Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, hotels can be a great place to rest and recharge. But, as with any type of lodgings, they have their pluses and minuses. Before booking your next hotel, consider some tips to make the best choice for your needs.
A hotel is an establishment that provides paid accommodation along with food, drink and recreational facilities on a chargeable basis. While other types of accommodations, such as colleges, prisons and sanatoriums, also offer lodging for guests, they are not generally considered hotels because they do not focus on meeting the specific needs of travelers.
The first period of modern hotel development spanned from the late 1820s to about the mid-1850s. This period was triggered by the transportation revolution, which greatly expanded travel opportunities in America and Europe. Steam navigation opened up inland waterways and extended the reach of coastal trade routes. Urban merchant-capitalists built a new generation of hotels as part of their mercantilist strategy to claim economic hinterlands for their cities and states. The new hotels were often large, luxury establishments that became important centers for commerce and sociability. For example, New York’s City Hotel became the venue for high-powered business meetings and elegant society balls, while Washington’s Union Public Hotel served as temporary home for the U.S. Congress after the British burned down the Capitol in 1814-1815.
Hotels grew to be an integral part of the national travel system, and the industry evolved to accommodate new travel patterns. The growth of railroad transport prompted the expansion of hotels to meet the demands of passengers and freight travelers. In addition, the arrival of automobiles reordered the nation’s transportation regime and influenced hotel construction. New hotel types emerged, including resort hotels, which offered scenic views and leisure amenities to attract vacationers; commercial hotels, more simply furnished and less expensive than the luxury variant; and railroad hotels, which were located at regular intervals along rail lines to serve travelers in the decades before the advent of sleeping cars.
While there are some advantages to staying at a hotel, it’s important to keep in mind that they can also be quite expensive. Because of this, it’s vital to plan your travels ahead of time and make smart decisions when it comes to booking your accommodations.
Another important tip when it comes to hotel planning is to read reviews carefully. It’s crucial to note that most reviews were written years ago, which means that any flaws the hotel may have had then might still be present in today’s version. To avoid falling into this trap, always read recent reviews and try to visit the hotel in person before deciding on it as your accommodation.
Employees of hotels can be an excellent resource when it comes to planning your travels. They can offer you insights into what to expect from a particular hotel and can give you insider information that might help you avoid any pitfalls. Additionally, some hotels may let their employees try out luxury items and services before offering them to their customers, which can add a nice touch of class and exclusivity to your trip.