As part of the study tour, students stay in a variety of hotels (2 start to 5 star) to provide an opportunity for students to make some comparisons between the different experiences offered at each. At the base level, all the hotels serve the same function of providing accommodation for guests which includes a secure room with a bed and bathroom. From as floorplan perspective the 5 star accommodation offers larger square metre option and all come with a buffet breakfast.
One of the most obvious comparisons is the level of quality of the rooms in the five star hotel, with the overall hotel offering a higher level of finishes across the venue, more options for breakfast and some may argue superior guest service. Another difference for the five star hotels is that they offer more facilities such as shops, dining options, gyms, swimming pools, spa and in some cases gambling options.
But one of the things that is interesting is the impact that these additional facilitates have on guests ability and willingness to immerse oneself in the local culture and undertake new experiences. When staying in the two star hotels, the lack of facilities and features means that guests are generally limited in the amount of basic entertainment which can be obtained within their room. As a result guests find themselves more likely to occupy their time outside of the hotel and hence maximising the time at street level interacting with the local culture.
On the other hand, five star hotels offer many distractions which may keep the guest within the hotel, spending money within the hotel. This time investment in hotel facilities comes at the expense of spending time immersing in the local community which one could argue is a key feature of travelling.
The argument is not as basic as this with consideration needing to be given to the cleanliness of five star facilities reducing the risk of illness and better quality beds offering a better sleep and making travellers more refreshed for engaging with local communities. Nonetheless, it is interesting to watch guests spend more time outside the hotel engaging in local communities than some of their five star counterparts.