An interview with our local partners in Panama
9th August 2021
Choosing which hotels to stay in whilst you’re away can be a little daunting. Many places, especially cities, have a plethora of choices, and it’s hard to know which is the best area to be located in. In lesser developed countries there can also be worries about safety and security.
Try and have an idea of how much you’re comfortable spending on a trip overall, including the hotels. This will dictate the range of places you can stay in. If your budget is limited – and most people’s is – then consider cutting a few corners in some places to ‘save’ for a nice place at the end of your trip, or at a particularly stunning location.
Some people insist on a pool. Others like the dependability of hotel brands. Decide which facilities you absolutely have to have, and which you can compromise on. Consider how long you’re going to be actually spending in a hotel – if you arrive late and/or are out sightseeing all day then you may not have time to use that amazing infinity pool.
There’s no recognised system of awarding star ratings to hotels, so don’t assume that a 5 star hotel is going to be amazing, or that a 2 star hotel will be a dump. For instance in China, a government owned 5 star hotel is likely to be equivalent to a European 3 or 4 star hotel at best.
Particularly in a city, where a hotel is located is absolutely key. A 3 star, centrally located hotel can often be for more expensive than a 5 star out of town place. Again, consider what’s important to you – if you tend to prefer to eat at the hotel and not to venture out in the evening, it may not be worth paying more to be centrally located.
Do look at what people are saying about a hotel on TripAdvisor. Don’t dismiss somewhere just because it has one or two bad reviews – look at the range of opinions/ratings. Remember that places can change and that even the best hotel can have an off day. Bear in mind also that different people/nationalities have different tastes – one person’s rustic and charming can be another’s run down and tatty. Finally people’s experience is often determined by their expectations – if someone has 5 star expectations of a 3 star hotel they will almost always be disappointed.
There's nothing better than a personal recommendation. If you have friends or family who've been - ask them. If you don't - ask a local person who lives there. All the locally owned companies on TravelLocal are based in your destination, so are well placed to make recommendations. Try and give them an idea of what kind of places you've enjoyed staying in the past, and what your budget is.
If you would like to speak to someone in the TravelLocal office, then please call 0117 325 7898.