Other issues beyond the more pedestrian ones of cost and location when trying to pick, from a great distance (say the distance between Des Moines, Iowa and Boquete, Panama), a hotel/inn/B&B to stay at in a foreign country:
– SIZE – Is it a better bet to stay somewhere with 16 rooms then somewhere with one room? Or three rooms? That’s the options we’re looking at for the moment in Boquete.
– AMBIANCE – Do we want the relatively bustling-with-people-and-activity “eco-lodge” or the secluded inn that bills itself as perfect for honeymooners (which we are not)?
– AUTHENTICITY – Do we want the hotel that seems to be run by locals rather than the inn run by expats who have set up shop in paradise? Do we want the perhaps more authentic experience of staying at a hotel where we have to struggle to communicate (thanks to our inability to speak the local language) or the relative ease and comfort of staying with hosts who speak our language? Do we want to be travelers or tourists?