Hotel Guide

Most of us have stayed in a hotel at some point, and whether it's cost, location or amenities that influence your decision to book a specific hotel, there can often be an overwhelming choice of hotels to choose from.

What Is a Hotel?

A hotel can be defined as a facility that charges paying guests for a room, although there can be a fine line between what might be a hotel, guest house, rental accommodation or a bed and breakfast. A hotel can be someone's home and can have just several rooms, or it can be a facility containing several thousand rooms. Many hotels include breakfast in their room rate, although they don't have to. And a hotel doesn't have to have a restaurant on site, although many have a restaurant, café or bar, and larger hotels and resorts can literally have dozens of restaurants on site. A hotel can be a tree house, a log cabin, a houseboat, a 13th century castle, a stately home, an igloo or a skyscraper.

Location, Location, Location

Whether you are planning a golfing break and looking at hotels in troon, trying to find the perfect hotel for a West End theatre break, or planning your honeymoon, location is all important.

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While you can literally find hotels all over the world, major tourist areas tend to have more choice. Paris has an estimated 7,000 hotels, while Las Vegas boasts an astonishing 150,000 hotel rooms. Most UK seaside resorts have dozens of small guest house, while London has hundreds of hotels for all budgets. However, you can also find hotels in some of the least populated and remote places on earth, from the Australian Outback to the snowy wastes of Canada. Booking ahead is obviously required if you are travelling somewhere where rooms are few and far between; London, New York and Disney World nearly always have some rooms available.

Features and Amenities

Hotel stays fall into one of two types - business or pleasure, and the type of trip you are taking probably determines the amenities and features that you need. Many business travelers see their hotel room as something completely functional - a place to get a good night's sleep before the next business meeting or conference. If you are traveling on business, you probably aren't too concerned with style, luxury or character and your ideal hotel is probably something that's functional, affordable and in a convenient location. You may also need to have certain amenities such as late check out, airport shuttle service, and concierge service. And of course, plenty of space to work in the room is probably a must too. Many hotels aimed at business travelers offer meeting room and conference facilities, allowing guests to conduct business without having to leave the hotel. As a general rule, most people staying in a hotel consider the most useful and essential amenities to be a comfortable bed, free Wi-Fi, a large and comfortable bathroom, a flat screen television and a breakfast included.