioning, might not necessarily be a deal-breaker for you.
Give the Hotels a Call or Visit Their Website
Once you have shortlisted your preferred good hotels, make it a point to check in with them, either through a phone call or by contacting them directly on their website. Doing so should be standard practice because things are fluid in hotels. This means that they can change rates and policies at any time, add a few amenities or upgrade existing ones, and even offer discounts and other perks.
Moreover, giving the hotel a call will allow you to ask questions concerning your possible stay there. For example, you can ask if the hotel has smoking rooms or if it has facilities for persons with disabilities. You can also seek clarifications in terms of deposits, cancellation policy, and so on.
Online booking combined with the numerous hotels available out there all but guarantees that you will find a hotel to your liking. The key to finding it is to be patient, bide your time, and follow the five tips discussed above. By doing so, you’ll find that good hotel that can perfectly suit your preferences.