You’ve likely heard of the Ritz or the Savoy, their reputations precede them, but British hotels offer a massive range of experiences and prices. Britain has long been known as a hospitable nation and has a well-deserved reputation for the highest quality hospitality, and whether you’re coming from overseas or looking for a more affordable break on home soil, you can almost certainly find what you need in Britain.
Finding the right hotel, however, can be a frustrating task unless you’re prepared. There are so many options and prices available it’s hard to choose, so we’ve assembled a quick guide to help you on your way.
Let’s start with the basics:
- Where are you planning to stay?
- How long for?
- What is your top price?
- What do you want included?
If you know all that you’re in a good place. Keep your options open, however, because there are deals available that might be a better choice for you.
Looking for a Hotel
The internet is by far the best way of finding a good hotel, apart from a trusted recommendation from a family member or friend. What it is important to keep in mind is that when there is a website recommending one hotel over another, they have a reason for doing that. Very often large comparison websites make money not only from advertising but from commission from the hotels themselves. A good way of getting around this bias is to use several sites, it is surprising how different the prices can be.
When you’ve found a hotel you like the look of, it can be a good idea to call them directly and talk to them about the price. Booking directly with them can avoid the commission they would have had to pay to the comparison site, or you could take advantage of a deal not available on the site, so it works for both of you. This can save a lot of money but be prepared to haggle.
If you’re looking at short notice, there are “secret room” sites that advertise lone rooms or ones that haven’t been booked for whatever reason. A hotel is at its most cost efficient when it’s full, so they always want people in the rooms and are prepared to give some astoundingly low prices to get them filled. This can work to your advantage, so check out secret room sites.
Seen a Better Price for Your Room?
Look up the free cancellation period and if you’re still in it, call them up, cancel your booking and re-book at the lower price. It might feel a bit dodgy but they’re the ones offering the price, so don’t worry about it.
By signing up and paying a fee to a members-only site you can get some incredible deals on some luxury hotels. They usually pay themselves off after one or two trips, so if you’re a regular hotel-goer, they are worth a look.
Britain is full of universities and colleges and a little-known fact is that most of them offer out their unoccupied digs during the holidays. This can give you city centre access, great amenities and often historic buildings for a knock-down price.
The cheapest way of staying in accommodation in Britain is via the extensive hostel network. They’re cheap and cheerful, usually bunking in with several people and providing facilities to cook your own food. A great way to meet people and explore local areas on a budget.
Big hotel chains offer regular members reduced prices on hotel rooms, so if you’re travelling a lot in Britain it you can save a lot of money by signing up to their loyalty schemes.
There are thousands of holiday lets in Britain from tiny cottages to mansions, and they can often be as affordable as a hotel, especially if you’re travelling in a group.
Getting the Right Deal
Ignore how many stars a hotel has, look instead at the reviews. What are the people who have stayed there saying? Check that the comment isn’t a made up, paid one by looking at the commenter’s history. If they’ve obviously travelled a lot, they’re looking for the right things and you can probably trust their judgement.
Call ahead, make enquiries as to what is in the deal and don’t be afraid to put the phone down if what they’re offering isn’t good enough.
Enjoy your stay in Britain!