When it comes to what to look for in a hotel in a foreign city, there are a lot of things to think about.
From the distance of your hotel to the attractions of a city, to balancing your budget with comfort, choosing a hotel is an art-form that takes more work than simply booking the first room you see.
For women who are traveling solo, choosing a hotel room is also an issue of safety.
Here’s what to look for in a hotel, using the tips that we use personally, and a few recommendations of places we love.
A Good Location
When it comes to what to look for in a hotel, you want to choose a place that will put you as close to the action as possible, and you also want it to be located in an area that’s safe at night.
If you find a place you love but it’s not near to the places you want to see, double check that it is at least close to public transport so you can get there easily.
Most major booking sites will allow you to scout the location on a map, but if you’re not sure about the neighborhood, pick up the phone and call the hotel before you book.
Be sure to read the reviews of any property before you book — look for reviews that talk about the area, whether or not it felt safe, specifically from women who were traveling there recently. Same goes for any Airbnb or private property you might book. ALWAYS read the reviews carefully.
For starters, always search for hotels that have a front desk that’s open 24-hours.
This will help you in case your flight gets in super late at night, because the last thing you want is to be wandering down the streets of a neighborhood you don’t know with all of your bags in tow looking like a majorly lost tourist because your hotel is closed (trust us, we’ve been there).
If you’ve chosen a hotel that has 24-hour reception, the next thing to do is to double check that the property has other safety measures in place. Do they have CCTV? Do they offer safety deposit boxes in their rooms?
When you check in to a place, take a look at the doors. Are they sturdy? Do they have at least two locks on them?
If they open from the inside (most hotel rooms do), bring a doorstop with you and use it at night to prevent anyone from coming in.
Double check that your hotel does offer these services before you book—sometimes it’s worth it to spend an extra few bucks on safety.
Ask for a Room That’s Not on the Ground Floor
When you check in to a hotel, ask to be on a higher floor. This is primarily for safety reasons, as rooms higher up are harder to break into through a window, per se, but it’s also just great for the views.
Plus, we find that rooms on higher floors tend to be just a little bit nicer than rooms on ground floor. Is it just us? Let us know in the comments below if you’ve had this same experience.
Check Out the Amenities
Sometimes, you can tell if a place is going to be a good bet based on the amenities it offers. If the property has a pool, and a gym, it’s probably on the larger side, and therefore, more likely to be a busy place in a busy area.
Traveling is all about finding what works best for you. If you’re looking to veg out and just hang at a resort, book your stay at a place like El Dorado Royale in Mexico, which has enough happening in the resort to keep you happy but is also right on the beach with gorgeous views.
If you’re looking for a hotels that offer a lot in value in the way of the details: nice in-room amenities, quality shampoos, etc, Hyatt hotels can be great—many offer the chance to borrow things you forgot at home free of charge, for example.
We like the Hyatt House brand for the in-room kitchenettes, which make it easy to stay in for the night if you don’t feel like venturing out. Check out the Hyatt House Dallas/Uptown to see what we mean.
Sneaky Upgrades You Can Ask For
It doesn’t always pay to ask for an upgraded room, and depending on who is standing behind the counter, it might backfire against you. A friend recently told me about a great hack to get an upgraded room without specifying it: ask for a room with a bath tub.
Rooms that have bathtubs in the bathrooms generally have bigger bathrooms, and often, have bigger rooms.
Booking Platforms We Use
Here at GGG, we almost exclusively use Booking.com,
These days, several hotels and hostels are creating safe spaces that are a female-only. Many are entire floors for women, which come complete with curling irons, flat irons and women’s magazines, like the Georgian Court Hotel in Vancouver.
I don’t stay in hostels often, but when I do and I’m not in a private room, I ALWAYS book a bed in a female-only dorm room. They’re cleaner, generally, and it’s just nicer sleeping around women and not men who snore light freight trains. But that’s just my experience!
What do you look for in a hotel? Are there tips and tricks you’ve picked up over the years? Let us know in the comments!
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