A Guide to Selecting Indian Hotels
While selecting a 5 Star Hotel is as easy in India as any country in the world…for those of us who can’t afford to stay in such luxury hotels and for middle class tourists, lots of factors are should be carefully considered before deciding to stay in any Indian hotel. The right hotel can set the tone for your whole trip and can make your trip stress free and enjoyable.
Here are some things to consider while selecting the right hotel and some tips for an enjoyable Indian stay:
The location of the Hotel should play very high on your criteria for selecting a hotel in India. It will be convenient if the hotel is near the railway station and the bus station. Avoid hotels situated in an isolated areas, away from the city and the shopping streets. Suburban areas are the most preferable. Ask around about the neighborhood and type of crowd in the area….if there are too many clubs or night joints in the area your better off avoiding it. Stick to tourist centric areas.
If it’s a resort your looking for and don’t plan on visiting the city much…you could scope out some hotels further from the heart of the city.
Check the facilities that the hotel has to offer and ask to see the room before you check in or decide to stay. Inspect the room carefully especially the toilet/bathroom and ask about the hot water facilities as many offer hot water for a few hours a day.
Note the hotel check in and check out timings. Some hotels have check out by 12 noon everyday, while some hotels offer 24 hours check out. 24 hours check out is certainly a better alternative as you can avoid paying for an extra day in case of any delays.
Check the availability of restaurants either in the hotel, or close by. Check if room service is available at the same cost as in the restaurants. Ask if breakfast is included in the room charges and if yes confirm the timings as these complementary breakfasts are only valid for certain times early in the morning.
If your carrying any valuables it’s best to ask if the hotel has a safe where you can deposit them and collect the necessary receipt for the same. It’s better than leaving it in your room while away.
Confirm the phone facility for local as well as STD (long distance phones) services. Get the exact rates for making such calls as they may be exorbitant.
Make sure your fix the room rate very clearly and are aware of any extra’s chargeable at the reception before check in so that you are spared a shock at the end of your stay putting a damper on your whole trip. Also, clarify the amount of taxes payable on the room rent or whether it is including in the mentioned rate. Ask about the number of persons they allow in a room. Negotiate the rates quite assertively to get them down or get them to throw in some free services if you feel the rates are too high for the rooms, it often works.
The tip rates are quite minimal in India. Normally, a tip of Rs.10 to Rs.50 depending on the service provided is fine. Keep some cash in all denominations ready with you for such purposes.
Mode of Payment
Confirm that the mode of payment most comfortable for you is acceptable at the hotel before checking in. Some middle level hotels do not accept credit cards in India and even if they accept it, some additional charges are payable when making payment using it. It’s best to show the exact credit card to hotel staff in advance which you are going to be using for the payment and get their confirmation.
It’s a good safety precaution to have good locks on your bags especially if have any valuables or cash. Keep your bags locked at all times when your not in your room. Also it’s a good practice to lock your room from the inside while your in it especially at night.
Check out Formalities
Always instruct your hotel staff 2-3 hours before your check out to keep your bills ready for payment. Checkouts usually take a while and you don’t want to miss your flight or run late because of them. Also ensure you check the bills in detail to make sure that you are being correctly charged for any extras or services you used.
Refer to Past Feedback
The best way of selecting a hotel is by recommendation. If you could get any past feedback on the hotel you are going to stay from your friends/relatives, it would be the easiest. If not, you could look for customer review on the internet if they have a site or any hotel review and rating sites.
If you keep in mind these tips and guidelines you’re sure to find a hotel of your liking and for your budget as the country has a vast variety to choose from. Here’s Wishing You a Pleasant Stay!