I have to make a confession, while I really want to go to Morocco, it was way too expensive for my wallet. So I am going to Turkey instead. I will still be able to buy some awesome lanterns there too. Plus it was one of my favorite vacation spots.
This time we are traveling with our three children so I am looking for different hotels. We are going during the winter so I have different requirements and we are going to a different destination than last time. Because of these things I’ve been looking for different hotels.
I really didn’t like the hotel we stayed in Istanbul last time. I didn’t even remember its name. It was just generic and I like hotels with character. So I start by doing my research on Tripadvisor. I love that website!!! However, talk about information overload. Istanbul must have at least 1,000 hotels. I’m not joking. Most of them are small family run hotels in old Ottoman houses. They are charming and friendly and provide basic amenities. Try choosing the right hotel from such a long list. What is important to me might not be as important to other people. I don’t really need a luxury hotel but I need some comforts. I also am traveling with my kids so the amount of space in the room is a consideration. I would like an indoor pool for them to splash in the evening. A lounge to sit in is a bonus.
Most of the reviewers for Istanbul remark in the hospitality of the hotel staff. Well, every one I met in Turkey was hospitable. They bent over back wards. They were kind. So how can I judge a hotel on hospitality when it is part of their culture?
Some people comment on the size of the room. What are they comparing to? US hotels? Yes they will be small, you are in a over 2,000+ years old city. European? While I have small rooms they have all been adequate so I don’t see a problem.
One time I chose a hotel in Milan based on the reviews. Yes the hotel had great location, good prices and a friendly staff but the room was horrible. After one night we moved to the hotel down the road. We had better rooms at better prices. But I think the people who reviewed the first hotel were probably back packers. For them it would be a great hotel.
But I am a bit older, with children and with a higher income now. So my needs are different. I need to be able to filter all the reviews to match people with my socio-economic background. That way the information overload will whittle down a little. Also the places you have visited should be a consideration because travel expands your horizon and helps you see different things as needs.
After spending way too many hours doing my research I did pick a hotel. It wasn’t one that I had considered at first but it did fit my budget and my requirements. We’ll just have to see if I made the right choice. Now I just need to decide on a hotel for Cappadocia. There are fewer hotels but still the choices are many. Plus we’ll need even more room there since we’ll be meeting up with one my son’s friends.
Wish me luck and maybe I can limit my computer time for a while so I don’t wast so much time looking at hotel reviews.