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Wikitravel:Accommodation listings

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Revision as of 18:59, 28 September 2010 by Stilegate (talk | contribs) (Examples)
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Sleeping is an important part of traveling.

Creating an accommodation listing

For the sake of consistency Wikitravel has created listing tags that can be used to list hotels and other establishments. Accommodation listings should use the <sleep> tag, which makes it easy to ensure that formatting is perfect. The <sleep> tag can be inserted by clicking the "add listing" link within the Sleep section of an article or by clicking on the "Hotels:" link at the bottom of the edit page. Existing hotel listings may be updated by clicking on the "edit" link next to the listing. The format of a <sleep> looks like the following:

* <sleep name="Name of Place" alt="Local script" address="Address"
   directions="extra directions if necessary" phone="Phone" email="[email protected]" fax="Fax number"
   checkin="Time" checkout="Time" price="$lowprice-$highprice" url="">
   One to three sentences about the service, atmosphere, view, rooms, what have you.

The fields used in this tag are:

The name of the place. Don't include the city name unless it's needed for clarity.
If the place has a significantly different name in the local language, add it here. Non-Latin scripts like Japanese, Devanagari, Cyrillic etc can be used.
Street and number of the place, plus district if applicable. No postcode, and don't repeat the city name. If the city is different (for example, in a suburb), add that, too. Abbreviate "Road", "Street", "Avenue", etc.
Additional directions for how to find the place (if necessary).
Direct telephone number of the place. Phone numbers should be in international format with the non-local calling part in italics (like "+1 514 555-1000" or, for areas with 10 digit dialing: "+1 514-555-1000").
E-mail address of the place.
Fax number of the place.
Earliest allowed check-in time. Days should be abbreviated (M Tu W Th F Sa Su), times should be AM and PM. Don't include checkin and checkout times unless they deviate substantially from the norm (2-4PM checkin, 11AM-1PM checkout).
Latest allowed check-out time.
The rack rate/standard price of a typical double room in the currency in which payment must be made. If there are substantial differences in room types (e.g. dorms bed and single rooms) list brief room descriptions and their respective costs. Do not give a per person cost when twin share is necessary to obtain that rate, i.e. $20 per person, when a double room costs $40.
Link to the official website for the hotel or accommodation. Include the http://. If there's no official Web site, just leave that part out.
One to three sentences about the service, atmosphere, view, rooms, what have you.

All fields above are optional except for "name". If you don't know some information, just leave in the empty field, so somebody else can fill it up later.


This listing:

* <sleep name="Stilegate" alt="" address="Staple Close, West Quantoxhead, Taunton, Somerset, England UK TA4 4DN"
   directions="A39 next to Garage" phone="+44 1984 639119"
   email="[email protected]"  checkin="1600" checkout="1030"
   price="£40/75 single/double" url="">
      5* Visit England Silver Award B&B nr Quantock Hills/ Somerset jurassic coast. One ground floor en-suite room, one twin and a further double - open all year. Fabulous Aga cooked breakfast and great views towards Exmoor National Park. Friendly welcome.

...shows up like this:

  • Hotel Eldorado, Rue des Dames 18 (17th, metro: Place de Clichy), ''+33'' 1 4522 3521 (, fax: ''+33'' 1 4387 2597), [1]. The Eldorado, a former maison de rendez-vous, was once home to the kept women of the 19th century bourgeois. Now a very cute no star hotel, its charm more than makes up for what it lacks in amenities (who needs a TV in Paris anyway?). The staff is super friendly, the decor is garage sale chic, and there’s a lovely courtyard that fills with neighbourhood hipsters on warm evenings. It also has a very good location & you can easily avoid the noise of Pigalle or Montmartre's high prices, but they’re within stumble distance if you decide to explore. For early risers breakfast (€5, until 10 am) is served in the attached restaurant/bar. Some English spoken, especially for those who pet the cat sprawled across the reception desk. 23/39 Eur. - €49/79. (singles/doubles).

This listing:

* <sleep name="Yinbo Hotel" alt="金波大酒店" address="135 Tiantong Road"
   directions="across the bridge on the north side of the Bund"
   phone="+86 21-63566288" email="" fax="+86 21-63257555" checkin="" checkout=""
   price="¥338" url="">
      Typical nondescript mid-range hotel.

...shows up like this:

  • Yinbo Hotel (金波大酒店), 135 Tiantong Road (across the bridge on the north side of the Bund), +86 21-63566288 (fax: +86 21-63257555). Typical nondescript mid-range hotel. ¥338.

