If you travel frequently you’ll know the true value of a decent hotel. Sure hostelling and staying in budget hotels or motels is fine when you’re in a jam or you’re still young and travelling’s the objective in itself. Once you get older though, you start to realise that a quality mattress, clean sheets and decent food really are important, as is waking up without the aches and pains you’d normally associate with sleeping on a bathroom floor. (don’t tell me you haven’t, I know different!)
Different people have different core expectations from what they regards as a ‘good’ hotel. Some people expect five stars, some just want a comfortable bed and your own coffee maker for $200 per night. One problem with star ratings is that there is no universal standard for stars besides five being the very best. Unless you decide that you want to give yourself six.
But What Do You Expect From The Best Hotels?
Wherever you stay, if you’re paying your hosts good money, you should expect to be treated almost as if you own the place. The customer is King and you do pay the bills after all. It shouldn’t be too much to ask to receive a friendly smile from anyone on the payroll and for all of them to be customer service oriented, you don’t want to meet some-one who would ever reply to a query or request with the attitude that it’s not their job, even if it isn’t?
With service like that everything else just falls into place. But you should also be honest with yourself about what you really want from a hotel. Do you find that you have a terrible time every time you go away to an eco-friendly spiritual retreat? Do you long for Egyptian cotton towels and sheets instead of the hemp fabrics which scrape your skin? Is your idea of communing with nature looking down on it from the porthole of a private jet? Admit it, you’re a glamour-puss and you’re not cut out for the overtly green lifestyle.
If you’re honest about what you want, it’s nice to think that your hotel is honest about what they can provide too. A hotel might have a fantastic review but is that backed up by real holiday makers experience? If they’re honest about what they can and can’t provide you’ll know exactly what you are going to get and set your expectations accordingly.
The Luxury Holiday Paradox
If you’re looking for the kind of holiday where you can get away from it all you’ll want somewhere that’s off of the tourist track. But if the destination hasn’t a history of dealing with travellers and tourists how can they be expected to provide the quality of service that your luxury self needs? So you go somewhere that has a reputation for knowing how to treat its guests in an A1 fashion but you find yourself in a premier class hotel room overlooking a tourist trap.
The trick is to find somewhere that’s a couple of years old. It’s not so on trend that no-one’s heard of it and it has yet to develop and yet it’s not so well known that the developers have spoiled it by building over the aspects which made it so attractive in the first place.
Manage that and you might, finally, find yourself on the holiday that you really wanted all along!
@DanCash lives by the seaside in the south of England but still appreciates a holiday abroad. He’s had enough of broken beds and thin sheets. Now he likes aircon, humidifiers and a thread count of at least 400.