Tip 2 – Use TripAdvisor to get a better view of what other travellers think
If you already know the name of the hotel you want to stay at, you can often end your search with Trivago and link out to the booking engine with the best price. However, in most cases you probably won’t have a named hotel in mind, so you’ll be well served by taking a bit more time to search for the best hotel deal in Rome. Open a new browser window and head over to TripAdvisor.com. If you don’t know what TripAdvisor is by now, where on earth have you been for the last 10 years! Quite simply, it’s the biggest and best source of independent reviews on the planet.
Take the name of the hotel you are interested in and search for it on TripAdvisor. You’ll find a selection of hotel photos [sourced from another travel site or uploaded by the hotel itself], guest photos, and, of course, reviews. For popular hotels there will be too many reviews to read so use the filters and narrow down the reviews to those provided by guests with a similar profile to yourself. That may depend on the purpose of your trip. For example, a holiday with family, a couples only break, or a business trip. There’s no point reading reviews for travellers that may have a totally different requirement than your own.
A couple of things to bear in mind. In my experience, most reviews are accurate and well worth the time it takes to read them. That said, you will always get the odd outlier. That’s my term for a review that’s either wildly gushing with praise, or unfairly critical. You can never be sure if a reviewer may simply have overly high expectations, if they just happened on a bad experience, or if they might have another reason for leaving a review. Try to form an opinion based on the average review and take a note of any guest tips that may help you secure the best room. For example, you may see a tip that suggests asking for a room at the back to avoid street noise at night. You will also find reviews that name members of staff who offer extra special service. You will always get a smile if you stay at the hotel, meet that member of staff, and tell them you read great things about them on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor have fairly recently added the ability to compare offers from 100s of booking sites. It may be tempting just to follow those links and make a booking, but I always recommend going back to check rates on one of the specialist hotel comparison sites.