What Should Hotel Guests Look For Before Deciding to Stay?

When travelling in developing countries including remote regions in industrialized countries, it is advisable to inspect the room before making a decision to stay there.

If you are negotiating by e-mail, ask for a video before deciding to book, on condition that the room is the same as shown. Make a copy of the video and take it with you.

A room inspection should start with the general cleanliness of the room, check out the linen, the quality of the bed (many are too old and sagging or too hard) and amenities. There are many so called hotels in eastern Turkey, rural Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan where hotel keepers change the linen after a few guests have slept in the same bed using the same linen. (I have experienced this several times in a number of hotels. The linen was visibly used several tines, and I was forced to ask for a change of the set).

Alternatively, you can take a lightweight sleeping bag. Also, in such hotels often there are four or more beds in a room. You simply rent a bed, and of course you must use the common bathroom.

If you want to take a bath, you must advise the front office so that water can be heated and the common bathroom be ”closed” temporarily.

In better and more expensive hotels you should check whether the TV set is working properly, and how many channels can be accessed. In most hotels you can get BBC, DW (Deutsche Welle), CNN, and in Muslim countries, Al-Jazeera.

Occasionally, even in western industrialized countries TV sets fail to work properly. Check the TV before you settle, or ask to change the room, if you want and must watch TV.

If you plan to stay fro a week or two, then make sure you get a room with a pleasant view, and away from elevator shafts, and central air conditioning units for the entire floor. Such rooms may cost more, but if you prefer a view then it is worth it.

If you want to work on your computer then Internet connectivity becomes important. Make sure the connection works properly and is fast enough for your purposes. Contrary to the common belief that room rates are fixed (a.k.a rack rate) you can negotiate.

Rooms are highly perishable commodities. In the occupancy level happens to low, or late in the day chances are the receptionist will offer you a discount or ask whether you have a membership in an automobile club, or some kind of association. Some hotel chains issue cards to frequent guests and offer either discounts or some other types of reward or inducement to sue their facilities as often as practicable.

You can used Internet travel agents to book, but there is a charge for their services. On the other hand, they choose hotel chains that offer standard accommodations that correspond to acceptable levels of comfort, i.e private bathroom, adequate size of room and bed, sufficient lighting, Internet connectivity, food and beverage services, and even bars with entertainment. Some budget hotels offer accommodation only.

In many interstate hotels and motels, front office employees ask for two pieces of identification to ensure that you are not `wanted` by law enforcement agencies, prepayment is also a requirement preferably by credit card, never cheques.

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