How to find the best hotels: our 7 best tips

Traveling within a budget without having to miss out on luxury is perfectly doable if you use these excellent tips to find the best hotels.

cheapest hotel

Finding the best hotels or apartments for your budget is thanks to internet just a matter of minutes!

The best platform to find the best hotels

Before the pandemic started, June and I used to travel quite a bit.

All in all 4 to 6 months every year. We have been all over the world.

After years of trying out a dozen of comparison websites to find the best hotels for our budget, we prefer only one.

We always use Booking.com, which is by far our favorite online reservation website.

What I really like about their website:
• lots of good quality pictures of the hotel and the available rooms
• a very accurate map of where the hotel is located
• very detailed and useful information about the hotels

The available filters to fine tune search results are numerous. It allows you to find a hotel where internet is included in the price. We never go to a hotel without internet connection and yes, those hotels still exist.

Customer reviews

Booking.com also allows you to read comments from previous clients.

Customer reviews are extremely valuable in finding the best hotels.

These reviews are very reliable because they come from people who actually stayed in that specific hotel. If you haven’t booked a room there through Booking.com, you simply can’t leave a comment online, unlike Tripadvisor.

Real reviews make it easy to discover the hidden flaws of a hotel you can’t see on pictures, like not being able to sleep because of paper thin walls, a noisy outdoor pub or restaurant next door, bad service or poor housekeeping.

All of which you can only know if you have spent a night there.

How to choose the best hotels

We can always choose the best hotels based on ratings and reviews.

Experience has taught us to choose hotels with a minimum 8.5 rating and above, a list you can easily get by choosing the right filter. After that we compare prices and room pictures.

What is also important to mention is that the Booking.com website is extremely fast and that there is an application for Android, iPhone and iPad.

Making a reservation takes less than a minute if you are a registered client and have your preferred payment method saved to your profile. Reservation speed is indeed critical in places where internet is not great.

We have always been able to find the best hotels, even a last minute reservation one hour before getting there.

Excellent customer service

You don’t have to print anything either, Booking.com communicates directly with the hotel you are staying in. Their customer service is brilliant and very efficient.

We once booked a room that apparently was double booked and not available anymore. The hotel notified Booking.com who immediately contacted us by phone about the matter. Booking.com took care of a room in one of the best hotels in the same area for the same price.

Perfect customer service, Booking.com is very reliable!

best hotels

Prices

But the best news is their prices!

Whenever we find a good hotel, we will compare the price we get on Booking.com with the price we get on the website of the hotel itself. We are always stunned to see that in most cases Booking.com prices are lower than the actual hotel price.

And it is not always a matter of a handful of euros. We have found room rates on Booking.com that are 30 to 40% cheaper.

Quite often you can get free cancelation up until a few hours before check in. The pandemic has shown how important it is to be able to cancel your reservation last minute is something comes up.

We will never choose a hotel anymore that does not offer free cancellation. It is again another filter that you can select if you are looking for the best hotels on Booking.com.

There are often last minute deals as well, which you definitely will not find on the hotel website.

After some time if you regularly book through Booking.com, you will become a ‘Genius‘ client.

In that case you will receive extra updates about special discounts, last minute offers or attractive upgrades.

2 additional tips to find the best hotel

-Sign up for a hotel loyalty system. It is just like collection airmiles. You will receive reward points that can easily give you restaurant discounts, free nights, upgrades, free welcome drinks, etc.

-Pay your hotel expenses with your credit card to collect extra airmiles!

Are you tired of hotels?

Do you need your own space while traveling? Or just enjoy a good cup of coffee in the morning without having to go down for breakfast?

Why not consider staying in a rental apartment?

How to find an excellent rental apartment

Short term and medium term apartment rental has grown extremely in recent years.

Even though we love to stay in the best hotels, we also enjoy to relax in a rental apartment or studio for a couple of nights.

You would be surprised how many travelers prefer to have a little private place to stay. We do love to being able to cook from time to time with local products that are not available at home.

But even if you are not into cooking, living in an apartment allows you to get much closer to the culture of the country or city you visit, much more than staying in a nice hotel.

5 reasons to choose a rental apartment

Price

The first and best advantage is that renting an apartment is much cheaper than staying in a hotel, even if it is a very cheap hotel.

If you can save a part of your travel budget on accommodation, you have more money available to spend on your trip.

There are also less hidden costs, which is often inevitable even in the best hotels.

And not only are apartments cheaper, you generally get much more space than a hotel room which is also important.

Another important advantage to consider, especially when you are a digital nomad like us: renting a place somewhere gets cheaper the longer you stay. Living a month in a rental apartment is cheaper than staying in a hotel for two weeks.

Location

Renting your apartment allows you to choose the neighbourhood you would like to live in.

Very often the best hotels will all be in the same area or in city centres, while you can find rental apartments all over the city.

