For a good number of people, an expensive vacation is something that comes by once every few years, once a year if one is lucky. The thought of saving and making sacrifices only to end up going on a disappointing vacation can leave a bitter taste in one’s mouth and a massive dent in one’s personal finances. As such, I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume that it is every traveler’s desire to get it right with their once in a blue moon vacation. Failure is not an option. A crucial part of any vacation is the hotel or resort one stays at. This can make or break the entire trip. So how do you go about choosing the right hotel for you?


In the age of Instagram, the least a hotel can do is be picturesque, right? Pictures of hotels are most likely the first thing anyone looks at while searching for a place to stay during one’s vacation. Crystal clear water in creatively designed swimming pools, lush green tropical gardens, and pristinely maintained buildings, grounds, and amenities can lure any potential traveler in. Perhaps it is common knowledge that one should not judge a book by its cover, nonetheless, an aesthetically appealing cover never hurt anybody. At the very least, one should make sure a hotel’s photos are tantalizing to the eyes before considering anything else.


The hotel one stays at serves as one’s home for the duration of one’s vacation. Therefore, one should aim to be as comfortable as possible. Visualize your stay at a hotel and note down everything you would need to make your stay as convenient as possible. Take, for example, your room at a hotel. If you determine you will spend a decent amount of time in your room then amenities such as a TV, Wi-Fi, coffee-making apparatus, etc may be things to check for. If spending time at the swimming pool is a highlight of your vacation then you should make sure your hotel of choice has a swimming pool, multiple swimming pools would be ideal, and there are services around the swimming pool such as a pool bar, sunbeds, and so on.

To pass time, some amenities such as a tennis court, kids’ playground, a gym just to mention a few may come in handy and so should be amenities to consider when selecting a hotel. Activities outside the hotel may be something else to factor in such as excursions.


Transport is an often overlooked aspect of planning a vacation. Obviously, one has to get to the hotel. Some destinations may require flights, trains, taxi transfers, boat transfers, long drives, and God knows what else. All options that can cost an arm and a leg, not literally, of course. Nonetheless, transport can be quite expensive, sometimes even more expensive than one’s accommodation costs at the hotel.

Cost aside, getting to some hotels may require using multiple means of transport and may require a lot of hours traveling which for some people is a dealbreaker. Consequently, a hotel’s accessibility is a crucial point to consider when choosing where to stay for your vacation.


The pictures may have fooled you, the list of amenities on the hotel’s website may have duped you, and the location just seems perfect. However, what are other people saying about the hotel you want to stay at? Firstly, the star rating of a hotel, that is, 3-star, 4-star, 5-star, etc may hint at the level of service and amenities to expect. Even so, nothing beats first-hand accounts from guests who have stayed at a hotel. There may be a consistent complaint or issue that most reviewers keep bringing up which may be a dealbreaker for you. On the other hand, a hotel may have very positive reviews further affirming your choice. Either way, online reviews and the overall rating of a hotel are a fairly decent preview of what to expect from a hotel.


In some people’s books, cost should be the first consideration when selecting a hotel. Fair enough. After all, one cannot spend more than one has and so one’s choice of hotel is limited to one’s budget. This is a pretty straightforward aspect of planning one’s vacation. Perhaps some factors to consider may be the seasonal variation in hotel prices. One can get a high-end hotel at an affordable price during the low season, for example. What time of the year are hotels most affordable in Kenya? Click the link to find out.

At the end of the day, a well-deserved vacation combined with friends and family and a happy-go-lucky attitude are all recipes for a memorable vacation.

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