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How to Choose a Hotel or Accommodation in Margaret River: A Hoteliers Guide

Choosing the right hotel or other accommodation in Margaret River can make or break your travel experience. With a myriad of options at your fingertips, knowing how to choose a hotel that aligns with your needs and expectations is crucial.

Drawing from a lifetime in the hospitality industry, including owning and operating a motel in Margaret River for 7 years, I’ve had the privilege of checking in thousands of guests and engaging in countless conversations about what factors influenced their choice.

I decided to write this guide to share those insights, addressing common pain points like budget constraints, location dilemmas, and amenity must-haves. As I have gotten older and started booking more vacations for my family, I have come to realise that what makes perfect sense to me, as someone who lives in Margaret River and has extensive hospitality experience, must be completely confusing for someone who has never been to Margaret River, or even Australia, before! I hope that all changes for you today.

Whether you’re planning a leisurely vacation or a business trip, let’s talk about the process of choosing your accommodation in Margaret River, to ensure your next hotel stay is nothing short of perfect!

Hotel garden with lush greenery and a gazebo, perfect for guests to relax and enjoy nature while choosing a hotel for their stay.

Understanding Your Needs

The first step is to understand why you are visiting the Margaret River Region and what you need from the place you decide to stay at. I came up with a list of questions you may want to begin by asking yourself, to help you narrow down your options:

1. Purpose of Visit

  • What is the purpose of my visit? (e.g., wineries, surfing, hiking, relaxation, business)
  • How important is the proximity to attractions? (e.g., wineries, beaches, hiking trails)

2. Budgeting for Your Stay

3. Accommodation Type and Amenities

  • What type of accommodation suits my travel style? (e.g., hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, hostels, vineyard accommodations)
  • What amenities are important to me? (e.g., free Wi-Fi, breakfast included, a pool, day spa services, family-friendly facilities)

4. Location Preferences

5. Transportation and Accessibility

  • What are the transportation options? (e.g., parking for a rental car, public transportation nearby)

6. Reviews and Reputation

  • What do the reviews say about the accommodation?
  • How do the ratings align with my expectations?

7. Booking Process and Policies

  • What is the deposit/cancellation policy?
  • What is the booking process like? (e.g., direct booking vs. Online Travel Agency (OTA))
  • What is the level of customer service based on reviews or my initial interactions?

8. Safety and Cleanliness

  • What are the safety and cleanliness standards at the accommodation?

9. Overall Vibe or Atmosphere

  • What is the overall vibe or atmosphere of the place? (e.g., romantic, family-friendly, suited for solo travelers, luxury, budget)

>>>Already have a shortlist of accommodation in Margaret River? Read my guide and snag yourself a bargain: Tips for Finding Accommodation Deals in Margaret River!

Spacious hotel room with a comfortable bed, work desk, and brick accent wall, inviting guests to choose a hotel room that feels like a home away from home.

Where is the Best Location to Stay in Margaret River?

The location of your hotel can greatly impact your overall experience. Consider what you want to be close to, whether it’s tourist attractions, restaurants, or public transportation.

Here’s a list format focusing on the various towns and areas within the Margaret River Region, each offering its own attractions:

  1. Busselton: Known for its iconic jetty, Busselton is a gateway to the Margaret River region, offering beautiful beaches and family-friendly accommodations.
  2. Margaret River Town: The heart of the region, bustling with shops, cafes, and galleries. Ideal for those who want to be close to the action and enjoy easy access to surrounding wineries.
  3. Dunsborough: A serene coastal town perfect for beach lovers, with a range of accommodations near calm waters and national parks.
  4. Yallingup: Famous for its surf breaks and stunning coastline, Yallingup is ideal for adventurers and nature enthusiasts looking for a beachside stay.
  5. Gracetown: A small, tranquil coastal town offering a laid-back vibe, with accommodations close to surf spots and coastal walks.
  6. Prevelly/Gnarabup: Known for their surf culture and beachfront cafes, these neighboring towns are great for those wanting to stay by the sea and near Margaret River’s surf breaks.
  7. Hamelin Bay: Famous for its stingrays and crystal-clear waters, Hamelin Bay is perfect for a secluded beach getaway, with accommodations offering breathtaking ocean views.
  8. Augusta: Located at the south of the region, Augusta is known for its rugged coastline and the historic Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse. Ideal for a peaceful retreat in a less touristy area, and perfect for families.
  9. Forest Locations: For those seeking solitude and nature, accommodations nestled in the forest offer a unique escape amidst towering trees and beautiful landscapes.
  10. Farms: Staying on a working farm offers a rustic and authentic experience, perfect for families and those interested in rural life. Enjoy fresh produce and farm activities.

How To Compare

When choosing a property to stay at, you will need to compare different options to find the best one for your needs. Here are some tips to help you compare:

Use Comparison Websites

One of the easiest ways to compare hotels is by using comparison websites like Trivago. These kind sites allow you to search for hotels based on your preferred location, dates, and budget, and then compare the prices and amenities of different options side by side. Some comparison websites even offer exclusive discounts or rewards for booking through their site.

Check Directly with the Accommodation

While comparison websites can be helpful, it’s always a good idea to check directly with the hotel or accommodation you’re considering. This way, you can ask any questions you may have and get a more accurate idea of what the hotel offers. You will probably even be able to negotiate a better rate or get extra perks by booking directly with the hotel.

