It used to be the case that in order to find a hotel you would need to either have already a leaflet or information on the hotel, or you go to a tourist information office or through a travel agent. Possibly you also used to use recommendations from friends.
Today there is another way of locating, comparing and reserving rooms at hotels across the world without ever having to leave your house. Using the internet to carry out your research in this way is now the most popular method of booking hotels. Within minutes you are able to identify a hotel, immediately have access to up to date information about its location, the prices and any facilities and amenities it may have to offer.
Another advantage of using the internet this way is that very often these sites will also include photographs of the hotel, the rooms, restaurant and grounds. In addition to visiting the hotel's official site, there are also an increasing number of websites which offer a comparison service. These websites provide access to up to date statistical information on hotels within your selected region. The way that these comparison sites operate is by taking your input preferences and requirements and matching them as closely as possible to the information provided by the hotels.
In this way it is possible to locate a hotel based purely on one or two specific requirements. So, for example, if the most important aspect of your hotel deal is the price, you can quickly identify which would be the cheapest hotels in the region, and then either go ahead and book the cheapest, or, more wisely, go into each of the cheaper hotel's main sites and identify whether they really are suitable for your requirements.
One thing to bear in mind however, when using the internet to book a hotel room, one important part of the reservation process is missing. That is the personal touch which can sometimes provide you with valuable inside information, very current offers or deals that might be available, and of course the opportunity for you to barter regarding the price.
Many people seem to forget the fact that bartering is a perfectly valid option, and that the prices advertised by the hotel are rarely fixed. If you can mester up the courage to ask, then more often than not you will be pleasantly surprised.
Remember one thing when it comes to hotel websites though. The telephone number provided is often the main reservation number for the chain, and in this way you are not getting a personal service from the individual hotel itself, or their staff. Try to obtain the direct number for the hotel, as it will give you a much more personalized feel. The same is true for any email address provided on the website. By all means use this, but ask for a direct email address through the hotel you wish to book. There is no need to explain why, simply ask.