Here are some Tips on how to find last minute hotels in Singapore and more.
First Stop: Hotel Review Sites
Finding the best deal for a hotel is not that difficult but it does take up a bit of your time to research.
But for those last minute vacations, you might want to go to websites such as TripAdvisor that already has an extensive database of reviews of hotels in Singapore.
You can quickly get a sense of what are the more popular hotels (usually they are the ones with the most reviews or comments). I use TripAdvisor for planning many of my trips and I find most of the reviews accurate and helpful. This is really a site for travelers by travelers.
But do take note that some reviews can be biased or “fake”; so read through some of the reviews (more recent the better) and you can tell if the reviewer’s has reasonable and concrete examples to support their rating. If their reasons are superficial, like the towels were too thin for their liking… then you can decide to ignore that negative review. It is more important to find out the REASONS for the ratings given by reviewers, than the ratings.
Just remember, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. So what one guest disliked may just be what you prefer.
Not All Rooms Are Created Equal
I have also noticed that good or bad review depends on the rooms you get upon check in. Not all rooms are created equal, so if they don’t have windows and are situated near the staircase or elevators, that could have added to the negative experiences. So armed with these information, you can also make special requests, either online or before check-in to minimize the chances of being assigned the more “undesirable” rooms.
Zoom In On the Hotel of Your Choice
Then you look up the websites of the hotels you have shortlisted, based on personal preferences, locations and of course the reviews.
Not every hotel has websites, so I would usually only go for those with websites. This is because websites offer a wealth of information on the hotel; it should contain general information, room types and amenities. There should be clear and comprehensive photographs of the rooms.
And usually there is an online reservation form. This is useful as most hotels offer hugely discounted Internet rates. You will be surprised how much discount it can be just to book online instead of a phone reservation which is based on published rack rates or tariffs.
Enter the dates you like and check the daily rate. Be mindful of extra service charges and commissions that may be added to the daily rate. This is especially so for countries where the VAT can be as high as 17%. Most rates should include all taxes and fees. The Goods and Services Tax in Singapore is 7%.
Play around with the dates, there may be promotional rates for certain time periods, for e.g, weekend getaways or cheaper rates if you arrive on a weekday. Not all promotions are cheaper.
Another tip is to check if the promotional packages are really cheaper. These usually come with the bells and whistles included such as breakfast, spas or free fruits and welcome drinks. The good ones are the free night stays.
My personal tip for visitors to Singapore is to skip the breakfast if the daily rates without breakfast are cheaper. It is so easy to find food in Singapore and the quintessential breakfast of toast and eggs are so affordable, you really would not want to waste that meal on eating hotel food. Really, trust me.
But most hotels do include breakfast so it may not make much of a difference. You can also do without the fruits or welcome drinks unless the promotional rates are so compelling.