The best way to plan for an enjoyable hotel stay is to be aware of all available amenities before you book. Hotel amenities information is usually always listed on the hotel’s website. You will likely find that all hotels claim to have the most comfortable beds, friendliest staff, and best prices. While these factors are relative to each person, there are must-have amenities that most consider being important in determining whether to book. Let’s look at the most common amenities to look for in a hotel.
1. Parking at a Hotel
Hotel guests will always prefer to not have to pay to park their car. If free parking is not included, it is likely that a valet service is used. This means that you will not only pay a nightly parking fee but will also likely tip the valet when picking up or dropping off your car. Additionally, since your car will be stored away in a parking garage, you won’t be able to easily retrieve anything from your car you may have left behind when checking into the hotel.
If free parking is available on-site, make sure to park in a well-lit area, remove any valuables out of sight, and roll-up your windows and lock your doors. Normally, hotels use a disclaimer that you are parking at your own risk and the hotel is not responsible for theft or damage to your vehicle.
2. Wi-Fi at a Hotel
Most hotels now provide Wi-Fi to its guests. Some hotels even provide a wired connection to the Internet through an Ethernet cable in the room. Be sure to understand what form of Wi-Fi is being offered. For example, some hotels provide free Wi-Fi at lower speeds, while charging an additional fee for faster speeds. To put this in perspective, the ability to stream videos is going to be impossible on the slower speeds, which are mainly reserved for guests to browse the internet or check email only.
Be sure to check if the Wi-Fi is available in each room. There are instances where hotels will provide free Wi-Fi only in the lobby of the hotel, making the in-room Wi-Fi an additional charge. Even if your hotel does not provide Wi-Fi, check to see if there is a business center with guest access to the Internet. This will allow you to get online if it is absolutely necessary.
3. Breakfast at a Hotel
Complimentary breakfast at a hotel is convenient for when you want to sleep in, grab something to go, or prefer to stay in your pajamas in the morning. Some hotels provide cold cereal and coffee, while other hotels provide options for hot breakfast, such as pancakes or waffles. The best part about a buffet-style breakfast, if offered, is that you can try more than one thing and eat as much as you like. Be sure to check the hours of operation for the breakfast with the hotel front desk attendant the night before.
4. Exercise Room and Pool
A hotel with an indoor pool usually has an adjoining exercise room, and even a sauna or hot tub. The exercise room will have the basics such as free weights, elliptical, and bike. If exercise is an important part of your day, make sure the hotel’s exercise room has everything you need for your workout. If swimming is your choice for exercise, make sure the hotel has a big enough pool to allow for swimming laps. Children tend to like outdoor pools because they have slides or diving boards. Make sure the hotel pool is not undergoing renovation at the time you are planning to stay and also check to see the seasonality in which the pool is open so that you aren’t disappointed to see a pool closure upon your arrival. And lastly, don’t forget to pack your bathing suit.
5. Check-In and Check-Out Times
After a long travel by plane or car, sometimes all you want to do is kick back and relax and watch television. Depending on your arrival time to the hotel, your room may not yet be ready and then you are left standing in the lobby. If you find yourself to be a late riser, double check that you are happy with the checkout time. Most hotels will allow a request for early check-in or late check-out as long as you arrange this ahead of time.
Before you book a hotel room, make sure the amenities of the hotel include everything you need for your stay. Knowing what you can expect upon your arrival is a big part of how happy you feel during your time spent at the hotel. This way there is not likely going to be any surprises during your stay.