Have you ever paid for a five star holiday only to find it has fallen way below your expectations when you arrive? You wouldn’t be the first! Unfortunately, many tourists experience the same thing each year when they believe they are headed off on a luxury escape.
So why does this happen, and how can you be sure you’re getting the real thing? Read the tips and suggestions below to make sure your next holiday is everything you want it to be:
Check official ratings
Tour operators will sometimes award various holiday villages or hotels their very own star rating. It might not always be in the form of a star; it could be ticks or a ‘thumbs up’ sign – either way, it can be quite misleading to you as a customer. The best thing you can do is to have a look on the hotel’s own website and see what their official rating is, not the one that the operator has rated it against others in their portfolio. Usually you might find a difference of one star – generally lower than shown with the tour operator – but in some cases it can be wildly different.
Even if you find somewhere that has an official five star rating, you should still see what people have to say about it. You should be most interested in what has been said about the accommodation in the past few weeks, as anything before that may not be current or relevant. Guests who have just arrived home will have seen everything first hand, which makes them a vital source of information when you’re about to part with a large sum of money. Check whether there are any renovation jobs happening that might disrupt you, what the food was like, how clean the bedrooms were, and so on.
Look for known problems
Reviews will give you hints at the problems, but you can back up your findings by looking at problems that have been confirmed. On occasion, a story about holiday sickness at a certain resort might make it onto the news, or you might read about someone who slipped at a pool and claimed compensation. The best source of knowledge is a holiday accident claims solicitor, and some legal companies even have case studies on their websites highlight illness hotspots abroad. Make sure your hotel hasn’t made it onto the list or you might find yourself spending most of time in the bed or the bathroom.
Consider the tour operator
Finally, if you are craving luxury experiences, it is best to avoid the budget tour operators. These holidays generally attract young families and groups of teens so it might not be what you’re after. There are some companies that deal only in luxury holidays so you might want to have a look at what they offer if you want a better chance of finding your own slice of heaven.