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Hotels Travel Guide

Finding lodging for your vacation or business trip is probably the most important selection you make. The quality of your housing determines your comfort and overall well being. As such, you should take the time to find the best possible option for the price.

Most of the time, you will want to begin your search with hotels as opposed to motels. Hotels are temporary accommodations that serve as businesses for those who own them. The phrase temporary can be misleading because there are extended stay hotels that allow guests to stay in them for several months and individuals who choose to live in a hotel for whatever reason. It is fairy difficult to distinguish between hotels and motels, although there are a few key differences. As a general rule, motels are relatively inexpensive. They typically do not offer their guests many amenities and are often located near a highway. Hotels vary in quality considerably, but they tend to err on the side of luxury. Motels usually have open hallways where guests enter from the parking lot whereas hotels are enclosed buildings. This may seem like a subtle distinction, but the closed exterior design automatically gives hotels an air of superiority.

Hotels are rated according to a number of stars on a scale of 1 to 5, although it is quite rare to see a 5 star rating. A single star hotel denotes a satisfactory business, which indicates a no frills establishment. In some countries, a 1 star hotel refers to a hostel or other tourist destination. In others the designation is reserved for the budget or economy class category. A 2 star hotel is a step above the lowest level, but it is by no means a high end location. A hotel in this classification might provide one or two amenities, such as a swimming pool or on-site diner.

Hotels that receive ratings above 2 stars are far more expensive than those of the lesser echelon. Those with 3 star ratings provide services that are analogues to business class travel on an airplane. For example, a room in a 3 star hotel may cost approximately $99 per night. For that price, guests will likely receive any of the following: pool and spa access, a mini bar, coffeemaker, cable and or satellite television, ironing supplies, and perhaps a complementary Continental breakfast. Examples of 3 star hotels include the Sheraton, Courtyard Marriot, Embassy Suites, and the La Quinta Inn.

The phrase 4 star hotel probably sounds familiar because this term has become synonymous with lavishness. These businesses are technically not the cream of the crop, but they certainly take great pains to deliver an extraordinary experience for each of their guests. Many 4 star hotels provide wireless internet services, dry cleaning, gyms, pools and spas, room service, full bars, outstanding in-house dining, tennis courts, valet parking, and much more. Those interested in staying at such a fine place should expect to pay at least $150 per night for a bottom tier room. Examples of famous 4 star hotels include the Hilton, the Marriot, the Four Seasons, the Ritz-Carlton, and the St. Regis.

To truly immerse yourself in the best money can buy; you will have to indulgence in a 5 star hotel. These businesses are nothing short of extravagant. Take the Carlyle Hotel in New York, for example. Positioned in the middle of Manhattan, the Carlyle represents a landmark as much as a thriving business. They supply their guests with world class dining and designer shopping all within their walls, not to mention breathtaking views. Visitors should be prepared to pay a minimum of $750 per night to even set foot in one of these over the top spots.

You might find it hard to believe, but there is one step above the 5 star hotel and that is the 5 star resort. There are numerous traditionally styled 5 star hotels that are designed with the familiar appearance i.e. a lobby with rooms surrounding it. However, true 5 star resorts are spacious enough to have totally separate, individual guest quarters. This type of place is perfectly suited for a lengthy stay and tends to be the favorite of socialites worldwide. Here is where you will find the Kennedys, Rockefellers, and British Royalty. Prices are astronomical, which is to be expected. 5 star resorts represent the ultimate in privacy, opulence, and conspicuous consumption. If you have to ask for a list of such places, you undoubtedly cannot afford them.

Making travel arrangements, including hotel reservations well in advantage is certainly advisable. Waiting till the last minute can leave you paying substantially higher rates or force you to find alternative lodging. Booking ahead of time can save you money and ensures that you exactly what you want. This is especially true when it comes to 4 and 5 star hotels. Their vacancies fill up very quickly because they are considered so desirable. Besides, these companies already charge a lot of money, so even a slight increase in their nightly rates might render them unaffordable unless you happen to be among the wealthy elite. Do not put yourself in a bad position and make your hotel reservations A.S.A.P.!

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