The first thing you have to do is to start planning your trip in advance to avoid the unhappy situation of not being able to find vacancy because it is the peak of the tourist season.
While looking for the perfect hotel, keep in mind that the price may be a good clue about the quality of the services offered by hotels. You don’t have to stay in the most expensive hotel, but there is always a fishy reason why a hotel has a very low price. Compare the prices to those practiced in the region you will travel, and not to the hotel prices at home. Keep in mind to stay away from bargains!
The location of the hotel is crucial too. You should check it in advance, even double-check it on different web sites, to make sure the hotel resides where is says it is. And make sure you get full and accurate information on the location. For instance, if the hotel’s web site says it is 5 minutes walk from the train station, make sure you understand which train station is that, as many big cities have 2 train stations, far away from each other. You might end up sleeping blocks away from the place you thought u would sleep!
Don’t really trust the rooms or hotels pictures advertised over internet websites. You might not ever find the lovely room with a view to the ocean you saw on the website, you might not even find the same building they advertised! Photos can easily be altered so it would be a good idea to go to a travel agency; pretend you need their services and ask information about the hotel.
The stars rating system should help you get a good idea about the quality and comfort of a hotel. But since this system is so relative, and it differs from one area to another, the best thing is to do some research yourself. Ask your friends about any information on the hotels in the area you want to travel. Check different travel websites; focus on those that have forums, where tourists usually display their holiday impressions.
The best method of checking out the accuracy of the information is to call the prospective hotel and pretend to be an awkward tourist with strange requests. Ask questions and see how the staff is handling the situation. If they are polite and try to satisfy your requests, the hotel seems a good one. If they get upset, give a false identity and don’t spend your vacation there. It would be a good idea to make two phone calls; one in the evening to make sure no disco music is being heard in the background (you want to do some sleeping during your vacation, right?) and another call in the daytime to check that no construction site is nearby (it may sound paranoid but you will thank me later!).