Traveling and hotels are the two main ways for people to see new destinations. The hospitality industry has evolved over time to reflect the changing needs of travellers. Hotel brands now offer a wide range of options to meet the expectations and budgets of most travelers.
Hotels are usually classified according to their size, facilities and services offered. The range of services rendered is usually a major factor in determining the star rating and influencing prices. The service range varies from the simplest (such as a bed and breakfast) to the most luxurious. A hotel may also offer additional services such as spa, wellness and fitness centers, business centres, free wireless internet access or a concierge.
There are many hotel chains that operate multiple hotels and brands to cater to different groups of travellers. These hotels may be owned and operated by the chain, or managed but not owned by it. Some hotel chains even use the same branding for hotels in different price ranges to allow them to compete with each other without undermining the core brand. For example, a chain normally associated with full-service hotels can launch a “budget” marque under a separate branding to enter the economy limited service price range without competing against its own Days Inn or Knights Inn brands.
Some hotels offer discounted rates in exchange for advance bookings or longer stays. These offers are often available online or through a hotel’s direct reservation system. A hotel can also charge a mandatory fee in addition to the room and board rate to provide access to certain amenities or services. This is sometimes called a Resort Fee or a Facilities Fee.
A hotel’s reputation is generally influenced by its reviews and ratings from past guests. This information is often gathered through a third-party rating company such as TripAdvisor, which aggregates feedback from various sources. In some countries, a hotel may be rated by an official organisation which uses objective criteria. In others, the hotel may be self-rated, based on subjective criteria such as whether rooms are comfortable or staff are friendly.
Hotels are often used by people travelling for work, leisure or on vacation. They can be a good option for people who do not have their own transportation or for families travelling together, and they are convenient locations for sightseeing trips. However, hotels can be expensive and may not be suitable for those on a tight budget or for long stays, especially if they are located in popular tourist destinations. For these travellers, hostels or shared apartments may be more economical options. In addition, hotels can be less social than hostels and may not be a good choice for solo travellers. For a more social experience, consider using an app such as Hostelworld to book shared or private rooms in hostels around the world. This app is available on smartphones and tablets. It will also connect you with other travellers who are visiting the same city as you.