Understandably, accommodation in different countries can vary dramatically compared with what we are used to at home. Expected standards, levels of service, what’s included in the price and the terminology used can all vary from country to country; a hostel in Thailand will be very different to a gite in France which will offer alternative accommodation to a highway motel in North America or a Castle in the Scottish Highlands! When travelling in a foreign country the selection of lodging can be bewildering; below, we explain some of the terminology, protocols, standards and inclusions so that you know just what to expect when you visit Britain on your adeo Travel tour.
This varies depending on the level of the accommodation in which you are staying and the type of accommodation however most hotels and B&Bs that we recommend on adeo Travel tours would offer the following as standard:
- Hospitality tray (complimentary tea/coffee making facilities in your room)
- Iron and Ironing board (available to borrow from reception where not provided in each room)
- Trouser press Wardrobe or hanging space
- Writing desk
- Toiletries (hand soap, shampoo, shower gel amongst others – British accommodations do not usually provide wash-cloths or flannels which are often present in North American hotels)
- Baths (often with shower over the tub)
- Fresh Towels (changed daily or on request)
- Television with remote control and selection of channels
- Direct-dial telephone
- Adjustable heating
- Additional pillows or blankets on request
Some hotels will offer air-conditioning but this does not come as standard (it is rarely needed in Britain, even in the Summer months).
Some hotels will offer mini-bar contents of which are usually chargeable.
Most hotels and B&Bs offer wired or wifi internet connection; increasingly it is complimentary however at some establishments there is still a charge for using the service.
British hotels do not usually provide wash-cloths which are common in many US hotels, we recommend that you pack your own.
Due to the historic nature and character of many of the hotels that we recommend, room-size and room-shape may vary; losing a little in space is sometimes the price we pay for gaining in terms of character. Room size in hotels in Britain is generally smaller than in the USA and Canada and in London, as in all major cities, space is at a premium and as a result bedroom size, even in top class hotels, can be smaller than in other locations throughout Britain.
The modern traveller generally has a whole host of gadgets and technology that he travels with such as digital cameras, GPS systems, i-pads or tablets, cell-phones, Kindles or electronic books, laptops to name just a few. You will want to stay charged up and connected during your trip so don’t forget to bring a suitable adapter! Electricity in Britain is supplied at 220 Volts (50 cycles). Plugs are flat with three pins. An adapter is needed to convert from foreign plugs to the correct British plug size and a transformer is needed to convert American appliances (except for dual-voltage equipment which needs only an adapter). We do not recommend that you bring travel irons and hairdryers as most accommodations will provide these facilities. Adapters and transformers are available to purchase in good hardware or department stores in your home nation or can be purchased at your airports of departure or arrival.
Arrival and Departure
Hotels – Check-in and check-out times will vary at each accommodation but are generally between 2pm and 4pm for check-in and 10am to 12noon for check-out. Bear in mind, if you are coming to the UK from North America you will generally be travelling on an overnight flight arriving in Britain early in the morning. Early check-in can be requested at hotels and guests houses but will not guaranteed and may be subject to the occupancy levels of the hotel the night before. Most accommodations have luggage storage facilities for guests where guests can stow their suitcases prior to check-in, this enables you to grab some breakfast, go for a walk or even begin your sightseeing without having to keep your luggage with you! These facilities are also available upon departure if you are on late flights and need to check out of your rooms in the morning.
Guest Houses – For B&B accommodations you are usually expected to check in between 4pm and 7pm however it is courtesy to contact your hosts the day prior or early on the day of check-in to advise them of your approximate time of arrival – that way they can guarantee that someone will be available for you to let you in and show you around. Most hotels will have a 24 hour reception so can accommodate late check-ins however it would usually be expected that you call ahead if you are going to be arriving particularly late, this reassures the accommodation that you are coming and will not be a “no show”. They will often be able to make special arrangements for you in this situation such as keeping the kitchen open for you or preparing a cold snack that can be kept for your arrival if required.
With regard to checking-out, please don’t forget to hand-your keys in at reception or to the owner and always check with them that the bill has been settled. Whilst your voucher will usually pay for your accommodation and breakfast any additional drinks, meals, services etc. will be your responsibility. Late check-outs are available at most hotels by request so if you fancy a lie in, don’t forget to pre-warn your hosts.
It should be noted that many accommodations in the UK do not provide a dedicated porterage service. A large proportion of our guests choose to stay in small, family-run hotels and B&B accommodations; whilst these establishments offer a welcoming hospitality they have a limited staff and generally do not offer dedicated porters. Reception staff are often willing to help guests with bags but we generally recommend that guests should be able to carry their own luggage if opting to stay in this kind of establishment. Elevators are not present in all accommodations. If you specifically require a porterage service we would recommend that you stay in minimum 4* graded hotel accommodation where a porterage service generally comes as standard. Guests travelling on an escorted coach tour benefit from full porterage of their luggage at accommodations however guests on mini-coach tours are generally expected to take care of their own luggage at each hotel. Those travelling by rail should be able to manage their own luggage and lift bags on and off of trains (usually two or three steps maximum) as porterage is not available at train stations.