From my experience choosing the right B&B can be a bit of a trying task (obviously if you’re looking for a Windermere Guest House the Hawksmoor is your only real choice). If you combine that with all of the special offers and promotions in place across hundreds of sites all clamouring for your business it can prove very difficult to even a seasoned hotelier like myself. From my perspective it all comes down to finding the right fit for you which will often be a combination of individual wants and requirements.
What’s most important to you…
Take it from someone who knows; define your critical factor before you start looking and this will provide the best base to search from. Does location supersede price? Do you have a limited budget? Do you need certain facilities for an activity you’re doing (for example our Windermere Guest House has dedicated drying facilities for walkers)?
Now target you searches.
Price driven? Every booking website gives you the option to filter by price, utilise this function as soon as you get to the search results page. There are also a number of dedicated websites that will now aim to find you the best deal online. Once you’ve narrowed down your search it’s always worth either having a look at the hotel directly or picking up the phone and calling them. Granted this might add an extra couple of minutes to your search but you can pick up some amazing deals due to the hotel not having to pay commission to a booking site and they will often be happy to pass the saving directly on to you. Plus, you get to know the manager or hotelier on little bit more of a personal level which I find often adds to the quality of a person’s stay; even in today’s modern world people still prefer to do business with people rather than faceless programmes or robots.
Location driven? Due to advancements in geo-targeting and detailed web listings most hotels can be pinpointed on a map quickly. This also means that most booking sites can show all the hotels in a specific area quickly and effectively. Google maps also allows you to plot certain points of interest and then you can see which hotel is the best fit for you for getting around everything you want to see. The additional benefit of this is that Google Street View means that you never have to walk round lost or stop everyone asking for directions.
Authenticity driven? Now is a great time for holiday makers and travellers as the majority of small independently owned hotels, guest houses and B&Bs now list with the major booking engines and/or have their own sites. Gone are the days of booking a hotel, turning up and being surprised (for all the wrong or all the right reasons) which still used to be a possibility up until six or seven years ago. Trip Advisor also provides a wealth of information however it’s always worth bearing in mind that the opinions expressed are down to individuals and what constitutes authentic can vary widely. I tend to look for the reviews from more experienced travellers or people who have submitted a high number of reviews.
Facilities driven? All hotel booking engines allow you to specify certain facilities and amenities usually as part of their advanced search function (which should be around the main search facility on the site). This is fantastic for a range of people. The competitive athlete can find an adequate gym facility and not miss a day’s training getting ready for his/her big race, the couple who can’t be away from Bingo or the dog for too long can also find somewhere where they will be more than welcome. The advanced search function is always my first port of call due to my young family however I always recommend picking up the phone and calling the actual establishment as the definition of things such as ‘spa’ can vary massively based on the owners perceptions.
I hope that this blog post has provided a good starting block for how to help you pick your perfect hotel break based on my experience. Without sounding like a shameless plug if you’re looking for a quality guest house in Windermere then our contact details are on this page and we always guarantee the best rates possible if you contact us directly.