Resources - Hotels

A Seven Step Evaluation Approach

Are you travelling on business or pleasure?

Whatever the purpose of your travel, a well located quality hotel will greatly enhance the satisfaction that you get from your stay overseas. Most of our bookings are made online direct with the property concerned, and this is usually the cheapest way of booking (guaranteed by the property to be lower than the cheapest price on the web for the category and basis) for well-located chain hotel properties.

When booking your hotel, please use the following checklist.

   1. Is the price within your budget, on the dates that you require?
   2. Room Configuration - Single (one small bed), Double (one big bed), Twin (two single beds), Suite, Quad, or Apartment?
   3. Does it have the essential amenities, character and rating that you require?
   3. Meal Plan - with Breakfast, Half Board (with lunch or dinner) or Full Board (all three) ?
   4. Is transport from the airport, bus or train station clear and convenient ?
   5. Is the hotel location good enough (accessible enough) for your purposes?
   6. Reviews - Check Tripadvisor or do a search in Google to read other travellers' experiences
   7. Check the payment terms (prepaid/refundable, prepaid/nonrefundable, or card-guarantee postpaid)

We have credit card guaranteed bookings as well as slightly lower rates for prepaid bookings. Note that prepaid bookings are mostly non-refundable, and cannot be date-changed. An early check-out is usually non-refundable.We also have rates for post-paid basis, which means that the booking is confirmed with a hotel voucher at a fixed rate, but it can also be cancelled without penalty as late as the booked date, and payment is made only at the hotel. This has to be booked as early as possible to get an attractive rate comparable to the prepaid rate.

Remember to avoid the high season, unless you are specifically visiting for the conference, occasion, event or celebration that is the cause of the high season. In general, longer stays of upto 3-7 nights can get you much better rates than staying just one night.

Our services include a map to the hotel and a guide to the surrounding area, where relevant.

Remember that Tripadvisor reviews have been mostly written by those who have stayed there, and is based on their comparison and perceptions of actual past experience of where they have stayed before, and also what they can afford. So the budget-conscious traveller may give a 2-star property a much better review than a businessman would give a 5-star hotel. This does not mean that the 2-star hotel has more amenities - just that the requirements and therefore satisfaction of the reviewers are different. Similarly, a person who regularly stays at a 5-star hotel may find a 2-star hotel spartan, and one who stays at family-owned B&B properties may find a conventional, average 5-star hotel impressive.

For luxury travellers. What are the very best hotels, if price is no object? The most iconic hotels of the world where the hotel is the destination. You may stay at one of the major chains, or at individual hotels that are epitomes of their location, and offer uniqueness to the discerning traveller.

The other extreme is the value-for money "homestay" or family-owned "bed & breakfast" establishment, common throughout Europe. A bed & breakfast, which may not be as well located or as good value as a hotel (due to economies of scale), offers you the chance to mingle with locals, enjoy larger rooms or even whole apartments, and often, taste authentic regional homecooked meals and hearty cooked breakfasts. In the US and Canada a Motel is the budget traveller's equivalent, with spartan but quite adequate properties all over the country  - with a few exceptions like central Los Angeles and Manhattan.

 

The largest hotel chains in the world gives you predictability and safety for your trip, especially if your destinations are the major tourist hotspots and cities. However, they can be a little formulaic and boring - so we do book individual properties and other kinds of accommodation such as serviced apartments. Some chains also franchise unique, independent properties which are chain hotels only in name. These offer high accommodation standards as well as real character, such as the Mercure Stratford-upon-Avon, the Hotel NH Collection Amistad Córdoba, and the Radisson Blu St. Helen's in Dublin. For Business or for All Purposes, there are many diverse offerings to choose from in developed markets.
 

Other than these options, here is a list of internationally accepted norms that you may expect from international standard 1 to 5 star hotels, as set out by American Automobile Association's (AAA) Travel Division, and the Forbes Travel Guide, among others (which are listed at the bottom of this page).
 

Hotel Rating Criteria

A study was recently done on the many ways that countries rate lodgings in their respective countries. Note that there is no one rating standard around the world. There is not even regional standardisation, or even ironclad standards for any particular country. A FastTrack report on this was prepared in 2010.

While both service and physical expectations must meet the exacting rating standards, we have found that guests are often influenced more by the way they are treated by the staff than by the opulence and facilities given by the property.  After all, there are thousands of  magnificent hotels all over the world;  guest-oriented, caring, professionally competent, dedicated, and hospitable employees are much rarer. 
 

1.0 A budget property with basic accommodations offering very few amenities and facilities.
2.0 A modest property with basic accommodations offering a few amenities and facilities.
3.0 A property offering comfortable accommodations with limited facilities and services.
4.0 A property with pleasant accommodations offering a variety of facilities and amenities.
5.0 A deluxe property with superior or luxury accommodations and service. Many offer a wide variety of services and amenities. Officially the highest rating given by any reputed national or international rating agency.
6.0 A luxurious and opulent resort offering exceptional accommodations and amenities like private pools, a butler and a host of other unique touches. It is renowned for service and customer delight, beyond the call of duty. This is rare and the rating itself is debatable, given by the property itself, rather than an independent body.
7.0 Sheer decadance and platinum-grade opulence, reserved for three properties:
 -
Burj-al-Arab, Bur Dubai, UAE
 - The Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi, UAE
 - The Townhouse Galleria, Milan, Italy
This rating too is a grey area, used more for marketing rather than granted by a recognised body using objective criteria.
 

A HOTEL, BY DEFINITION

To be categorized as a hotel, the establishment must have most of the following facilities and services: multiple floors, a restaurant and/or coffee shop, elevators, room service, bellmen, valet services, spacious lobby and some recreational facilities.

Many hotels are offering their guests luxury accommodations on floors or towers that operate as a separate unit from the main establishment. The criteria used for this level of accommodation is as follows:

A minimum of one entire floor of the total structure must be devoted to the luxury level. Management must provide no less than three of the four services listed below on their luxury floor(s).

  • Check-in and Check-out Services
  • Concierge Services
  • Private Lounge
  • Private Elevator Service (Key Access)

A hotel offers its guests a broad spectrum of lodging experiences.

Various international standards, which are reviewed from time to time, have been established. Here are some common measures, which are useful to the guest as well as the property to ensure that they meet expectations.

Overview

AAA Diamond Ratings

Hotelstars Union Europe Ratings

Australian AAA Ratings

 

 


Back to Travel Tips

Tourama (Pvt) Ltd
3/1, 304 Union Place,
Colombo 2, Sri Lanka.
Tel: (+94 11) 2326181
Email info@tourama.net