Choosing the right hotel is always a trying task, and with the enormous number of promotions, deals and programs out there, it can be downright overwhelming. It doesn't help that these days most hotels have Web sites full of tantalizing photos and slick promotional copy that make you believe you'll be bathed in luxury as soon as you step foot into the lobby. How can you tell if a hotel will live up to its own hype -- and, more importantly, if it's the right hotel for you?
Since every traveler has different needs when searching for a hotel, you'll need to ask yourself what's most important to you. Whether you're looking for a great deal, a great location or a great B&B, we've broken down the hotel selection process…show more content… For a roundup of non-hotel lodging, including vacation rentals and home exchange, see Ditch the Hotel: 10 Alternative Ways to Stay. And if you're looking for something truly different -- like a treehouse or an igloo -- take a browse through the Unusual Hotels of the World.
Loyalty Programs and Frequent Flier Miles: If you travel a lot or if you're a member of a frequent flier program, it may be worth your while to join a hotel loyalty program. Not only can you earn points toward a future hotel stay, but you may also be able to accumulate airline miles if your hotel is partnered with your frequent flier program. Check your hotel or airline Web site to see a list of qualifying partners. Many programs also allow you to redeem points for other purchases, such as cruises, car rentals and entertainment.
Eco-Friendliness: Travelers who are looking to minimize their environmental impact can search for green hotels through a number of organizations, including Green Globe and the Green Hotels Association. You can find a comprehensive list in our Go Green Travel Center.
You are planning a holiday abroad for your family, and want everyone to have a good time. You surf the internet for hotel descriptions, but from the pictures that you see and what you read, all hotels project a perfect image of themselves. How can you tell which ones are better? You have never been there