June for instance loves to cook with local ingredients for her recipe website, so for us it is important to find a place to rent close to a local market and decent supermarket.

Cooking

Whether to just want to make a cup of coffee in the morning, a simple breakfast, or take a break from eating at restaurants and cook a light dinner: all this is possible in a rental apartment that costs far less than a hotel room.

Even if you do not want to cook at night, a simple breakfast in your apartment can make you save dozens of euros a day. Some hotels sometimes ask absolutely outrageous prices for a breakfast.

Meeting locals

Do you like meeting people?

Your chances of meeting local people really increase if you rent an apartment. These interesting encounters hardly happen if you book in one of the best hotels in the same area.

The longer you stay in a rental apartment, the easier it gets to bump into your neighbours. Even restaurant owners and staff or market vendors will quickly start to recognise you if you visit them often.

Social contact with the local population is often what makes our stay twice as enjoyable.

Rental apartment amenities

You will generally find that a rental apartment is well equipped.

Way better of course than a hotel room. Think of a washer and dryer, an ironing board, a coffee machine, a microwave, water boiler, a fully equipped kitchen, large fridge, comfortable couch etc.

best hotels

How to find a rental apartment?

Use the same specialised websites you would search for the best hotels.

For quite some time now, those type of websites have soared.

The most popular of all is undoubtedly Airbnb.

We used it quite a couple of times in the past and we were satisfied by the numerous choice of rental apartments. Also the fact that Airbnb allows to immediately contact the owners and get your trip organised quickly.

Many filters make it possible to refine your preferences, and prices are clear. Very nice as well: the selection of apartment themes.

What do you think of living in a place built by the great architect Frank Lloyd Wright, in a selection of train wagons transformed into a studio, or in an igloo?

The best hotels are often rental apartments

The success of Airbnb is massive.

However after a while we were not satisfied anymore. We moved to Booking.com, because they are absolutely great and reliable.

Many Airbnb clients went to Booking for 5 reasons:

  • better service
  • better conditions
  • making a reservation is a breeze
  • no administration fees or hidden costs to pay
  • fast and efficient client registration system

Getting registered as a client on Booking.com is really easy while on Airbnb the procedure is much more complicated. Many complain about the fact that in some cases people had to scan their identity card or other official documents to prove it is you, which raises questions about confidentiality and privacy.

In addition, their registration system is complex and doesn’t always work.

What really made us switch to Booking.com for good is the fact that there is no one to contact when there is a problem with a booking or an owner.

It happened to us once in Europe. We had to call a number in the US to talk to someone.

We now always book a rental apartment on Booking.com rather than on Airbnb.

Booking.com also has a specialised section in best hotels, apartments and bed and breakfasts.

If you want to book the best hotels or rental apartments, use Booking.com.

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Lily Bridgers
Lily Bridgers

My aunt had been trying to book a stay at an ocean-view hotel because her husband said they both could use a breath of fresh air. It’s excellent that you pointed out how reviews—which offer feedback from previous visitors—are crucial for finding the best hotels. I’ll make sure my aunt is aware of this so they may consider it while selecting a place to stay. Gratitude for sharing.

The Garden Venue
The Garden Venue

Good post. Wedding planning can seem stressful, but considering these things before choosing a dream wedding venue is beneficial. Thanks for sharing!

Taylor Abrams
Taylor Abrams

I’m planning a weekend getaway with a bunch of friends, and finding suitable group accommodation is our top priority. We’re looking for a spacious and comfortable place that can accommodate all of us, so we can have a great time together without any space constraints. It’s going to be a fantastic trip especially since you shared a suggestion on how customer evaluations are quite helpful in locating the best hotels since they are very trustworthy as they are written by individuals who have actually been at the hotel.

Taylor Abrams
Taylor Abrams

I want to surprise my parents with a hotel reservation at a gorgeous seaside resort they’ve always spoken about going to for their 30th wedding anniversary next month. It’s a little gift to express my gratitude and affection for their long love story. Thank you for the advice on how to select the best hotels using customer reviews, which are highly helpful because they are provided by real guests at the hotel.

Taylor Abrams
Taylor Abrams

Ooh, it’s interesting to know that up to a few hours before check-in, you may frequently cancel for free. As you said, the pandemic has demonstrated how crucial it is to have the flexibility to change your plans at the last minute in case an emergency arises. I will keep this in mind because I want to look for a bed and breakfast nestled in the mountains to reset and recharge next week. Life’s just been hard and I deserve a getaway!

Sam Andrews
Sam Andrews

Thank you very much for encouraging us to only book a room with a hotel that provides a free cancellation option. My wife and I are going to spend a few days in Virginia next month. I’ll surely keep this trick in mind when making a reservation soon.

Elle Jones
Elle Jones

It’s great that you said that you may locate rental homes with washers and dryers, even coffee makers. This makes me think of my sister, who hopes to find a Gulf-front vacation home in the coming month. Your advice is beneficial since she wants to enjoy her birthday in privacy while making sure she will meet all of her demands. Thaks for the insights!

