Wednesday, February 23, 2011

THE BASICS: Do you really want the "best" accommodations?

Sometimes we hear people say they want to stay in the “best accommodations” in a particular town. This causes us more than a little concern. We come from the school that says we travel to see and experience different cultures and peoples, not just to stay in “the best” hotels.

Our goal is to spend as little time in our overseas accommodations as possible (with a few exceptions). Further supporting our view, most major cities in Asia are huge, meaning with millions of inhabitants and large urban areas. Therefore we feel the best policy is for travelers to look for the most suitable accommodations based on what they will be seeing and doing. This means “location” first and then comfort. Given the size and modernity of most of the major Asian cities there are many excellent accommodations to choose from, even after the constraint of location. It is not clear to us that there are significant enough differences between a Peninsula, a Mandarin Oriental, a Park Hyatt, a Grand Hyatt, a St. Regis, a Ritz-Carleton, a Raffles, etc., to override the importance of location in one’s selection.

Given that in general everyone’s time is short (at least American’s) on any trip, it seems ill advised to waste an extra half-hour or more each way every day to stay at a less appropriately situated hotel when a more than adequate excellent hotel is better located.

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