Searching for accommodation
When searching for accommodation in the UK you will come across a range of options you may wish to consider. Hotels and guest houses are always a popular choice with Hotel4u as they are equipped to offer all the home comforts you would need for a comfortable stay. Generally, hotels are the most expensive option, this is usually because hotels have a broader range of facilities than the average guest house. A hotel will usually have a restaurant where food is served throughout the day,although breakfast is often included in the rate there is likely to be an additional charge for other meals. Room service may also be available and there is usually a licensed bar on the premises. Across the Uk there are a growing numberof country house hotels offering a relaxing retreat
for individuals, couples or small groups.
They are also often available to hire for corporate functions or special occasions such as weddings or private parties. Located within the house and grounds there will be a wide range of recreational facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pool, spa facilities and hair and beauty salons. Guest houses usually operate on a much smaller scale and will provide basic amenities such as tea making facilities within rooms, a cooked breakfast and a television lounge.
As a guide to the standard of facilities at each establishment a star and diamond rating system is in use in England and Wales to help you find a quality hotel. Set up by the AA, RAC (the largest UK motoring organisations) and the English Tourist Council hotels are awarded between one and five stars, and guest accommodation is awarded between one and five diamonds. A similar system also operates in Scotland and Northern Ireland allowing visitors to make an informed choice when looking for a quality hotel.
Bed and Breakfast
At the more affordable end of the scale bed and breakfast accommodation is usually perfectly acceptable. As they are in the main, ran from private dwellings they are often quite small with less than ten rooms on average. Most will have en-suite facilities, although some cheaper rooms may have a shared bathroom arrangement. Depending on the location of the B&B prices can vary, for example those located within a city centre or a popular seaside town may demand a higher rate.
Staying in a B & B can be a great way to meet real local people, and experience their way way of life. They offer a more personal home from home atmosphere and the people running the business will usually live with their family, within the building themselves. Breakfast will usually include cereal, toast, tea and coffee, as well as a cooked breakfast consisting of bacon, sausage, egg, beans, tomatoes and fried bread. You will not go hungry in a good bed and breakfast!
As with quality hotels, B & Bs have also been rated using a diamond rating. Following an inspection a B&B is awarded between one and five diamonds for the standard of accommodation on offer.
Hostels are best suited to groups of young people, families with children of school age although there is no upper age restriction and anyone is welcome. They generally attract backpackers
who are simply looking for a base to allow them to explore the local area for a day or two, school groups, scouts and those who enjoy outdoor activities. For this reason many youth hostels are located in rural locations although you will usually find at least one in many popular towns and cities. Facilities are usually very basic and you may be asked to share a room with strangers as some rooms sleep up to 6 people. There will be shared bathrooms and a communal kitchen and dining area where you may prepare your own food. Hostels rely on trust and respect and you are expected to clean up after yourself particularly in the kitchen area. Some hostels provide meals at very reasonable rates.
To stay in a youth hostel you must pay an annual subscription to the YHA (Youth Hostel Association), SYHA (the Scottish Youth Hostel Association) or HINI (Hostelling International Northern Ireland). This is only a small fee and well worth the investment if you plan to travel around a lot.