Taylor Abrams
Taylor Abrams

I like that you talked about how finding the best hotels relies heavily on customer evaluations, which are also incredibly trustworthy because they are written by actual hotel guests. I’m looking this up because I’ve been feeling a bit burned out lately, so I’m thinking about booking a hotel for a weekend getaway. It’s high time to recharge, unwind, and enjoy some quality time away from the usual daily grind.

Anna Collins
Anna Collins

I’ll be in Hollywood next month for a three-day-long trip, so I need to find a hotel in the area to book for my stay. It’s good that you mentioned the importance of checking customer reviews if we want to find a good hotel since this will help us discover hidden flaws previous guests have experienced during their stay. I’ll take note of this while I look for hotels in Hollywood that I might consider booking for my trip.

Taylor Abrams
Taylor Abrams

Next week, I’m taking a vacation to unwind from my stressful job, therefore I need to find lodging in Provincetown. I’m delighted you stressed how important customer evaluations are while looking for hotels since they may make us aware of the hotel’s unnoticed issues and issues with its offerings. I’ll have it in mind while I hunt for a year-round lodging to reserve.

Eli Richardson
Eli Richardson

Next month, we’re traveling to another state for a music concert, so we’re looking for the right accommodation for our stay. We’re grateful for your insight on choosing hotels based on their reviews and past ratings. We’ll definitely use your guide to find the best hotel for our trip.

Victoria Addington
Victoria Addington

Since my aunt’s husband was such a baseball fan, she has been hoping to reserve a room at a Baseball Hall of Fame hotel. It’s great that you mentioned how important reviews are for locating the top hotels because they provide information from guests who have stayed there. I’ll be sure to let my aunt know about this so they can take it in mind while choosing a hotel. Thanks for sharing!

Ava
Ava

It was interesting when you suggested comparing the prices that you get whenever you are booking a hotel. This is something that I will share with my sister because she is planning to book a romantic hotel room to surprise her husband on their 5th wedding anniversary. She wants to find a hotel that can offer her the best possible deal, so your tips are helpful.

Shammy Peterson
Shammy Peterson

It sure was nice when you said that you will find a rental property that is well-equipped and a washer and dryer, and even a coffee machine. This reminds me of my sister who is planning to find a gulf-front vacation rental property next month. She wants to celebrate her birthday in peace while ensuring that she will get all her needs, so your tips are helpful.

Emarald hotels
Emarald hotels

Hi,

This post provides valuable and informative tips for travelers looking to find the best hotels for their needs. These tips are very helpful to get the best hotels according to their needs.

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Olivia Smart
Olivia Smart

Thank you for pointing out how customer reviews can help you find a good hotel. We’re planning on going to a concert in May and are looking for a good hotel to stay in since we need to fly there. I’ll be sure to keep a close eye on the reviews so we can find good accommodations.

Elina Brooks
Elina Brooks

I’m going on a trip to relieve stress from work next week, so I need to find a place to stay in Provincetown while I’m there. I’m glad you emphasized how valuable customer reviews are when finding hotels since they can help us be aware of the hotel’s hidden flaws and problems with their services. I’ll keep this in mind while I look for bed-and-breakfast lodging to book .

Ava Murphy
Ava Murphy

You made a good point when you said that you can easily find flaws in a hotel when you read real reviews about them. My brother is planning to stay in a motel room for 1-3 days because he needs to travel to see his daughter. He wants to ensure that he will have a good experience while staying in a motel, so I will ask him to do your tips.

Shammy Peterson
Shammy Peterson

My favorite part of your blog is when you said that reading reviews from people who actually stayed in the hotel that you are interested in can help you find the best hotel. One of my plans is to treat my parents on their wedding anniversary in March. I want to book a hotel room for them so they can intimately celebrate their anniversary. For sure, I will only deal with a hotel that has the most 5-star reviews.

Luke Hawkins
Luke Hawkins

My family and I are planning a vacation for next month, however we are unsure how to choose an appropriate hotel. We came on this site while hunting for a solution. It’s fantastic that you mentioned reading through the reviews written by previous visitors to learn more about the hotel’s reputation and amenities. This makes perfect sense; we’ll definitely keep this in mind while selecting a hotel. Thanks.

Luke Smith
Luke Smith

It was a great advice when you said to take advantage of booking websites, because it’s more convenient to book a hotel if you’re a registered client. My wife and I are planning to have a staycation soon, because we want to get away from our responsibilities just for a short amount of time. Thank you for your helpful tips, we’ll keep them in mind while we find the best lodgings near our area.

Charlotte Fleet
Charlotte Fleet

I like how you stated that reviews from customers are valuable for finding a great hotel. My sister and I are going on a trip next month to California and we need to find a great hotel. We will be sure to use customer reviews about hotels to determine the best one for our vacation.

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