Are you planning your next trip away, either for a holiday or a business trip? Find out all about hotels and book your accommodation here with Savvy.

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, updated on February 26th, 2024       

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Hotels around the world offer visitors a second home and a place to stay when they’re travelling. They come in all shapes and sizes, from small cozy mountain inns to big luxury island resorts. Hotels vary tremendously in the quality of accommodation they offer, but they can be found in almost every corner of the globe. Each hotel has its own unique style and vibe. Some hotels are grand and luxurious with fancy decorations and lots of extra services, while others are simpler and more budget-friendly. You can find hotels in bustling cities, by the beach with stunning views, or tucked away in peaceful countryside settings. They're built to suit different tastes and needs, so everyone can find a hotel that feels just right for their personal preferences. 

Hotel rooms typically come with basic amenities to make guests feel comfortable. These include a bed or beds, a private bathroom with toiletries like soap and shampoo, clean towels, and usually a TV. Some hotels have extra perks like a mini-fridge, a coffee maker, or a desk to work on. You can often expect air conditioning or heating to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. 

No matter where you are in the world, hotels usually aim to make guests feel welcome and cared for. They have staff who are friendly and helpful, ready to assist with anything guests might need during their stay. Whether it's giving directions to local attractions or providing extra blankets, hotels strive to ensure guests have a pleasant and enjoyable experience. 

Hotels worldwide vary widely in style, amenities, and locations, catering to different preferences and budgets. But one thing they have in common is the goal of providing a comfortable and welcoming place for travellers to relax and enjoy their time away from home. 

What different types of hotels are there?

There are many different types of hotels available for you to choose from. Here are some of the more common types of hotels that you may encounter in your travels:  

Budget hotels:  

These hotels offer basic room accommodations at an affordable price. They are a good option for travellers on a tight budget who are looking for a clean and comfortable place to stay for a short period of time. Facilities are usually minimal, and reception services may be limited.  

Mid-range hotels:  

These hotels offer more amenities and services than budget hotels, such as on-site restaurants, swimming pools, and fitness centres. They are a good option for travellers who are looking for a comfortable and convenient place to stay at a reasonable price. 

Luxury hotels:  

These hotels offer the highest level of accommodation and services. They typically have large rooms, fine dining, and a variety of amenities and services, such as spas, golf courses, and personalised service. Luxury hotels are a good option for travellers who are looking for the ultimate in pampering and relaxation. 

Boutique hotels:  

These hotels offer a unique and personalised experience. They typically have a smaller number of rooms than traditional hotels, and they are often decorated in a particular style or theme. Boutique hotels are a good option for travellers who are looking for a more intimate and personalised experience. 

All-inclusive hotels and resorts:  

These resorts offer all of their food, drinks, activities, and entertainment for one price. They are a good option for travellers who are looking for a hassle-free vacation and don't want to worry about budgeting. 

Romantic hotels 

Romantic hotels are designed to provide a special and intimate experience for couples and honeymooners. They typically offer a variety of amenities and services that are designed to enhance romance, such as honeymoon welcome packages, turndown services (which may include flowers, champagne, or romantic messages left on the bed), in-room spas, massages, fine dining, extensive room service, and private balconies.  

Kid-friendly and child-friendly hotels 

Kid-friendly hotels are hotels that are designed to provide a fun and safe experience for families with children. They typically have a number of amenities and services that are designed to appeal to children, such as: 

  • Twin-share, adjoining rooms and family suites: Hotels that are advertised as child-friendly often have larger rooms and suites suitable for families, which may include bunk beds for multiple children. They may also offer adjoining rooms linked together, suitable for larger families. 
  • Playgrounds: Kid-friendly hotels typically have playgrounds where kids can play and burn off energy. 
  • Kids' clubs: Many kid-friendly hotels offer kids' clubs where kids can participate in various activities, such as games, crafts, and sports. 
  • Kids' pools: Many child-friendly hotels have kids' pools that are designed for younger children, with shallow warm water suitable for younger children and babies. 
  • Kids' menus: Kid-friendly hotels typically offer kids' menus that feature kid-friendly favourites, such as chicken nuggets, hamburgers, spaghetti and pizza. 
  • Child-friendly activities: Many kid-friendly hotels offer a variety of family-friendly activities, such as movie nights, game nights, and pool parties. 
  • Baby-sitting services: Many child-friendly hotels offer parents a babysitting service, so they are able to leave their children when they are asleep and enjoy local amenities, knowing their children are safely supervised 