Hotelier’s Tip: When booking accommodation for my family, I start by comparing prices on an Online Travel Agency (OTA). But I don’t stop there—I also visit the property’s own website to check for better rates. A pro move is to explore the “Special Deals” section for any extra discount codes. For instance, on our last trip to Perth, this strategy snagged us a cabin at 30% less than the OTA’s price, saving us $500 over a 5-night stay. Just a little effort, five minutes tops, led to significant savings. It’s a testament to the value of digging a bit deeper for the best deal.

Create a Comparison Chart

If you’re comparing several different hotels, it can be helpful to create a comparison chart to keep track of the different features and prices. You can use a simple spreadsheet or even just a piece of paper to list the hotels you’re considering and their amenities, prices, and any other important details. This can help you make an informed decision and choose the best hotel for your needs.

Bright and clean hotel bathroom featuring a large corner jacuzzi tub next to a spacious shower area, with white tiled walls and floral border detailing.

How To Choose a Hotel: Making Your Decision

Making Your Decision: A Step-by-Step Guide

1. Define Your Top Three Priorities

  • Reflect on Your Needs: Based on the sections discussed earlier, identify what matters most to you. Is it the location, specific amenities, or perhaps the budget?
  • Prioritize: Select your top three priorities. This could be anything from needing a family-friendly place, being close to nature, or requiring high-speed internet for work.

2. Use Comparison Tools

  • Research: Utilize hotel comparison websites like Trivago, Booking.com, or Airbnb for vacation rentals. These platforms allow you to filter accommodations based on your priorities.
  • Compare: Look at the options side by side. Pay attention to the amenities, location, and reviews. How do they stack up against your priorities?

3. Check for Special Deals

  • Look for Offers: Many accommodations provide special deals, especially if you book directly or during off-peak seasons. Check the accommodation’s official website or call them to inquire about any ongoing promotions.
  • Evaluate Value: Sometimes, a deal might include extras like free breakfast, a wine tour, or spa credits. Consider how these add value to your stay and if they align with your interests.

4. Read Reviews and Ratings

  • Quality Check: Go beyond the star rating and read recent reviews from past guests. Look for comments about the factors that are important to you.
  • Consistency: Are there consistent complaints or praises? This can give you a good indication of what to expect.

5. Consider the Cancellation Policy

  • Flexibility: Life is unpredictable. Ensure the accommodation has a reasonable cancellation policy that won’t leave you out of pocket if your plans change.
  • Read the Fine Print: Understand any conditions or fees associated with canceling or modifying your booking.

6. Make the Booking

  • Direct vs. OTA: Decide whether to book directly with the accommodation or through an Online Travel Agency. Direct bookings can often offer better rates or conditions.
  • Confirmation: Once booked, ensure you receive a confirmation email or document outlining your stay details, including dates, rates, and any agreed-upon amenities or specials.

7. Follow Up

  • Communication: A week before your stay, consider reaching out to confirm your booking and any special requests. This is also a good time to ask any last-minute questions.
  • Special Requests: If you have any special needs or requests (e.g., late check-in, dietary restrictions), communicating these in advance can help ensure a smooth experience.
Hotel room amenities with a wooden shelf displaying a tea set, white plates, and glasses, alongside an electric kettle and toaster, ready for a comfortable stay.

Wrapping Up: How to Choose a Hotel or Other Accommodation

Choosing the right accommodation in Margaret River is the first step towards creating unforgettable memories in this stunning region. By defining your priorities, utilizing comparison tools, and considering special deals, you’ve navigated the vast array of options to select the perfect place that meets your needs and enhances your experience.

I invite you to continue this adventure by reading my next article: “How to Book Your Perfect Stay in Margaret River.” This guide will walk you through the booking process, offering insider tips on getting the best deals, understanding booking policies, and making sure your accommodation is ready for your arrival. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip to Margaret River, this article will provide you with the tools and knowledge to book your stay with confidence and ease.

Australia Travel Planning Guide

🚑Should I buy Australian travel insurance?

100% YES! — Australia has “free” healthcare but it’s only for citizens and permanent residents. Foreigners visiting need travel insurance in case anything happens on their visit. I like SafetyWing – their Nomad Insurance starts at just $1.50 USD a day!

🚗Should I rent a car in Australia?

Yes — Renting a car is a necessity in most of Australia! If you want to go on road trips or adventures outside of the major cities, and even if you’re staying in a major city, you’ll want to rent a car. If you are visiting Margaret River, it will be even more important that you hire a car, you’ll need it to be able to get around and see all the great attractions and wineries!

🏨What’s the best way to book my Australian accommodation?

My go-to for Australian hotels is Booking.com. Pretty much all registered accommodation use Booking.com (but not necessarily any of the other major booking platforms), and even most of the holiday homes and caravan parks use Booking.com too!

If you’re planning a trip to Australia where you will stay at multiple locations, it’s super handy to have all your accommodation listed in one place, and accommodation owners like Booking.com because it’s easy to contact the guests using the messaging platform if the guest has an international phone number.

I sincerely hope you enjoy your visit to Margaret River!