I love staying at hotels. Having someone else make the bed every day, the little mints they leave at the pillow, the fresh sheets, the room service...this mama is drooling over a resort's duvet. But, that hotel stay can be shockingly expensive if you don't keep your eyes out for a good deal when booking or watch for hidden fees.
-- When you book, think beyond what the nightly rate says. Key in on deals that offer a free night or free services. When you prorate it out, that nightly rate is a pretty good offer.
-- If you know you will need internet access for the kids (or you) or other amenities, find out how much they cost when you check in...or better yet, before you book. Even though so much is done online, call the hotel and ask about essentials you may need.
-- When visiting a city you that you have never been, don't necessarily scrimp on the hotel and pick one farther away from where you will be doing most of your sightseeing. The time you will spend travelling to and from your hotel is valuable, as is the effort of dealing with trains or cabs. Spend the extra money to be where you need to be - it will turn out to be about the same amount of money if you remember your time and energy is worth money too.
What was your best hotel experience ever?