Once you have decided on the country and the city to which you will go on your own journey, you need to choose a hotel. On what principle to choose a hotel and what to pay attention to, I will tell in this article.
Our recommendations have our personal experience. You may have other requests and other possibilities, as well as principal requirements for accommodation during the trip, but the basic principles are approximately the same.
It should be noted that for us one of the principal points when choosing a hotel is the best price/quality ratio. On the one hand, we are absolutely not pretentious, but we also have minimum requirements for hotels, which we are not ready to give up. The only thing is that when it comes to choosing a more comfortable stay or another trip, we always choose the second one.
Someone needs a 5-star hotel with a swimming pool, a restaurant and other delights, but since we choose economical accommodation options, a separate comfortable room with breakfast is enough for us. For example, in Rome we stayed at a bed and breakfast hotel called BBLiving, and we were very satisfied with this option.
What to look for when choosing a hotel?
Availability of a double bed. Sometimes hotels offer rooms with two beds and not all of them can be moved. Therefore, if this is an important point for you, write this point in the comments to your room reservation.
Shower and toilet in the room. Some bed-and-breakfast hotels have multiple room amenities (which are always described in the room description before booking). Therefore, pay attention to this point and book only those rooms that meet your requirements.
Free wi-fi is also a very necessary and important part of a comfortable stay. Today, most hotels provide this service, but still do not forget to check whether the room you book includes wi-fi free of charge.
The metro is within walking distance if you are travelling by plane. Free parking is available if you are travelling by car. It is often stated in the description that parking is for a fee, in which case you should check the price. As in Europe almost all parking is paid, you may be surprised when you find out that the cost of an hour of parking is more than 1 euro.
In my experience I can say that the most important thing when choosing a hotel is not proximity to some historical places, but the presence of the subway. Although, this rule applies to many cities, there are exceptions. For example, in Venice it is better to book a hotel in the city itself to enjoy the night views. But in most major European cities, pay attention to how close the subway is.
I will now tell you why this is the best option. First of all, all major European cities have a subway that will take you to any part of the city. When you travel by plane, choosing a hotel far from the subway or train station will require you to get to the hotel with suitcases, which in practice is quite difficult.
When we were planning our trip to Rome, we chose a hotel close to the Vatican, confident that this was the best option. In practice, however, it turned out that the proximity of the Vatican is not a comfort parameter at all.
The most important thing was that there was a subway near the hotel, which helped us to move around the city quickly and easily. The second point – accommodation in hotels, which are located in historically important places, is often more expensive than in other places.
Again, from experience, the neighborhood is not very different from any other neighborhood in the city, and overpayments have to be made. So choose a hotel near the subway, in an ordinary neighborhood, pay the best price and get around the city by public transport.
The included breakfast is also an important part of a comfortable stay. Even if this breakfast includes only coffee and croissant, it is enough to finally wake up.
Free cancellations a day before check-in. On Buckingham (hotel reservation site booking.com – ed.) there is a “smart offer” for almost every hotel.
When booking such a room the price is slightly lower than usual, but the payment is charged immediately and is not refundable when cancelling the reservation. If you are 100% sure that you will get to the planned time in this hotel, then feel free to choose this option.
If there is any chance that your plans may change, for example, you have not yet received a Schengen visa, it is better to overpay, but reserve the right to cancel the reservation.