on hotels are helpful but remember they are personal opinions and different types of hotels suit different people. Several sites have these the most well known being TripAdvisor.
If hotel booking systems are showing no availability, check that you are using the hotel's own website rather than a third party agency site. Hotels sometimes only give a few rooms to other companies and may have availability when you look on their own website or call them direct.
Check whether the price is "per room" or "per person". If bed and breakfast is included, or is it Continental or English breakfast. Is there a hotel car park, or is there an extra charge for parking, is VAT included. Remember you are paying for additional facilities as well as the bedroom.
Anyone can put up a sign calling themselves a hotel. If hotels are registered with the Visit Britain or the AA it means that they have to comply with specific standards.
Hotels that are registered should always be clean, meet specific standards and are assessed annually. Professionally compiled guides are arguably more reliable than the opinions of random individuals, whose tastes may vary. Look for the logo.
There are different types of categories of accommodation i.e. guest accommodation, bed and breakfast, hotel, metro, budget. Star ratings apply to all the categories. Always check the description at the bottom of the logo to differentiate the type of accommodation as requirements differ in each category.
A Brief Description
1 star Simple, comfortable, no frills. Not all rooms will be ensuite.
2 Star Well presented and well run. All bedrooms with ensuites. Food and drink served.
3 Star Good level of quality and comfort. More formal style of service. Room service available.
4 Star Excellent standard throughout. Room service available, 24 hour drinks and snacks service.
5 star Luxurious and spacious surroundings. Sophisticated ambience. Highly trained staff.