There is so much more to a hotel than being where you will sleep at night. It is your base, the place you will come back and relax in after a hard day of sightseeing. Even if it’s only for a couple of hours before you head back out for the evening.
I think it was a trip to Rome that made me realise just how important a hotel is to your trip. Rome was wonderful – of course – it’s Rome, but we made a really bad hotel choice and ultimately it made our stay not as great as it should have been.
We were too far away from the majority of the attractions that we wanted to visit, so we spent a lot of time on the metro. There was no room service or restaurant, so we had to keep organised, making sure that we picked up any items (like water) that we needed on the way back to the hotel and we couldn’t have a nightcap either!
The room was very small – too small for two people to share for five days, we couldn’t get a moment of peace and yes, we ended up bickering. Ultimately it just wasn’t somewhere that we wanted to come back to.
Now, I put as much effort into choosing (what I hope will be) the right hotel for us as I do deciding where to eat and what to see while we are there.
We like a nice hotel, we want to be very comfortable in it. Hopefully there will be a spa so I can have a massage – after a few days of lugging my heavy camera bag around, I need a massage.
We want good food options in the hotel so that if we are tired, or the weather is bad, we can still eat a nice meal without having to compromise.
I want a room that is clean – I mean properly clean – not “it’s fine as long as you don’t look too closely clean” I like to have a separate seating area with a desk – I work while I’m travelling and working from bed all the time is bad for my posture and indeed my marriage.
A bath tub is a definite nice to have, a good shower with hot water and actual proper water pressure is an essential. And Wifi, there must be wifi, preferably fast wifi that I’m not going to be charged extra for.
I love being able to look out of the window and see something pretty, I want to be somewhere central and most importantly I need the hotel to be quiet. I’m not sure if it’s an age thing, or just a general grumpiness, but I hate loud noises now while I’m trying to relax. And if there is loud music while I’m trying to sleep – the chances are my head will actually explode.
And then breakfast arrived and we knew it was going to be a very good day #roomservice #beiruthotel #travelblogger #riseandshine #foodbloggerlife #lebanonbreakfast #phoeniciahotel #phoeniciabeirut #visitlebanon
A photo posted by Millie Jackson Rowe (@vhungryexplorer)
Of course there is so much more that goes into a good hotel – we haven’t even touched on the importance of good customer service. But this is a very great place to start.
I stopped doing hotel reviews for a while, with sites like TripAdvisor, I wasn’t sure that people actually needed them anymore, but having spent hours and hours of my life (that I will never get back) trying to decipher which are the genuine reviews and trying to work out if I really care that the concierge wasn’t there that one time to help you with your suitcase. I think proper hotel reviews are more helpful than ever.
The trick, I think, is to find a blogger that has similar priorities to you, so that you can trust this will be somewhere that you actually want to stay. So if you like luxury and quiet, good food and a central location with fast wifi you are in the right place and these are the hotels for you.