PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh has dozens of hotels — many brand new — so how do visitors separate the good from the bad?
“Quality is important. We have a couple kids, so that’s first in line when we make our decision,” says Matt Hoffer of Elizabeth.
KDKA money editor Jon Delano went out on the street to ask folks how they make sure that the hotels they book are exactly what they want.
No surprise, most go online and they look for ratings and the comments of those who have stayed at that hotel before.
“A number of people have had bad experiences, then I tend to shy away from that hotel,” notes Matt Klinge of Squirrel Hill.
“Check out reviews about the hotel. See what other peoples’ experiences have been with the space,” adds Justin Dumas of the North Side.
“I just see what other people been there say, like if it is good or bad, five star, three star, or one star,” says Shauna Bennington of McMurray.
Those stars — or in the case of AAA — diamonds.
KDKA followed AAA Inspector 593 as she rated a new Hotel Indigo in East Liberty.
Inspector 593: “We walk into a property. They are always unannounced visits. That is a requirement of being listed.”
Inspector 593: “Unannounced. They have no idea we’re coming, and they have 20 minutes to accommodate our visit.”
Inspector 593 was greeted by Hotel Indigo assistant manager Patrick Wozniak, and she started with the rooms.
“Let’s do a couple on 2, and a couple on 3, and I want to stick to your more basic room types,” she told Wozniak.
The inspector checks out bathrooms, looking for mold and dirt — and beds for clean sheets and pillows — along with working television sets — and even clean coffeemakers and glasses.
Delano: “So when you look at a glass like this, what are you looking for?”
Inspector 593: “Exactly what I mentioned, dust, hair, any sort of lipstick staining, fingerprints, things like that.”
Safety is also key.
“Making sure the deadbolt locks work and that the peepholes work. These are both AAA requirements,” she said.
Hotel amenities — like bars, restaurants, patios, gyms and pools — can make the difference between one diamond or five diamonds.
Hotel Indigo got a solid three diamond rating, just one of many ratings hotels get these days.
“We swear by that. It’s really, really helpful,” says Rick Byrne of Upper St. Clair.