We, as guest house owners in Midrand, have come across a plethora of tough situations which all derived from the same mistake. And these happened when guests chose an accommodation solely based on their budget (price) or convenience (location). Read this guide to avoid these mistakes and choose the right accommodation for you.
Here are three pointers on how to choose the right accommodation, that will cater to your needs.
Before you dive into the ocean of information on the world wide web, it is vital to begin by looking at your preferences and expectations. In other words, first, you need to know which is the right accommodation for you. The following three aspects are generally a good way to approach the subject (the order of these pointers could differ depending on your priorities, but it is important to account for all three):
- Budgeting for your stay
- Location of your accommodation
- Amenities provided by the establishment
What’s your budget for your next stay?
We all know that 5-star hotels do come with a price. And you also probably know that hostels will be more suitable for tight budgets. But what happens when you are comparing hotels to boutique hotels or guest houses and B&Bs?
Do you prefer to stay in Hotels?
Hotels are relatively easy to figure out when it comes to budgeting. The higher the star rating, the pricier it gets. However, the prices may greatly vary even within the same star grading. This can be influenced by numerous reasons, such as location, facilities, services, etc. Star gradings outline minimum requirements for hotels to adhere to. However, some hotels choose to go beyond the minimum criteria in order to attract more guests. For example, some 4-star hotels might have fancy facilities or services (that are not required for higher grading), whereas others might choose to go with the essentials only. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that a four-star hotel with no additional facilities is worse than others. It is more about catering for guests with different budgets and needs within the same star grading.
Similarly, you’ll find that the following accommodation types also have facility and budget differences, even within the same category.
Are Boutique Hotels closer to your preferred choice?
Boutique hotels are very similar to hotels when it comes to star-grading and prices. Nevertheless, boutique hotels usually offer more unique facilities and more attentive service than hotels. Even though they fall within the same price range as hotels.
Are Guest Houses the right accommodation for you?
Guest houses are usually considered to be the more budget-friendly choice when it comes to accommodation. They are more likely to be cheaper than hotels or boutique hotels. And there is a rather simple reason for that. Because in most cases they don’t comply with the prescribed regulations and standards as hotels do. Although there are some establishments that choose to follow the stipulated directives, and even get star-graded by the appropriate body in the industry.
In either case, guest houses are most certainly not an inferior type of accommodation. On the contrary. Just like boutique hotels, some guests actually prefer guest houses to hotels for their intimate, unique and homely facilities and their personal service.
We offer guest house accommodation in Midrand. Find out about our rooms and rates on our Suites page.
Do you favour Bed and Breakfasts more?
Bed & breakfasts and guest houses are very similar establishments. Although B&Bs tend to be even more budget-friendly in comparison to guest houses. The reason for this is that this accommodation type usually has slightly fewer facilities and/or services available. For instance, in most cases, B&Bs don’t offer any other meals but breakfast.
Are Hostels more your scene?
Hostels are known to be the most budget-friendly type of lodging. It is a very popular way of travelling among students and backpackers due to their shoestring budget-friendly prices. Naturally, the extremely low price comes with the lack of luxury and often the absence of privacy too.
Find out more about the differences between accommodation types in our next blog post.
Let’s say, you are a regular traveller at a 5-star hotel. But you would like to go for a cheaper option this time. Our suggestion would be to try a 4-star hotel or even a 4-star boutique hotel.
But switching from a 5-star hotel to a guest house with only your budget in mind is a straight path in setting yourself up for disappointment. Consequently, the guest house would have a chance of slim to none in living up to your expectations.
Know your budget. But most importantly know what you can expect for your money. Going for more budget-friendly accommodation other than your usual choice will inevitably result in less luxury. If you feel that some of the more luxurious facilities or services are a necessity for you, then rather stick to your preferred accommodation type.
How to determine the importance of your accommodation’s location?
In most cases, our choice of lodging is mainly dictated by a specific place we need to visit during our trip. In other words, we want to find the right accommodation as close as possible to our main point of interest. But are there any other factors we should add to the equation? Or should convenience and practicality always be our top priorities? It depends.
Surely it is very convenient to be 5 minutes away from your hotel on a short business trip. You just want to get your business over and done with, and then head home as soon as possible. Therefore all other factors tend to fall away. In fact, we don’t even mind going for a more budget-friendly option during these short trips. At the end of the day, you are only going to spend so much time in your room, right?
However, on business trips that are longer than a couple of days, as well as on leisure trips, we are likely to value comfort, luxury and maybe even tranquillity a bit higher. As a result, when we choose our lodging for such trips, we will also consider the surroundings, nearby activities and entertainment close by. Hence, when planning a leisure trip, you should really roll up your sleeves a bit. And dig in to get some in-depth information about the activities you can do close to your accommodation. Especially when you are taking your better half, or better yet, the whole family with you. It is undeniably going to be worth your while.
This sounds quite straightforward so far, doesn’t it?
But what happens when we want to mix business with leisure? Now that is a scenario when things get slightly more complicated.
Imagine that you had to go on an overseas business trip in the same country, where you and your better half were planning a vacation for a long time.
Here is another scenario. Your friends decided to get married in an exotic place. As it happens, your favourite football team is playing in the area 2 days after the ceremony.
The longer the trip, the more factors you need to consider when it comes to choosing the most ideally located accommodation. Consequently, we have a tendency to prioritize practicality and swiftness during short stays. On the other hand, during trips longer than 2 or 3 days, comfort, luxury, tranquillity and entertainment are more of our prime concern.
What are the must-have amenities the right accommodation should have?
We all have certain comforts and luxuries we value more than others. It could be the tiniest detail of service or facility that we feel to be an absolute necessity. Whereas for other people the same amenity wouldn’t be missed at all.
If you feel like having a Jacuzzi or at least a heated pool at your choice of lodging is absolutely essential for your happiness, by all means, book an establishment that has it.
Some of us prefer to have a large living space with multiple rooms when booking accommodation. Others would rather enjoy a cosy room with a more homely feel to it.
Some might think that having a gourmet restaurant on the premises of the chosen hotel is part of their basic needs. In contrast, other travellers might value a home-cooked meal (or comfort food) much more than trying a new delicacy. But then again, you might prefer to cook your own meals. And in this case, having self-catering facilities at your accommodation would be non-negotiable.
Hotels, guest houses and B&Bs have a vast number of combination varieties when it comes to amenities. Some establishments will have the right mixture of facilities and services that suit your needs. Even so, there will be a whole bunch of venues that just won’t cut your roster.
The bottom line is, that it all comes down to your personal preference. Consequently, you will have to do comprehensive research. This is a good practice to ensure that the accommodation you choose for your next trip will have all the amenities that serve your comfort. Neglecting to do your due diligence about the services and facilities the lodging has to offer will likely result in a bad experience from your side. But is it really the establishment’s fault?
- If you choose a lodge with a lower budget in mind, anticipate less luxury and comfort. Otherwise, you might end up leaving a bad review about an establishment that was never going to cater to your needs.
- When choosing the location of your accommodation, consider comfort and entertainment as well. Rather than solely base your decision on practicality.
- It could easily ruin your trip if you don’t thoroughly research the amenities available at the place you’ve chosen to stay.