I am the queen of booking the BEST mid-range accommodation! I must admit, it has taken a few years to conquer- but I have nailed it! Here is how I do it:
Use your accommodation search engines
I like Agoda and Booking.com. Pop in 4 star rating and your price range for each destination. I ten to choose 4 star in most countries- especially Asia and Europe, but in some established destinations such as Australia and the US 3 star is okay to. I tend to narrow down my searches even further to include Wi-Fi and airport transfers- these are usually signs of fairly established venue and are a great hint that they have the complete amenities. Also change the search from “recommended” as these are usually paid ads- to user review rated.
Do not trust the hotel provided images
This is where social media becomes your best friend- type in the hotel name as a hash tag, search it on pinterest, Facebook or twitter and of course Trip Advisor to get some REAL pictures from REAL people!
Hit up Facebook and ask your friends!
Most people have a great base of friends and family who have already travelled- so why not ask them what they recommend?
Do a google search of “(name) Hotel Bad Review”.
This will come up with any negative feedback, so you can discover for yourself if there are any marketing lies put out by the venue !
When you narrow down your search to two or three- why not email the hotel itself???
I have been given a few discounts in my time by contacting the hotel direct and asking for their best price! Don’t be afraid- they want your business!!! They might even throw in your transport to and from the hotel for free
Don’t settle for the first price you find
have a look around at different sites such as Trivago, Booking.com, Agoda, HotelsCombined… you could find a special deal as well
Location. location, location!
View the ‘map’ of where the hotel is located and do a search of the area/neighbourhood. It may be a nice hotel, but it could be an hour drive to the city center and main attractions
Why not book two hotels?
I have done this a few times if I’m not sure about the accommodation or location- I book half half! Cities like Bangkok, Kuta and London have several large neighbourhoods that each offer a unique experience. So why not try out two?! Book two different hotels (4 days at each for example) and you get the best of both worlds! Plus- if one is crappy you know you have another to look forward to!