Reading my blog you noticed that my articles are telling positive feedbacks from my experiences, that is why I want to give you some information about places, restaurants and hotels you should visit. My bad experiences do not deserve to be published. I need anyway to take into consideration that not all opinions are the same, that is why I use high quaity experiences.
Writing about the good part of my travels is the way to tell you: “there you can go and you will be satisfied!“
When I prepare an article I think to be brief, to not annoy my followers and readers, but what I write is the synthesis of a precise analysis. For instance about an hotel I observe different elements. I am not an inspector by profession, but I travel quite a lot and I am doing it since many years ago, that is why I developed my personal criteria.
The stay in a five stars hotel it does not mean that everything is perfect, but of course it is the proper place where to pretend a tailor made service and high standards for the accomodation. Especially when I travel for work reasons I need to have comfort as a good equipped and quiet room and also a professional staff ready to answer properly to my needs in terms of assistance in the facilities or reservation of external services.
I have anyway to respect the workers of the hotel, because kindness is always welcome everywhere and guests can be better served using it. So what are the main features to evaluate an hotel? The following points are just used by me to make the selection and be sure that telling you about some structure you can have a great stay. Of course it is not my job, so I take into consideration the features that are more important form my personal comfort. Anyway some hints can be useful to you, my readers, as well.
The evaluation of an hotel starts at the moment of the reservation. Of course you can book through internet using websites not directly related to the hotel, but also in this case you can check how the management acts. For example once I used Booking, I completed my reservation and one day later I got an email from the hotel booked. They wrote to be closed and they did a mistake accepting the reservation by the system. Everything was cancelled and then I searched for another accomodation. You can imagine my feelings and what I thought about them.
If you contact directly the structure, as I do generally, the staff has to answer with courtesy to all your questions, even the strange ones. They have to explain the rates and give you the best offers, proposing the different options, if they have some special proposals for the period.
The pick-up and the transfer
Before the reception you may have contact with the driver if you asked or received the complimentary transfer from the airport with your reservation. The car has to be on time at the airport, the driver need to be there to wait for you with a paper with your name written and then to ask to you how are you and take you fast and with comforts to the hotel. About the private transport services there are many things to say, but I will dedicate an article about it.
The reception and delivery of the room
When you enter in the hotel you go directly to the reception. In this occasion you should find a well prepared staff. They should already know about you and your reservation or at least find everything when you say to them your name. They have to make the copy of your passport, ask for your credit card and for a signature on the registration paper. They have to be kind and fast manwhile they give you all the information about your stay and the facilities.
In some hotel the guests of the best suite can benefit of the in room check-in and this needs to have anyway the same features of the service given at the reception. Generally it is easier because they send a well prepared staff and they pay attention only to the room guests. It is part of a special welcome reserved to who is going to spend a huge rate for a special suite.
After the check-in you enter finally in the room. First of all it is a good idea to check the cleaning level, starting from the bathroom and the bed. After that the control has to be done on the equipment, to be sure that everything is working and also to see the features of the room. According to the type of hotel and to what the guest booked the features of the accomodation have to satisfy different standards. Minibar has to be well furnished.
If the guest is accomodate in a signature suite of a five stars hotel it is possible to receive a butler service included in the rate. In this case the butler has to be present at the guest arrival, take care of the luggages, put the clothes in the wardrobe and be available to answer to the requests and the needs of the guest. The presence of this member of the hotel staff and his attention to the client has to be evaluated, because the butler is going to be the closest referent during the stay.
During the days spent in the hotel each client has the chance to try some services and their ”perfections” is part of the evaluation. To evaluate if services are good it is necessary to consider the offer in all the aspects, starting from the breakfast. That has to be complete, so with a big selection of salty and sweet food to be chosen by guests. The staff has to be ready to answer to the specific needs, maybe to prepare a coffee or explain where to find a specific food, as well the ingredients used in order to prevent allergies and intolerances.
In Bucharest I had one of the best experiences in terms of breakfast, a big dining room with real departments for the varaious types of food, including meat and fish. It was necessary to walk a bit around to find everything, but the staff was always ready to help guests to find what they were searching for. Any taste can be easily satisfied there. That means to give high grades for the evaluation.
Using the bar or the restaurant it is important to check the offer, the variety of drink and food, the professional staff and of course the prices well calibrated with the quality. About rates it is anyway necessary to say that i every hotel of the world the prices of food and drinks are always higher than in outside restaurants and bars.
If there is the chance to use the room service also in this case the evaluation is focused on the variety of food and drinks available, then the attention is on the staff: how much they are kind and fast, starting from the call to arrive when they arrive in the room. In general to put at the centre of the attention the client is a must for a good hotel, so kindness, ability to answer to the different need are very important, as cleaning and order in the rooms and in common spaces.
If there are other facilities as the gym, the spa, an internet corner or meeting room, it is a good opportunity to check how they are managed. The offers and the equipments are the main elements to evaluate the level of the hotel. The features should help the guest to feel in a safe environment and to feel like at home.
Also the concierge is a staff member to have a big role in the guest stay. He can suggest some places to visit, reserve tickets, deliver specific services, reserve restaurants and so on. His task is to give a real support to customers, to find the way to satisfy them. If there are complimentary newspaper or evening cleaning of the room and bed preparation, it is important to be sure to have the newspaper every day and to receive the visit of the waitress before dinner.
Some hotels then offer tailored experiences to tourists as a private show made by a musician, a visit to a fashion workshop of a famous brand, a special cuisine experience or supercars tour around the city and so on. In this case the evaluation depends mainly on personal taste and on a perfect organisation of the activity, without any time loosing or delays.
The moment of the check-out concern the last minutes spent in the hotel. The guest goes to the reception to pay the bill. It can be the occasion to give a feedback on the structure and maybe to complain about something. Part of evaluation is also the management of the complaints. The staff and the manager have to be professional and to try to find a solution, without be rude, also if they are right, in orther to fix the situation and to not loose the client.
If there is the transfer they have to make the car and the driver ready for the exact moment, so when you leave the hotel. They can take care of your luggages if you leave the room but not the place and thank you for your stay, in order to make you comfortable and interested to visit the accomodation again in future.
It is more part of the choice then the evaluation, but the good connections of the hotel with the main attractions of the centre of the city is quite important. To have an underground station very closed, to be located in the main square and to have some taxi in front of the hotel door is surely useful.
In last years the respect of the environment protection became a priority in the world and also many hotels are doing their part. In some structures it is easy to find a card close to the bed and in the bathroom with a message: if the guest wants to change bed linen and towels it is necessary to put the them on the floor or tu put the card on them and so on.
This is good, but the question is: if you spend hundreds or thousands euros or dollars for a room and they change daily linen and towels, why if you decide to reuse them and the hotel save money you do not have any benefit. It is great to save nature from the pollution, but the price must be reduced. Starwood Preferred Guest found a solution. It is the fidelity program of Sheraton, Westin and many others hotel’s brands connected also with Marriott Reward. If you choose to not change the towels you get points to be used for services in the hotel and to add to your collection for free nights.
The ones written are the main elements that I always check when I go in a hotel and if it pass the “exam” I mention it in my articles, to recommend the best among the structure where I have the chance to stay.