Pet-friendly and dog-friendly hotels 

Pet-friendly hotels are hotels that welcome guests with pets. They typically have a number of amenities and services that are designed to make pets feel comfortable, such as: 

  • Pet-friendly rooms: Pet-friendly rooms typically have special amenities for pets, such as pet beds, bowls, and provided food. 
  • Pet-walking services: Many pet-friendly hotels offer pet-walking services so that guests can enjoy their vacation without having to worry about their pets’ exercise needs. 
  • Pet-sitting services: Some pet-friendly hotels offer pet-sitting services so that guests can leave their pets at the hotel if they need to go out for a few hours. 
  • Designated pet relief areas: Pet-friendly hotels typically have designated pet relief areas where guests can take their pets to relieve themselves.  

How does the hotel star rating system work?

In Australia, the hotel star rating system is managed by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) in collaboration with Star Ratings Australia. This system rates all accommodations based on a scale from one to five stars. The criteria for star ratings in Australia are comprehensive and cover many aspects of the hotel, including the quality of facilities, services, amenities, guest rooms, cleanliness, and overall guest experience. 

The ‘star' symbols are a licensed trademark and can only be used by properties that have been licensed to use them by the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC).

Here's a general breakdown of the star ratings in Australia: 

  • One Star: Basic accommodation with limited facilities and services. 
  • Two Stars: Simple, clean, and modest accommodation with some basic additional facilities and services. 
  • Three Stars: Comfortable accommodation offering a range of facilities and services, catering to travellers seeking more amenities. 
  • Four Stars: High-quality accommodation with superior services, stylish design, and a wide range of facilities. 
  • Five Stars: Luxury accommodation providing exceptional quality, personalised services, extensive facilities, and a deluxe experience. 

ATIC's assessment criteria include factors like room quality, guest services, facilities (such as dining options, pools, spas), cleanliness, and guest experience, aiming to provide travellers with an accurate representation of a hotel's offerings. 

Globally, star ratings are an internationally recognised symbol of quality hotel standards. They are used in more than 70 countries worldwide, and reflect the cleanliness, quality and condition of hotel and motel facilities.

However, hotel star ratings can vary between countries and regions. While many countries follow a similar star rating system to Australia, others have their own unique criteria or rely on different rating agencies. Internationally, star ratings generally indicate the level of service, facilities, and overall quality a hotel provides. 

Each country or region may have its own specific rating agencies or bodies responsible for evaluating and assigning star ratings, ensuring travellers have a standardised way to understand a hotel's quality and services before making a booking. 

What are six-star and seven-star hotels?

In the traditional hotel star rating system, accommodation is typically rated on a scale from one to five stars. However, the concept of six and seven-star hotels, while not officially recognised within standard rating systems like those in Australia, is often used to denote exceptionally luxurious properties that exceed the highest standards of comfort, service, and amenities. 

  • Six-Star Hotels: The notion of a six-star hotel is a term occasionally used in the hospitality industry to describe properties that go beyond the amenities and services offered by luxury five-star hotels. These establishments aim to provide an even higher level of luxury, exclusivity, and personalised service, often with exquisite attention to detail, unique experiences, and state-of-the-art facilities. However, it's important to note that the term ‘six-star’ is not officially recognised in the traditional hotel rating systems. 
  • Seven-Star Hotels: The concept of a seven-star hotel is even more subjective and informal, representing an exceptional level of opulence, extravagance, and unparalleled luxury. These properties are known for their exceptional design, lavish amenities, extraordinary service, and exclusive experiences tailored to affluent and discerning guests. There are very few of these types of hotels world-wide, and they tend to cater to the accommodation needs of the ultra-rich or famous. 

The most famous seven-star hotel in the world is the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Burj Al Arab is the tallest hotel in Dubai, standing on its own man-made island. Guests can expect to be treated like royalty (especially if they choose to stay in the Royal Suite!) This is the hotel’s most expensive room, costing tens of thousands of dollars a night. The suite has its own cinema, a personal butler and Rolls Royce limousine. 

