Sunday, March 16, 2014

Checklist for choosing good hotel accommodations in India.

For a couple of days now, I am busy zeroing in on a travel destination for the upcoming summer vacations in India. What about you? Are you planning on one too? If yes, then the next thing, immediately after selecting a destination, that would be on our minds is to search for a hotel that is best for us.

After all, a hotel is the place that becomes a travelers temporary home away from home and with the wide range of available accommodation in India, the situation can get a bit daunting if ‘booking a hotel’ is something that does not feature on his/her travel planning list.

Accommodations / Places to stay: A travelers home away from home.

Let me try to help and make this task a bit easier for you. Here’s a list of 5 questions that I believe, you should always ask yourself before pressing the ‘book my hotel’ button no matter where you are travelling to - I always do! Here they go:

1. Am I within my budget?

First things first. Draw a line and define your budget. There is no dearth of good hotels today in any range that you choose. Scan your options well, pick what looks good for you and shortlist the best from among them. The last thing you want is to end up splurging in this area such that it leaves you with a smaller pocket for other expenses like shopping, right? All you need to do is do your homework well. And then, follow it up with a bit of research through Google.

2. Am I travelling off season?

If yes, then there is some good news for you. Most of the hotels offer steep discounts for travelers travelling in the off season. And sometimes these can be as steep as saving you almost 50 percent of the original price. Do not shy away from bargaining. Remember that old adage, the customer is the king, the possibilities are endless and the market very competitive. Know the logistics well and speak confidently, you never know, sometimes that is all it takes to strike a good deal in your favor.

3. Does the hotel have pick up/drop facility?

Checking this box is important if you are not going to have any private transport pick you up from your point of arrival. Because of the competitive nature and the growing notoriety of touts, especially in touristy locations like Jaipur, many hotels offer for a pick and drop facility. Most of the time, the hotel itself will inform you about it but there are times when they don’t make it specific. Hence, the best thing is to never take things on face value and ASK. You might just get lucky.

4. Have I checked on the hotel amenities that are important to me?

Are you travelling in the winters? Did you check with the hotel if they provide for a heater? And what about a geyser? However small or trivial these questions may sound, unavailability of any of these items can be a real dampener once you reach there. I personally believe money is just one aspect; but the real finesse lies in the value and services. Make sure the hotel ticks all the right boxes worth your money especially those that are important to you.

5. How is the connectivity of the hotel with respect to the places I am looking forward to travel to?

needn't tell you how important choosing a hotel in a good location is; there is already tons of material written on it worldwide. Hotels seem to be everywhere these days, in all the directions of the city, in varied corners of the world. In such a scenario, it’s not difficult to get confused with all the available choices.

The answer to this dilemma lies with you. If you are planning to primarily explore the city and are dependent on public transport for getting around, then look out for a good centrally located hotel. On the other hand, if your stay is merely a stopover while reaching your ultimate destination, then you might as well deviate and select that location that is most convenient to pick your travelling from the next day (ex. Nearer to airport, railway station, etc.).

In short, the goodness of the connectivity of a hotel is directly related to your itinerary. Make sure you equate them properly and choose a hotel accordingly.

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This was my checklist I recommend you keep in mind before booking your hotel the next time around, now it’s time to share yours! Did I miss out on any point? Do you have anything to add? Please do so in the comments section. I would love to hear from you!

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  1. Very handy check list, Arti. In my case, since I have a two year old, I make sure that the hotel/homestay can provide baby food (read khichdi, curd rice). Also, I ask them about the weather there, eg. arrival of monsoons. Could think of only these at the moment, Arti.

  2. Great tips! I always check if the hotel has breakfast included as I need my breakfast!! Like you, I like to check the amenities :-)

  3. A very informative post Arti..loved it..

  4. All of them are valid points Arti. I usually choose hotel which have least commuting distance to the places I plan to visit. I don't want to spend lot of time traveling.

  5. All excellent points that can be applied anywhere!

  6. Nice points to look for when doing homework for hotels.
    Decided on destination(s) for the summer? Have fun!

  7. wow, these are indeed very practical and great tips for travelers to India, Arti.

  8. My friend just returned from India - I'll have to see if she followed your checklist!

  9. I agree with your tips. I try to do "the second tip "off season" " but it's not easy to take holidays during the off season. I'll do my best. :D

  10. My checklist vvould be vvhether a hotel offers complimentary breakfast and dinner, vvhether the hotel offers deep discount, vvhether the hotel provides complimentary tea maker and mineral vvater, 24 hour hot vvater is a must because one tends to shovver tvvice a day. Finally of course the budget. The norm is extended stay 30 to 40% off, i mean 2 nights or more.

  11. I think you've mentioned all the necessary details. I wish one sweet day I could visit you on your side of the world: )

  12. I agree. Off-season has its own benefit to save accommodation expenses. Ranthambhore is one such location I love to visit during off-season i.e., summer days.
    And yes, during winter time after a long journey hot water bath via geyser is very relaxing.
    Cleanliness is very important. It enhance relaxation.

  13. This must be useful for all future travellers to India! Also would add the attitude of the staff, quite a deciding factor for me if I have to revisit any hotel :)

  14. Thanks for the tips - I won't be in India within the next year or so, but I think these tips also apply to places like Nepal, and I'll be in Nepal in September.

  15. Arti thanks for the tips. :) I was thinking request you the guidance for choosing the right hotel and you have already written it, before I could suggest. Thanks. :). I check the reviews also while searching online. But I doubt how much trustworthy they are!

  16. My personal experience, it's lil bit difficult to get good place to stay around india, usualy i open some travel website like tripadvisor to know the other traveler review, usualy it's help. Because what they show on hotel website usualy different with the real :)

  17. Very handy post Arti.. Guess what, am off to Bangalore on Sunday.. and then to Kerala for a week :) My yearly vacations..

  18. Great checklist for making a trip more wonderful!

  19. It's really very helpful post ............. interesting tips loved it .......

  20. Yes! Whenever any family travels somewhere in the world, first Question that strikes into every family member's mind is "where to stay?" and the answer of the question totally depends upon the budget. There are so many budget hotels for tourist in INDIA. If any family is traveling to Jaipur, then I would suggest to staying in Hotel RG Palace. I It is a Budget hotel in Jaipur


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