When researching a hotel to stay at our main concerns are usually whether or not the hotel looks comfortable, whether it is in walking distance to our favourite attractions and, finally, whether the hotel is in our price range.
The result is a minefield of literature that will leave you wading knee deep in brochures and 'reader reviews'. These are by no means impartial or partisan, so choose with care.
What then, to look for? Many customers basic requirements are tea and coffee making facilities, which you can be sure will always be offered in the higher end hotels and popular chains such as the Hilton. Is a plasma screen TV important to you? Many larger hotels will boast these, plus a selection of in-room 'extra' channels at a cost. However, remember what country you are in; Coronation Street does not always translate so well in Egyptian.
Beds are perhaps the most important thing. No matter what size bed you choose to opt for, they should always be comfortable, providing you with a decent, and painless, nights rest. No matter what hotel you choose to stay in, the change to relax and rejuvenate is often the customers main concern.
After a long journey- or even before one the next day- nothing sets you up like a decent shower or a long, lazy soak. The higher grades of hotels will always offer better quality bathroom soaps, shampoos and conditioners, and more of them. Hairdryers and bathrobes should be there in these better chains as well.
Many hotel rooms contain a mini bar which is often hideously expensive. The options regarding room service are often sparse, whereas the continental breakfast option rarely offers value for money. If you can live without these options, book a less upmarket hotel and use your savings on a slap up breakfast somewhere more local.
For many customers travelling on business an internet connection is essential. Free wi-fi should be on tap for such travellers, but many rooms still do not have this facility. No matter what hotel you are staying in a complimentary telephone should be available, although remember to check how much the hotel charges for outbound calls.
A balcony is nice (though not so much at a hotel near an airport) and a soundproofed window is an absolute must, especially in busy city centres. The do-not-disturb signs are there for a reason. If necessary take advantage of these and reward yourself with a comfortable night's sleep!