When Budget Travel Means Cheap Travel, Hotel Reviews Don’t Matter

The reason is pretty obvious – if you are only going to stay in cheap hotels (let’s say under $60 per night) in a major city like Los Angeles or Phoenix, reviews won’t really help you find them because the price alone will do that. However, reviews can help you uncover the part of town they are in or how safe the neighborhood appears to be. The problem is that cheap motels are almost uniformly found in the least desirable locations – near freeways (dirt and noise 24 hours), under the airport runways (major noise) or along railroad tracks, less desirable parts of towns (where personal and car safety become an issue) and there is much value in knowing that. Reviews will therefore help in that aspect.

From the hundreds of reviews I have ‘reviewed’, most often the comment made about a $50 motel is “You get what you pay for” which is code for don’t expect much. It always astounds me when a guest rips a cheap hotel for being noisy or dirty – did they not think there might be a reason it was cheap? Cleanliness is almost always an issue commented upon. In my view, you can’t expect top notch service or maintenance in a cheaper property since the majority are only interested in renting rooms every night and to do that, the price has to be half what a normal hotel goes for.

Nonetheless, there is value to all reviews if you know how to read them. You might see postings where a party says they got a Marriott or Hilton for $50 on Hotwire. Though my experience is that mostly the $50 per night motels take the Priceline and Hotwire ‘offers’ far more often than a Hampton or Hyatt does, you might get lucky. Then again, you may end up listening to train whistles outside your window all night. Reviews can point these out and therein lies their value, even for cheap properties.

If you read enough reviews, you’ll soon see how to separate “the wheat from the chaff” and this increases your chances of finding a property you are happy with. The key is in understanding reviews by trying to discern which reviews are valid and which are garbage. Though experience will help a lot, you can also learn tips and tricks for spotting reviews to ignore and those you want to pay closer attention to. For more about this, see my Resource box.

Hotel Review: Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome

Modern and comfortable are the words used to describe the Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome. It’s conveniently located in the Central Business District and a short walk to the French Quarter. Sit down and relax while we review this lovely hotel.

The first time we ever came to New Orleans, my husband and I stayed at this hotel. To be honest, it was not a great introduction to the city. However, since that time the hotel was renovated down to the studs to offer the best experience to visitors. What was before somewhat dark and dated, turned into a property that’s light, inviting, and totally modern. When you enter the lobby, the first thing you notice is the furniture that could be in any luxury apartment in the city.

By the elevators you can admire the original Andy Warhol artwork of Mick Jagger. Up to your room you go, where you’ll have a very comfortable bed. The rooms are clean, neat, and the modern theme followed. Every room in this hotel boasts a balcony, and if you’re lucky you’ll have a room that overlooks Duncan Plaza.

If you choose to hold an event, like a wedding reception or a graduation party at this hotel you will fall in love with the venue. There’s a nice banquet hall that leads to the beautiful pool area. Open the doors and the party can flow in and out towards the pool. A drawback to this is the building you and your guests view from here is dilapidated.

During your stay, take a seat and have a drink at the hotel’s bar. The bartender that’s there at night is quite knowledgeable and talkative. He can make you anything from a great Cosmo to a White Russian. However, he isn’t always the nicest. This hasn’t deterred us from going to the bar after attending a Pelicans’ game at the nearby Smoothie King Center.

If driving in, be aware that the hotel does have a fee for using their parking lot. There are many other lots that you can choose from around the hotel if you don’t want to pay that fee. However, the hotel does have a great deal for parking if you’re going on a cruise. Stay at the Holiday Inn before your cruise with their special cruise package to get free parking for eight nights. Unfortunately you will have to find your own transportation to and from the cruise terminal.

Overall, the Holiday Inn New Orleans-Downtown Superdome is a good hotel for those wanting modern amenities at a good price. The budget-conscious traveler can experience the city of New Orleans without breaking the bank.

Hotel Reviews Gone Wild

As an online shopper you should be skeptical of online product reviews. In most cases they are being used by big business to get free advertising. Hotel review sites are no different. However, there are some consumer great review websites that have valuable information on hotel that you may be interested in. Someone that has stayed at a hotel can give you a real good idea of what to expect from it. So where can you find valuable information and stay away from the advertising driven reviews? This is all explained in this useful article you are about to read.

What to look for in a good review:

The best consumer reviews offer detailed product information on the product and with regard to hotels, a good product review should tell you why they liked or disliked the hotel. How was the service; room stafff, bartenders, casino hosts, check in and out? How does the hotel favor against other hotels in the area? What special services did they enjoy; comps, entertainment gaming? What was the overall experience like would they recommend going back? What is there to do near the hotel. Answers to these questions could give you a real incite on whether or not that hotel is worth going to.

Also, some of the best product reviews will give you tips and tricks. Maybe the hotel you are staying at offers complimentary promotions, rewards, senior discounts, or discounted stays. All the best product reviews offer this kind of information, all of which is designed to get the best value for your money.

Reviews to avoid:

If a review says, “I loved your place! Keep it up!”, then keep looking. It is rather uninformative so these should probably be ignored altogether. Also, if you feel the review may be to good to be true keep it in mind but look around to see what others may be saying. Finally, consider the source, do some research on the person who wrote the review. Is he or she is affiliated in any way with the hotel or stand to profit if you stay there? If so, then move on.

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