It’s often the case that I get asked to find a good hotel for someone I know. This is because I’ve worked in the industry for a long time, and I know plenty of places that others don’t, as well as spending a lot of time on the best online sites for hotel accommodation.
Having travelled up and down over the country, I know many towns and cities, and have stayed at many hundreds of hotels and guest houses. This is obviously the main reason people ask for my opinion on where they should stay when they’re visiting a specific area.
Recently, someone I know asked me about Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside hotels. They knew where it was they wanted to be, so were asking for my opinion on Preston hotels which I could tell them about, based on the fact I knew them and the sort of things they’d be likely to be interested in.
When you’re looking to choose somewhere to stay, it’s important to know the purpose of your visit, so you can work out what sort of things you might want when you’re there. There are several issues here, which I always think of when I’m looking to offer my advice.
You need to determine why you’re going to the place in the first place. If you’re there on business, you might need internet access in your room, or wireless in the hotel. Maybe you’re there for pleasure and also want wifi to keep in touch with people, or perhaps you’ll be there for both business and pleasure.
You’ll also want to be sure of what you’ll be doing in the evenings. Do you want to eat in the hotel? In which case you need to find one with a restaurant. Or do you want to sample some local eateries? In which case you’ll need to be near the centre of town, or at least near to some restaurants you know of.
It’s possible you’ll be wanting to keep fit, so a gym or a swimming pool might be important to you. If the hotel itself doesn’t have these facilities, you should check if they have an arrangement with anywhere locally – preferably a place that doesn’t charge hotel guests for using them.
Once I’d put together a list of suitable places, we looked through them and picked out the ones that seemed best. We worked out the ones that had rooms available on the dates required, and booked online. When you’re next looking to stay in the Greater Manchester, Lancashire or Merseyside regions, taking these simple steps will help you enjoy your stay.
Barnaby Phillips has been finding UK hotels for clients and acquaintances for many years, through his own accommodation agency.