Check the exact hotel location
View the map and look at street view if you want to make sure the location is as great as it seems on the website. Busy roads, tracks, and freeways might be too close for your comfort.
Check review sites
Look at all reviews…not just the bad ones or the fantastic ones. Weigh what is being said and if the same issue comes up several times…you may want to rethink your hotel. Also, check what reviewers have to say about room location, extra options, shuttle services, and nearby attractions.
This could save you time and money in many ways.
Check parking availability and cost
If you will have your own car, check both availability and pricing on parking at the hotel. Many times, hotel parking can add anywhere from $10 to $35 or more to your daily hotel cost.
If no hotel parking is available, check where the nearest parking ramp is and the cost of parking there.
What does the hotel offer? Coffee and pastries…or a full breakfast.
You can usually find out this information on the hotel website or by calling the front desk directly. If you are concerned about budget…this is an important question to ask.
If you absolutely need Internet access…ask if it is included or what the charge is. It may be free for loyalty members, but not for others.
Usually, I recommend booking directly through the hotel if you are a loyalty club member. You can ask questions about upgrades, points, etc. Also, you can make sure they have your member number in order to receive points for this stay.
Sign up for the rewards program
If you are not yet a member and it is free to sign up for a hotel's loyalty program, do it. You may receive some complimentary services for doing so. One more reason to call the hotel directly.
Don't be afraid to ask for a better rate
Again…if you call directly, you can ask for a better rate. Be polite and ask about specials or deals. Sometimes websites do not list programs like AARP or AAA, but the reservation desk will.
Again…don't be afraid to call the hotel directly
You’ve read the reviews and looked at the website. Maybe you still have questions about the Wi-Fi cost, or if the room you want is pet friendly, or their cancellation policy. By calling, you can get your questions answered. It’s also a great way to get a feel for the vibe of that hotel.