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How to investigate a HOTEL before you go!!

Updated on August 17, 2007

As a frequent business and vacation traveler, I like to check out every hotel choice before I book it. That way, when I arrive at the hotel I've already know the neighborhood around the hotel, I know if there's a pool and in most cases I've been able to investigate local venues. Here's how I select and book a hotel.

I usually look for hotels that I'm a part of their reward program or that have a reward program. These days, hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott have many different brands to chose from a various pricing and amenity levels. If you start saving your points, you can get more than a free night, you might land yourself some pretty neat travel toys like Ipods, Bose head sets or even golf clubs.

Location, location, location: I use "search near address" or I search near city, airport, or the attraction I will be visiting.

You can use sites like Expedia, Travelocity or Orbitz to search by location, price, Hotel Name, or Distance.

Once you narrow your hotels down to a few choices, click on the hotel's website and check the following info:

Hotel Features - description of amenities

Hotel overview - get a feel for what they offer. I like free breakfast, especially if it's hot.

Hotel location - usually there's a map link you can click that will list points of interest. You'd be surprised what you can walk to (good exercise )

If you can find traveler opinions or ratings, check out what others say. Usually they rate on a scale from 1 to 5

Another site to visit is Tripadvisor.com. There's tons of hotel reviews. If you see a number of scathing reviews, you probably want to stay away. Getting a review from former hotel guests gives you the best sense of the property.

DisneyWorld Hotels
DisneyWorld Hotels

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