Despite some economic and political instabilities, the Philippine tourism industry continues to grow. Each year, more and more new hotels or resorts are built in different locations in the country, even the remotest ones.
Whether you’re a foreign visitor or a staycationer, you will no doubt be faced with the common dilemma of where to stay in particular spots in the Philippines. But there’s no need to worry because there are top-ranking accommodations throughout most of the destinations in the country. Traveloka.com is one booking site where you can check out rooms, prices, and reviews. You might even get the chance to avail of discounts through their promos.
Hotel ratings may be important as a basis of choice, but here are 10 other major considerations before you finally book that accommodation.
- Price / Cost of Accommodation
Yes, a 5-star hotel may be everyone’s dream accommodation, with all its luxurious facilities and posh ambience. But to a family who merely want a comfortable and secure place to stay as they have a grand tour of the country, a 3-star accommodation will do, especially if it’s an overnight stay.
You should confirm the room rate even before booking. Booking sites show you the exact prices as of specific dates. Apart from the room rate, also find out if the hotel has any seasonal promotion which will in turn save you big bucks.
- Location, Location, Location
Like a residence, a hotel should be conveniently located. For example, if you are visiting a beach area, the hotel you stay in should be within walking distance of it, unless you’re willing to pay for a taxi or go on a long trek. And for metropolitan areas, make sure that it’s strategically located beside shopping and dining areas, and of course, key landmarks.
You’re on vacation so you should stay at a place with decent facilities, like restaurants and functioning bathrooms. If you have an active lifestyle, you would want a place with a pool, a gym, or even a jogging path. And if you’re traveling with your children, you may want to book at a place that has a children’s play area and pool.
- WIFI and Other Amenities
WiFi connection is quite a major consideration of most travelers and staycationers. You would like to stay connected to friends and family or be on top of your company’s matters even while away.
For some people, especially women, even having a hair dryer and bathtub would be a big factor in their choice of hotel. And it’s always great to have cable TV to relax after a long day. And of course, it’s reassuring to have an in-room safe to keep valuables, and a mini-bar to brew your morning coffee if you’re still waiting for your roommate to get dressed.
As with location, the availability of transport facilities is a priority, especially if you don’t have your own vehicle. Consider where you can find taxis, buses, or trains to take in order to get around. Some hotels even provide shuttle service for going to the mall. And most importantly, can your hotel arrange for you to be picked up from or dropped off at the airport?
- Complimentary Breakfast and other Freebies
It is not surprising that many hotel guests would rather have their first meal of the day right at their hotels before setting out. So it would really be a great convenience if their accommodation includes complimentary breakfast meals. And if you’re a fitness aficionado, you will really appreciate free use of the pool and gym. These freebies can translate into huge savings which you can use for shopping and other travel expenses.
- Room Type
If you’re alone, it is not a big problem to book a single room with one bed. But with your family or friends, you will want to get doubles, adjoining rooms, or even suites to minimize costs. Want to cook your own meals? Then consider getting an apartelle type complete with kitchen appliances.
- Room Size
It may not be a big deal if you’re alone. But this would matter if you are sharing the room with others, and if you are staying more than one night. Your room should have enough space to place your baggage and carry-ons, and yet provide enough space for you to move around the room and not stumble over them. Consider too that you need to provide extra space for your purchases.
- Hotel Policies
Most important among hotel policies are the check-in and check-out times. These schedules will also determine what time you need to arrive or depart from the hotel. And in case the hotel has a strict after-lunch only check-in time, ask the hotel staff if they can store your baggage somewhere safe. Same thing goes for check-outs, especially if you still have a good number of hours left between check-out time and your flight. If you’re lucky, there are hotels which allow for very early or even anytime check-ins.
Also remember to ask the hotel about policies for extra beds, nannies, pets, and any other special needs.
Finally, it’s always good to do some research on what former guests have said about the place. You don’t always have to take their word for it, but get a balanced set of both positive and negative reviews. Consider though that people have their personal reasons for their reviews. And reviews can give you an idea of what to expect. Also look up listings of top hotels in the area, through booking sites like TripAdvisor or Agoda.