Nov 17, 2016

How to Find Your Perfect Hotel

Home decor tips from my favorite hotels. 5 easy ways to infuse smart hotel decor into your own home.

Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, California

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time traveling, both individually and as a family. I’ve learned my preferences when traveling solo and my preferences when traveling as a family. Sometimes they aren’t that different, but others they are polar opposites. I thought it would be fun to share some of our preferences today when booking accommodations, as well as some of my best tips for how to find your perfect hotel.

Farmhouse Inn near Forestville, Caifornia

Farmhouse Inn in Forestville, California.

The first step is to consider the guests. Who are you traveling with? Do they have any special needs? I find that I look more for convenience when I travel with kids than when I travel alone. I like having room service at the ready in case my toddler is in a horrible mood and going out for dinner isn’t in the cards. It makes travel less stressful if you have everything at your finger tips.

Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Obviously this is a big, big item for you to think about. How much are you willing to spend? Is it flexible if a hotel meets your criteria in other categories? This is something I consider on a case-by-case basis, within reason. If I’m traveling with friends and we’re splitting the room fees, obviously I am willing to spend more since my final cost is less. If I’m traveling with my family and I’m not, I usually find myself in the $200-$1000 range. My range is so large because it will always depend on my perceived value v.s. cost, which breaks down a little more in the points below.

Four Seasons Maui

Four Seasons Maui in Wailea, Hawaii

After budget, I am a stickler for location. I don’t like to commute much when I travel, and prefer a walkable area of town. If it’s not walkable I prefer to be near transit or for parking to be readily available for my rental car. In Venice Beach my hotel was directly on the boardwalk, with Abbot Kinney just a short walk away. In Copenhagen, our hotel was near the main train station, and near the central downtown area. This allowed for easy access to other parts of the city and the airport. When we are at a beach destination, it’s pretty important for our hotel to be located beachfront, this means no roads or highways in between.

Poolside at dusk, at Beaches resorts

Beaches Resort Villages & Spa in Turks & Caicos

One more I feel is very important, but depends on who you are traveling with as well. I am less likely to budge on convenience amenities like room service when I am traveling with my family. Wifi is a no-brainer, and usually a pool too. I prefer to have a spa available as well, whether I am on a relaxing trip alone, or in case I just need a moment to relax away from the kids.

Ion Adventure Hotel in Iceland

Ion Adventure Hotel in Iceland

Last, but not least, design is important to me. I make it a point to surround myself with joy and the last thing I want to do is stay in a hotel room that is dark and dreary or has creepy carpet. I admire good design in my own home and love to admire it abroad as well.

What it really comes down to is determining which items are most important to you and in what order. Then you can narrow down your search from there. Happy hotel hunting!

Do you have any preferences when you book a hotel? Any tips for finding your perfect hotel?

Expand Comments

This is a great way to break down your travel need, I’m a stickler for design so I usually start there.. Thanks for the tips!

Dasha |

Totally feel you on the location, to us that is the most important…being near the action, the restaurants and the activities….all the reasons we are visiting said country.

Now with regards to WiFi, that is one of my biggest pet peeves, it seems the more expensive the hotel the more likely that they want to charge me $10-20/day for WiFi, and that is just egregious. Am I wrong?

That drives me insane too! I feel like charged WiFi is a huge deal-breaker for me.

Recently when I was looking for a hotel, what seemed most important was parking availability. Then I looked to see if there was free wifi and then free breakfast. Those are important.

Budget and location are the most important things for me. I’d say design is huge too!
– Charmaine

Budget and location are the first couple of things I always consider. If I’m looking for a summer vacation hotel I also take a look at the facilities, especially the outdoor pool and if it has al fresco dinning.

I have to be honest. My preference is being at home now. I spent 15 years on the road 175+ days a year and I’ve stayed in every luxury property from here to no man’s land LOL. I’ve also stayed in some not so great places (YIKES). Right now my preference would be for pleasure travel only somewhere over the water, quiet and peaceful and preferably kid-free. I prefer to relax in an adult environment while traveling myself. 🙂

These are great tips! When you ask what my preferences are, I would say that I look at location when booking. I love a water view. So ideally I’d love a water view that isn’t obstructed in anyway, such as a street between the room and the water, etc Picky but if I am dreaming that’s what it would be! Ha!

The farmhouse inn is absolutely breathtaking!

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