While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be on top of everyone’s minds, individuals around the world are eager to return to a state of normalcy, but are uncertain about how to proceed. Here is a checklist you can use when you plan your next vacation.
What is the nature of your stay? If you are travelling for business, check with your organisation who may have a recommended list of hotels for business purposes. If you are travelling for personal reasons, plan accordingly- are you travelling alone, with your significant other or your family?
2. Star class
This depends on your budget and preference, make sure you have an idea of what you want as prices vary. For those who prefer to get away from it all and just want to relax onsite, a five-star accommodation will likely be the most obvious choice. Do check if the hotel you wish has the relevant amenities such as WIFI, pool/gym services, extensive cuisine, or even a functioning business centre (if you are travelling for work). Plan wisely and manage your budget accordingly.
3. Flexible cancellation policy
Nowadays, most hotels have a flexible cancellation policy, given the nature of COVID-19, if you are unsure, it is best to get the cancellation policy in writing and confirm it with the hotel to improve your peace of mind. Look for hotels who provide flexibility just in case something unexpected were to take place.
4. Proximity to areas of your choice
Assess how close your choice of hotel is to the places you wish to see. If you are a business traveller, look for a hotel which isn’t far from say, a communications store or conference centre (if you are attending an event). Conversely, if you are on vacation, book a hotel which is close to major tourist shops, the city centre, shopping centres, museums etc. For example, The Kingsbury is ideal for both tourists and business travellers due to its proximity to the bustling World Trade Centre, Dutch Hospital Precinct for shopping and is a short walk to the Galle Face Promenade.
5. Follow your Hotel Options on Social Media
Now that you have a general area and have shortlisted a few options, visit Google and major review sites such as Tripadvisor to get an understanding about the food, rooms and overall service. The more recent the review, the better. Furthermore, you can use the hotel’s hashtags on popular social media sites (ie: #Amaya or #Kingsbury) on Facebook and Instagram to improve your decision making.
TIP: Given the existing circumstances, visit the hotel’s website to understand their policies on COVID-19 safety protocols. These should be listed on their homepage.
6. Book Your Stay
Although you may find cheaper prices online on various sites, contact the hotel and ask if they can price match what you found online. Hotels will be more likely to match the offer or even give you a better rate as they won’t need to pay extras.