The first thing that people regularly search by, while searching for a hotel they want to stay in, is the price range they are comfortable with. But once you have done that, and get a list of, say, ten hotels falling in the range, what is then the best way to choose the perfect hotel.

Let us try to help you out with that.

1) Reviews

Only recently, I was to go to Uttaranchal with a couple of friends, one of whom had already been there. When he told me about the hotel he had stayed the previous time, I looked it up online and saw that it had only one review, and that too an unfavourable one, while another had 32 reviews, and in most of them, the hotel was being praised no end. Of course, I then wanted to go to the latter.

With over 33 million members and 75 million reviews, Tripadvisor has revolutionized the way people book hotels. Every hotel worth its salt now tries to show off that it’s been recommended by Tripadvisor, so powerful is the brand.

Reviews give you security and comfort. If you know that a hotel has 43 reviews and 28 people loved its service, its food, its rooms, chances are that you might like it too.

2) Location

Often when you go to a new place, and want to explore it, you might not want to stay too far away from the buzz or from the happening spots. So it makes sense to check how far the hotel is from that beach on a Maldives holiday, from the main market if you are in Bangkok, from the Eiffel Tower if you are in Paris etc. Alternatively, you might want to stay away from the touristy places. So if you are in Goa, and would rather spend your evenings at a secluded beach than with hundreds of others in Baga and Calangute, it makes sense to search for ‘beach hotels in South Goa’.

3) Facilities

I like hotels with swimming pools. I like hotel rooms with tubs, even more. Err in the bathroom actually; tubs would look quite strange if they sat plonk in the middle of the room. Now, let’s consider if someone is searching for a corporate holiday, for a large office group, they might want a conference room with a sizable capacity. And you, when you’re on a trip, might want to not stay out too late in the evening, and want to have dinner only in the hotel. In that case, the hotel must necessarily have a restaurant, ideally with a cuisine you like.

The point is, different people have different ideas of what they consider an essential facility in a hotel. So, do look out for what is a must-have for you when you’re short listing your hotel.

4) Type of Property

Personally, I don’t care much for big hotel buildings at all. I like properties that have a few cottages amid trees and gardens, blame it on the literature I grew up reading. But, a lot of people like swanky hotels, poolside dining, huge lounges. Or maybe you want it to be as private a vacation as possible for your family, and would like to book a villa for yourself?

So, once you have a set of hotel options fitting your budget, spend a little time choosing from your-kind-of-property.

5) Booking websites versus Hotel Websites

This might just be the most important tip. More often than not, the price given on the hotel website would always be more than that on a booking website. As our Head of Operations just remarked, why would anyone buy from a booking website if their prices were higher than that on the hotel’s?

So, maybe next time you should do a comparison and then spend your money.

Neeraj Narayanan

At WeAreHolidays, Neeraj Narayanan is Head of the Content and Digital Media Team. He has a Masters in Advertising & Media Communication, has had experience as a Communication Consultant to the Government of Gujarat, and as a Brand man in the IT giant firm - Cognizant.

On weekends, he conducts Heritage Walks in Delhi.

Neeraj Narayanan – who has written posts on WAH Blog.