Rental listings

Wikitravel is neither an apartment-finder service nor a real estate listing service, so in general real estate and rental agency listings are not allowed. The only exception to this rule is for locations where rental properties are a common form of travel accommodation and the following requirements are met:

  1. Consensus must be achieved on the article's talk page that rental listings should be allowed. When trying to build consensus provide some evidence that rental properties are commonly used by travelers to the destination and that their addition will improve the article. Please do not argue the merits of any particular company, but instead focus on the value of such accommodation for travelers to the destination city/region.
  2. If consensus is achieved, rental agency listings must be placed into a separate sub-section of the article's "Sleep" section.
  3. Agency listings must include a local address with a phone number that specifies the physical address at the destination for picking up the keys, managing the property and/or resolving rental issues. This address must also be prominently displayed on the agency web site.
  4. Apartments or cabins must be available for rentals of one week or less - remember, Wikitravel is a travel guide, not an apartment-finder service.

The general guidelines for accommodation listings apply to these listings as well, that is long lists should be avoided, and information should be concise and relevant to the traveler.

Avoid listing nearest attractions

Accommodation owners frequently give detailed list of attractions that their property is "close to". We don't welcome it here at Wikitravel:

  • it is difficult to judge which hotel is more convenient to a particular attraction,
  • it overloads listing text with details irrelevant for many travelers,
  • "nearby attractions" lists, such as those found on hotel web sites, are pretty much identical for any given hotel in the same area of a city

By all means, if the hotel is attached to a particular attraction (or, say, inside the airport), mention that—but keep it to just what makes the hotel unique. Instead of writing a long flowery description of the many attractions near the property, contribute detailed latitude and longitude coordinates for the property (see Wikitravel:Geocoding)—it will be much more helpful for a traveler choosing a place to stay.

Avoid using images

The Raffles is an icon of Singapore — the Holiday Inn is not.
Japanese ryokan inns are not your average hotel, but they all look pretty much like this

Images of accommodation, including hotels and their bedrooms, are generally not used. The only exceptions are if the hotel is a well-known attraction in its own right, or if the type of accommodation is unusual and unique to the region. In the second case, identifying the lodgings where the picture was taken by name is not necessary.

Compilation from external sources

If the Sleep section of a destination articles is unfilled even after the other sections are complete, you might consider compiling material from external sources.

The name and contact details should be obtained from the official web site.

The description can be derived from an impression of the reviews that you have read, together with some facts from the official page, but you should not copy somebody else's words into Wikitravel. Avoid listing establishments where the reviews are overly negative.

Here's an idea of what a listing compiled from reviews might look like:

  • Hotel del Sol, 44 Ramblas del sol, 55 555 55 55. This hotel rates well with young couples, who like the heated lagoon pool, and basement bar open late. Water pressure is low in the shared showers. The rooms facing the sea are said to have wonderful views, but avoid #29 which is behind the neighboring building's television aerial. 30-50€.

Note that the origin of the ideas in the listing are clearly from reviews, but that the words are not. The detail about the TV antenna could be a close call, but only if the words are copied. The presence of the antenna, and its marring of the view from a particular room, would be facts which are free from copyright.

Avoid long lists

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget Under 50 zorkmids
Mid-range 50-100 zorkmids
Splurge Over 100 zorkmids

Wikitravel is a travel guide, not the yellow pages. A long undifferentiated list of hotels is only marginally useful to the traveler. A general rule of thumb is that lists should contain 5-9 items, and when they exceed that length it is time to consider breaking them up or pruning them.

Breaking up lists

  • Use districts: Large cities are broken up into districts and accommodation listings go in district articles or district subsections. Listings in a main article of a huge city should be avoided.
  • Use price ranges: Accommodation lists should use the sub-headings "Budget", "Mid-range" and "Splurge", with the rough price brackets indicated with the {{sleeppricerange|Budget range|Mid-range|Splurge range}} template.
  • Create other suitable subdivisions: Further subdivisions within district and price categories can be invented as you go along, whatever suits the location:
  • by neighborhood, which can be more fine-grained than districts.
  • by location — "around the train station", "on the beach", et cetera.
  • by season — a few hotels for when it is not busy and a list of fallbacks for peak times.
  • by style — Western vs traditional or party animal vs meditation student.
These are just examples; invent your own as needed.

Pruning accommodation lists

Once these strategies have been taken, it may be time to start pruning the list.

  • Try to ensure there are a range of accommodation styles, prices and locations for the traveller to choose from.
  • Consider removing unreliable listings. Ones that contain effusive, meaningless or touting language.
  • Consider removing listings that are unhelpful to the traveller; that omit price or location information, have a poor quality description or no description at all.

Listing order

Alphabetical order should be the norm within each section. If another standard is used, it should be clearly stated so any new listing can be added to the appropriate place. Leading articles, such as "The", or "A", in the accommodation name should be ignored for the purposes of determining the order.

See also