It’s the time of year when I start thinking about a family vacation. Once I narrow down the destination, I start researching hotels. Now the tricky part begins. I often start with a search of “Best Hotels in XX.” And then I start looking at what each hotel has to offer. My husband and daughter enjoy snorkeling, so I might look for a hotel with a nice beach. Often the hotel’s websites don’t give much information about what the beach is like, so I start searching guest reviews. It may take some digging, but I can usually find someone who mentions if the beach is rocky or the current is too strong or if there’s amazing snorkeling right at the hotel.
While I’m looking at reviews, I read what people have to say about recent stays. I try to take reviews with a grain of salt, though. Frequently, people tend to take to websites like TripAdvisor only to complain. While some of the complaints are valid, others just had a bad experience that really doesn’t reflect the everyday operations or conditions at the hotel.
Reviews I skip are those that had a room mix-up or those that complain about the room being noisy because it was near a pool. Other people might complain about the buffet at an all-inclusive but say they didn’t actually try the à la carte restaurants (which are usually better). I also avoid the reviews where a guest complains about a specific person who was rude. I also discredit reviews of guests who didn’t like a hotel for a reason they should have known by doing their research about the hotel, such as if the hotel is too far from the airport or it doesn’t have certain amenities, like a 24-hour fitness center. (I actually read a review where the guest took away a star because the floor wasn’t carpeted and her feet got cold!)
The reviews I find most valuable are from guests who stayed at a hotel multiple times. Return guests must have enjoyed their first stay and liked it enough to return. And they can tell if the property is kept in good condition year after year. Also, they usually focus their reviews on good tips and useful information, like which restaurants are great or nearby attractions or excursions to try, in addition to the general atmosphere of the hotel.
Red flags for me are multiple recent complaints about the cleanliness of a hotel or if someone stayed at the hotel in the past and it has gone downhill and needs a major update.
Happy vacation researching!
— Tracey Cullen, art director
In 2004 Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, purchased 168 acres of land that was an original part of the Penn Grant made to Thomas Bond (circa 1718). The stone Manor House on the property is a registered historical landmark and reminds players of the significant history of the area.
Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
For those seeking the quintessential autumn vacation, coupled with a good, old-fashioned family getaway, all-in-one resorts are a great option. Heading to or through Pennsylvania? Nemacolin Woodlands Resort will demand a few days of your time.
Incheon Airport, the largest airport in South Korea, opened in 2001, serving as a hub for Asiana Airlines, Air Seoul, Air Incheon and more. As the primary airport for Seoul Capital Area, it works hard to keep its spot as the main hub in the region. Going beyond aesthetic value, Incheon Airport is revolutionizing airports, challenging boundaries and pushing technological limits.
Finding a beachfront Punta Cana all-inclusive resort for all ages can be daunting when you want to take home great memories with loved ones but also experience a sophisticated escape. Now, you can have both thanks to a new resort: Finest Punta Cana.
The Chatwal Lodge will debut in Bethel, New York, 90 miles north of New York City, April 1, 2021. The lodge, nestled on a 30-acre, environmentally protected piece of land, offers panoramic views and a quiet mountain sanctuary.
IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.