In the upcoming days, I will play tourist guide to a cousin from the United Kingdom.
Usually I’m a girlscout cheapskate traveler, but since I’ll be traveling with family, I will have to level up with some comforts. One comfort will be places to stay while we are on holidays.
I have prepared a checklist of my definition of the perfect place.. Whether it’s a posh hotel or a family house, what really matter is if the places agree to the criteria below. Check them out or feel free to add up more info in the comments if you like.
1. Value for the money. To be honest, I have stayed in 5 star hotels, and I felt like it’s just another hotel.. And I have stayed in hotels that don’t cost much yet I get that posh feeling, and I feel like not wanting to leave… Below is one of my favorite hotels in Bangkok. That posh feeling don’t need to be expensive.
2. Genuine Staff Hospitality. When I was traveling in Boracay last month, I overheard this group of local young men taunting another local traveler. Based from their conversation, I think they knew each other very well.. Because the sarcastic phrase of telling the newly arrived local not to go back to the island if he doesn’t have money was… sarcastic but for the locals it’s funny.
Now, imagine if those local men were the staff at the hotel. Do you think they will treat you according to the level of your budget? In the material world, probably you’ll get treated that way.. but in some far flung places, you’ll get treated as a valuable visitor.. and that is genuine hospitality.
3. Cleanliness. After long days of travel, anyone would like to rest in clean and welcoming rooms. No matter how simple or how elegant, as long as there is no cockroach flying, floors are clean, sheets are newly washed, then it’s already heaven. Below is a picture of my room, I got it for free courtesy of my host whom I consider a foster mom in Bhaktapur, Nepal.
4. Food. I prefer to stay in hotels with free buffet.. or at least the restaurants are nearby. Every place has their own unique dish so the foodie in me craves an adventure that delights the taste buds.
5. Facilities. Hail to the accommodations that provide extra facilities like Swimming Pool, Gym, Rooftop, and meeting rooms. It feels like we’re not just renting a room, but we’re free to roam around the hotel building to use the amenities as well.
6. Great Location. I actually met tourists who prefer the far flung areas. So I guess location preferences vary from the types of guests. If for example, I’m in a city, I would choose a place that are near the malls, subways, airport. But when I wanted to dive deep into the culture, I would go as far as Changunarayan, Bhaktapur in Nepal just to seek the authentic. Take note, traveling to far flung areas and experiencing real culture doesn’t have to be expensive too.
7. Complimentary stuff. Freebies such as slippers, shampoo, lotion, towel, plates, spoon, fork.. wait… dear hotel staff, I’m just kidding, don’t send a policewoman to stare at me while eating. Below is the hotel room that me and my mom enjoyed while traveling out of the country last year.
8. Security. It feels safe to know that there are security guards making sure guests are safe during their stay.. but when these guards stare at you in your every move, then that’s not the definition of safety. Stare at them back and in an intimidating voice ask them – do I look like a drug pusher?
9. Parking. This will be convenient for those who have their own car. I don’t have a vehicle so it’s down my list.
10. Travel and Tour Assistance. This is also not a priority for me because most of the time, I travel without needing any tourist guide. But this comes in handy when the place is really far flung, and the helpdesk is ready to find you if you’re lost.. coz you haven’t paid yet so probably that’s one of the reason.