I love hotels!
I have stayed in literally 100's of hotels. From the worlds most luxurious to the worlds least memorable. I can navigate a hotel website quickly and easily. Useless skill but handy in the world of travel!
For every familiarization (FAM) trip I've been on there is always at minimum 2 hotel inspections regardless of trip duration. Sometimes you might get sent with a brand such as Alila Hotels and spend a night or 2 at each of their properties. This is the best way to learn about a brand or a hotel. By staying there you experience precisely what your clients will experience, the beds, housekeeping, breakfast service, the nuances of the design of a hotel, its rooms and its people.
Sometimes you spend a week or more travelling around a country, staying in a new hotel every few nights and spending your days touring hotels. This is why this is NOT a holiday (despite every person I know calling it one every time I go somewhere), seeing sometimes 5-8 hotels a day, seeing more than 5 different types of rooms, taking photos of gyms, lobbies, spa's, restaurants which all become a blur of notes and memories to reflect on and remember. I spent 15 days travelling across Mexico and saw over 20 hotels! That's a lot of photos and notes!
On the flip side, I know exactly what I'm looking for in a hotel. Contemporary, modern, eco-friendly, minimalist, over the top, grungy, tired, brand new and unique. I've seen it all. The more modern, newer hotels embrace the modern technology we have become accustomed to by including USB ports in convenient locations in bedrooms, superior lighting compared to more dated hotels and the noticeable differences go on.
My biggest pet hate in life and in hotels is dust. Do you dislike dust? I've walked into hotel rooms and done the dust test by running my finger along surfaces. Biggest irk in 4 - 5 star hotels for me is this. Funny the things you notice based on your own experiences. When I'm doing hotel inspections, I can spot an out of place pillow, an upside down bathroom accessory packet or an uneven towel a million miles away. At home I'm not even close to this observant but I've been trained in the art of observation.
Hotel's can be brand new or 50 years old and the impression that is given from the moment you walk in the door will guide your experience for the duration of your stay. Hotel websites have come a long way in recent times but it's near impossible to really tell what a hotel will be like until you stay there. An out of date website is not always a reflection of a truly memorable experience and neither is a polished website always going to be reflected in the level of hospitality and service you will receive.
Pick a hotel by your budget, location, personal needs and your own travel style. In my opinion Trip Advisor should be taken with a pinch of salt, a good travel agent helps filter out the good from the bad and can direct you through the maze of opinions, websites and "deals" that can get overwhelming.
At the end of the day, a good bed means a good night's sleep and that means your holiday is likely to be perfect.