Not all hotels are created equal. You want to get the most bang for your buck and find the right hotel that will let you kick back and relax while on vacation. When booking a room in the Sunshine State, it’s important to be smart, be cautious, and get your dollars’ worth on your room. Here are a few tips to making sure that you get the very best room for your money.
Check the Reviews
Here’s what you can tell from looking at a hotel’s official website: their rates, whether or not they have any reservations, their amenities, and their location. Here’s what you’ll never know from looking at their website: that their staff is rude, that their room service sucks, their food is terrible, their located right across the street from a scuzzy looking liquor store, and there was a shootout in their parking lot just last week.
In other words, you can only rely on the website to tell you what the management wants you to know. They’re not going to tell you that they’ve had a lot of customer complaints, roaches all over the place and that some of their rooms are falling apart at the seams. That’s where you rely on your fellow traveler. Whatever room you’re considering renting, Google up a few reviews before making your reservation.
Bargain Hunters Beware
It’s always great to get a good price on a top quality room, but the key words there are “top” and “quality.” It’s not a bargain if what’s being bought is barely worth what’s being paid for it. If all you want to do is save more money, a lot of Miami hotels will rent rooms out for a song. However, if you want a good location, great room service and a degree of security, be prepared to pay for it. That said…
There’s Something to Be Said for a Boring Room
When you go to Vegas, the casinos always put you up in a boring, small room with nothing to do but watch TV. These rooms usually provide you with enough comfort for the evening, a decent bathroom and clean, comfy sheets, but their real objective is to get you back out in the casino, spending more money, so they’re not going to provide you with much entertainment in the room itself, nor will their room service be top notch. The same goes with renting a room yourself: if you want to really enjoy everything that Miami has to offer, a boring room costs less and pushes you to get out there and enjoy yourself. After all, if you just want to hang out in a room all week, you can get the five star experience at home for cheap by buying some fancier sheets and having a pizza delivered instead of cooking tonight. Put a mint on your own pillow and the experience is complete.
Visit in the Off-Season
If you ever head down to Florida, you’ll soon find that it’s really summer all year-round. This means that while there are times when there are fewer visitors, there are really no down seasons. It’s always a good idea to visit Miami if you want to hang out at the beach, hit the night clubs and be in driving distance to some of the world’s best theme parks. The only bad time to visit Miami is during hurricane season, and even then, Miami sometimes gets little more than a little sprinkling and heavy winds here and there. If you want a great room at a crummy room price, visit in the off-season. Florida is perhaps most popular in the Winter, when all of the “Snowbird” tourists come down from Jersey and New York to escape the heat, during Spring Break, and in the summer when the kids are out of school. For the rest of the year, prices are lower and it’s easier to get a reservation on the room of your choice.
Consult This Checklist
When it comes to Florida, there are a few things you’re going to want your room to provide you with no matter what.
- A Pool
- Central Air Conditioning
- A Mini-Fridge
You can take or leave these items in California, in New York, in Oregon, but in Florida, like we said, it’s summer all year round. Without a pool to cool off, central air to keep the room chilly and a mini-fridge to store some cold drinks, you may as well be living in the hot box they stuffed Paul Newman into in “Cool Hand Luke.” We’re not kidding when we say that fighting the humidity is priority number one in the Sunshine State.
This guest post article was written by Charles Watkins who enjoys traveling and writing about his experiences.