Your handy guide to common hotel terms

Are you looking to book a hotel for the first time, and are confused by all the jargon and hotel terms? Here's a handy guide to some common hotel terms that you may encounter when making your booking:

  • All-Inclusive: A type of accommodation package where the price includes meals, drinks, and some or all amenities and activities. 
  • Amenities: Facilities or services offered by the hotel for guests' comfort and convenience, such as a gym, pool, spa, or free Wi-Fi. 
  • Cancellation fee: A charge imposed by the hotel if a guest cancels a reservation after a specified deadline. 
  • Check-in: The process where guests arrive at the hotel and register to receive their room key or access to their accommodation. 
  • Early check-in: Permission for guests to access their room before the standard check-in time, subject to room availability and possibly an additional fee. 
  • Check-out: The process where guests leave their room, settle any outstanding charges, and return the room key before the designated time. 
  • Late check-out: Permission for guests to stay in their room beyond the standard check-out time, usually for an additional fee. 
  • Complimentary: Items or services provided by the hotel at no extra cost to the guest, such as complimentary breakfast or Wi-Fi. 
  • Concierge: A hotel staff member or team responsible for assisting guests with various services like booking tours, making restaurant reservations, and providing local information. 
  • Do Not Disturb (DND) sign: A sign or feature that is provided that allows guests to indicate that they do not want housekeeping or other staff to enter their room. 
  • Housekeeping: The department responsible for cleaning rooms, changing linen, and maintaining cleanliness in the hotel. 
  • Mini-bar: A small refrigerator in the guest room stocked with drinks and snacks for which guests are charged if consumed. 
  • Occupancy: The number of guests staying in a room or hotel at a given time. 
  • Reservation: A booking made by a guest to secure a room or service at a hotel for a specific period. 
  • Resort fee: A mandatory daily charge at some resorts covering amenities or services, whether they are used or not. 
  • Room rate: The cost or price charged by the hotel for a room or accommodation for a specific duration. 
  • Room service: A service offered by hotels where guests can order food or beverages to be delivered to their room. 
  • Suite: A larger, more luxurious room or set of rooms within a hotel offering separate living and sleeping areas. 
  • Turndown service: An evening service where housekeeping prepares the room for bedtime, such as turning down the bed and providing fresh towels if needed. 
  • Valet parking: A service where hotel staff park and retrieve guests' vehicles for them, often for a fee. 

Why compare hotels with Savvy?

Frequently asked questions about hotels

What is the difference between a hotel and a motel?

The main distinction between a hotel and a motel lies in the design, amenities, and location. Hotels are typically larger establishments offering various facilities, multiple floors, and a wide range of amenities such as restaurants, pools, and conference rooms. On the other hand, motels are usually smaller roadside accommodations with rooms directly accessible from the parking area, focusing more on providing convenient lodging for travellers on highways or main roads. 

What are the usual check-in/check-out times at hotels?

The usual check-in time at hotels is around 2.00pm – 3.00pm, while check-out is typically by 11:00am. However, these timings can vary among hotels based on their specific policies, room availability, or even guest preferences. Some hotels may accommodate earlier check-ins or later check-outs upon request, subject to availability and potential additional charges. 

What amenities are typically included in hotel rooms?

Hotel rooms commonly come with a variety of amenities to ensure a comfortable stay. Standard inclusions include a bed or beds, a private bathroom with toiletries and fresh towels, television for entertainment, and Wi-Fi access. Additionally, some rooms may feature extra conveniences such as a mini-fridge, a coffee maker, safe, or a designated workspace. 

Can hotels provide cots, cribs or extra beds for young children?

Most hotels cater to families and offer cots, cribs, or rollaway beds upon request to accommodate young children. It's recommended to confirm the availability of these amenities and inquire about any additional charges when making your hotel reservation. 

What's the difference between a standard room and a suite?

Standard rooms typically offer essential amenities for a comfortable stay, while suites are more spacious and feature separate living and sleeping areas. Suites often include enhanced comforts, additional amenities, and a more luxurious experience. 

Is it possible to request a late check-out?

Subject to availability, some hotels allow guests to request late check-outs beyond the standard check-out time. However, this often incurs additional fees, which can vary depending on the duration of the extended stay. 

Do some hotels offer shuttle services to/from airports?

Yes, some hotels provide airport shuttle services for the convenience of their guests. Guests should enquire about the shuttle's availability, operating hours, designated pick-up points, drop-off locations, and if there are any associated fees for this service when booking the hotel room. 

What is a hotel's cancellation policy?

Cancellation policies vary from hotel to hotel. Generally, most hotels allow free cancellations within a specified timeframe before the scheduled check-in date. Late cancellations or no-shows may result in charges equivalent to a night's stay, depending on the hotel's specific policy about cancellations.

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