How Can You Select a Hotel in Europe? – Travel Tips

On the Balcony at the Hotel in Paris

How Can You Select a Hotel in Europe? – Travel Tips


Hotel in Basel, Switzerland

Selecting a hotel for your trip to Europe can seem like a daunting task.  You may be used to a hotel brand domestically and not know what to expect abroad.  You may think it’s difficult to contact the Hotelier due to the language barrier.  You may just not know where to begin.   It’s not as hard as it seems, but you will need to spend some time researching. This article has some strategies that I hope can be useful.

You can do this!


View From Hotel Window Colmar, France

Location and Proximity

It’s important to note, for the purposes of this article, what the author thinks is valuable in a hotel.  I would pick location over amenities and price any time.  Proximity to your itinerary is imperative. You want to be near the sites you came to see, and near places to eat and or shop.  You may want to be within walking distance from the train station, or other public transit stop. That luggage is going to get heavy.  You probably want somewhat of a view right?  All of these factors are influenced by location.  Ok, so if you don’t want to be near the action because you want quiet, or maybe you have a car and don’t want to drive in the city center, the merits of this article just went downhill.  However, if you want to save on transportation cost, and be close to the sites for convenience, read on.


Trolley in Basel, Switzerland

Start Your Search Online

You probably already use a travel booking site for domestic travel.  So let’s begin there.  Get online and search for the dates and destination you are booking.  Ok, so you probably got a huge list of options with no context, and seemingly in no particular order.  Here’s what’s important, the location remember.  Look at the map they provide and start there.  Some of the nice looking deals will be far out of the city center.  You may not save any money if you need a taxi every time you leave the hotel lobby.  So that deal may not be so great.  Also, don’t forget about your time.  Do you want to spend all morning in transit, or sitting at a cafe with coffee? Pay attention to local transit stops and walking distance to what you came to see.  Generally look in the city center.  There will be more options for dining, shopping, and sightseeing in the city center.  Location is a very important part of your selection, if not the most important.  Oh, don’t forget you can narrow your choices by price in the search, so you don’t blow your budget.


Hotel in Colmar, France

Be Wary of Online Reviews

So after you have selected a couple that are in the right location, what next you say?  We’ll you can read the reviews, but normally they are of two types: glossy I loved everything and I hate this hotel.  Both of these are suspicious.  Is that great review from the owner’s niece? Regarding the grumpy ones, well some folks you just can’t please. So take the reviews with a grain of salt.  Try to find the ones that list positive and negative aspects, as they may be more helpful.  Better yet, look at the traveler provided pictures to see how nice the place is.  You can’t really trust the professional photos, it might be of the only renovated room.  Look at street views from map services.  Click up and down the street near the hotel to get a feel for the neighborhood.  To me the “real” pictures speak more than reviews.  Also, do everyone else a favor, honestly review the hotel after your stay with good and bad to help the next traveler.  So again, look at the pictures posted by travelers, and be cautions when reviewing the reviews.


Hotel in Basel, Switzerland

Book It

So you selected the ones in the right proximity and now have reviewed the photos.  How do I book?  You can contact the hotel directly via email.  Someone there will be able to read English and respond in English, trust me.  You may get a better deal, and they might be happier not to be subjected to the travel booking site fees.  You can also call if you have an international plan on your phone, just remember the time difference.  Additionally, booking directly with the hotel may be the best choice if you need special service, such as a baby crib.  Alternatively, you can just book with the travel booking site. You will probably be paying a couple dollars more and may receive less sympathy from the hotelier should you say, get a non-refundable deal and accidentally select the wrong date.  I have done this and lost my money.  So double check the dates of your stay before you click book.  With these disadvantages you will get some convenience, and useful things like an app on your phone to remind you of your stay with maps, phone numbers, etc.  Chose which is best for you and book that hotel (I’m assuming you already have your flight arrangements made and know the exact dates).  Don’t wait, once you find the one you feel comfortable with!  It may be full when you check back later, and then you will need to start the search over.


Hotel Balcony Brussels, Belgium

Enjoy Your Trip

See, it wasn’t that hard.  Soon you’ll be sitting on the balcony enjoying some chocolate and a glass of wine, while overlooking street performers in the square below.   Don’t be intimidated by this task.  Planning for your trip can be fun and research is an important aspect of a successful voyage.   You will thank yourself later for the effort that you put into planning.  Just remember my most important tip for hotel selection.  Location! 

You can do this Traveler!  Go Artway Today!

View From Hotel Window in Thumbnail Above – Brussels, Belgium

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