9 ways you can spot the best hotel room when booking online

Woman on laptopShutterstockBe wary of scams.

It can be tough knowing how to pick out the perfect hotel room online. Hotel ratings and photos are often not enough to determine what the stay will really be like.

We caught up with Alexander Shashou, the president and co-founder of hotel communication and workflow management company ALICE.

The company works with various hotel employees that play a part in operations and guest experience, from the concierge to the general manager.

From avoiding online scams to filtering searches to get the best results, here are 9 tips for picking out a top-notch hotel room when booking online.

Make note of the hotel's age.

According to Shashou, hotels typically undergo renovations every 10 to 12 years, so keeping an eye on that timeline can ensure that you score a newly renovated space.

Hotels that have recently renovated their rooms will typically tend to have more accurate photos as well.

Look for hotels that make engagement easy.

Shashou also recommends looking for hotels that have apps or mobile engagement tools that can help you continue planning your trip even after you've booked the room.

For example, Gansevoort Meatpacking in New York has a Trip Planner feature, where you can request real-time reservations or amenities on your phone during your trip.

Choose hotels that are proud to showcase their rooms.

The more information a hotel provides about its rooms, the better.

When conducting your search, keep an eye out for hotels that give you enough information on their website to be able to understand the room, including photos and floor plans.

See which room type travellers prefer.

When searching for hotels on TripAdvisor, users can access additional information on what the guest experience was like in specific rooms of the hotel by clicking on the 'Room Tips' tab.

Here, you'll get access to user ratings that address everything from the amount of light that comes into rooms to whether amenities like WiFi are included in the nightly rate.

Sort hotels by those that were most highly rated by users.

When visiting third-party booking websites like Hotels.com, pick your price and location and then filter the results to the top 10 based on user reviews.

This is a quick way to get to the hotels customers have been most satisfied with, without having to filter through the list yourself.

Look for general managers that address concerned reviews.

The best hotels offer top-notch service, but everyone makes mistakes from time to time.

A good way to spot quality hotels is to look for properties where the general manager will take the time and effort to address negative reviews and understand how to fix the issue for future guests.

Read three-star reviews to see what the average experience is like.

'If you want to get a sense of what the average person thinks of the hotel, take a look at the three-star reviews,' Shashou said.

That way, you can get to know both the positive and negative aspects, instead of looking at just the highest ratings.

Call the hotel directly if you find a better rate.

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When the time comes to book your room, if you happen to find a better deal than the hotel's best-rate guarantee, Shashou recommends that you call the hotel directly.

According to Shashou, asking to get the same rate directly through them is often a viable option.

Be wary of scams.

Shutterstock

While it might not happen often, it is possible to get scammed when searching for a hotel room.

Shashou recommends that users never book from a website that doesn't offer a secure connection, and to be wary when you come across websites that are using photos and info from another source.

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