Hotels, guest houses, booking, Agoda – how to use it and choose the best stay.

Malvina Dunder, travel blog, lifestyle, mindful living, vegan travelling, tips, podróże, przygody, porady podróżnicze, basen, swimmingpool, wegan, świadome życie, książki, traveller, podróżniczka, swimming pool in Koh Samui island Thailand, palm trees.. Hotel, basen, Tajlandia, palmy

I always use Booking and Agoda to find accommodation when traveling. I don’t know how people lived without it 😛 Yes, it happened more than once when I entered the hotel asking for a room, but it happens usually in emergency situations.

I usually choose hotels, but the guest houses / hostels are also a great option, because there are a lot of people there. I recommend the latter especially for solo travellers. It is not necessary to socialise, but it gives you some useful options eg. you can agree with someone to take a trip together and share some costs, or find out something useful abut the place you’re about to visit etc. Hotels are more impersonal and private. In guest houses, you can usually choose to sleep in a 1-2-person room or in a dormitory (with others), in separate rooms for men and women, or shared.

Another interesting option is also Air BnB and Couch Surfing, but I have no personal experience with these platforms.

If you start looking for accommodation on Booking and Agoda, it is important to check other people reviews. These can sometimes be quite funny, but also shocking. Some comments are from strange people, and some from strange hotels.

For example, the guest writes that there are bedbugs in the hotel (small creatures that hide under the bed and bite at night), and the hotel replied “you brought them with you!”…

It also happens, that some guests have strange problems that could be absurd for you (e.g. no umbrella in the drink), so I recommend to read those comments with some explanation, where you can find out something more about the place and make your own decision if it’s a good place for you or not. 

Price doesn’t necessarily comes with quality. Sometimes you have the standard you pay for (low standard for a low price), and sometimes you get a good deal – a beautiful hotel at a low price. You can also pay a lot for an old, dirty hotel, because the pictures are much better than reality, but this is often mentioned in the comments.

For me, the most important determinant is cleanliness. Hotel could be located far from the center and have simple design but it must be clean. 

I have to say that 90% of the time I had very good experiences with overnights booked through those portals, but there have been some “situations” as well… However, I have slept in hundreds (or maybe even a thousand) of hotels, so these were exceptions.

Once, together with our taxi driver, we couldn’t find the hotel and we quickly rented another one, because the area was slightly disturbing. Some other time, we needed an airport hotel because we had to wake up at 3-4 am to catch a plane and we got to a place that reminded me of a tavern from “The Witcher”. I felt like I entered the tavern in ancient times, asked the man behind a bar for a room upstairs and gave him some dinars 😉 But it was not a nice experience… There was also this one time, when I did not make the payment in time and they informed me about deleting my booking (when I was on the way to the place…). This other time, I was in a clean, though grandma’s-looking hotel, where after ordering a vegan breakfast with my friend, it turned out that the ladies fried it in animal fat, of course in a good will. They were very nice so in a such situation, we had no other choice than to say “thank you”, smile and secretly find a trash bin with a lid to cover tracks. We also once rented a hotel called “Lucky” and upon arrival the place turned out to be located on a street with many brothels so it was a different type of “lucky” than I thought…

Good feature with using those portals is that you can submit complaints, if you were booking. The portal tries its best to keep the good standards and help its clients. And here is my story.

We booked a hotel with a friend, and informed that we would arrive around midnight. We couldn’t find the hotel for a long time, because it was incorrectly marked on the map and between many one-way streets, so finally we had to get out of the car and walk at night in a foreign city… There was no sign on the building, there was no name on the intercom, so I had to start roaming and call the place. The lady did not speak English, but opened the door, leading to the basement through a urinated corridor. It turned out that it’s impossible to pay with credit card, so she told us to go to the ATM. Blessing in disguise, as we were exhausted and close to crying, but we also wanted to escape this place. So we did. We couldn’t look for anything else at booking website, because it was after 24, so we would book the hotel for another day / night (it’s worth remembering !!!). We barely walked through the dark streets, we called different numbers without results, until we came to a big, golden hotel, which welcomed us with a smile and pity 😉

Some time after that, we received a message via booking from the unfortunate hotel that it was outraged by our behaviour, that we made the reservation and did not come, etc. … My friend is no joke (and she is a German teacher ;-)), so she wrote a very straightforward message and received the answer that booking will take this into account when cooperating with this hotel.

Malvina Dunder with love to planet Earth. Travel adventures & conscoius living. Blog podróżniczy, świadome życie, z miłości do planety Ziemi
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