In what is possibly the best gig in the world I write a monthly column called Spa Struck for The Sunday Telegraph.
This means my inbox is regularly filled with offers to review amazing hotels in locales as far flung as the Maldives, Iceland or Timbuktu (okay, I lied about the last one).
So what makes me pack my bags and head for a hotel…
• A good hook. Needs to be obvious on the press release. Is it new? Doing a zeitgeist -y programme? Introducing a new wonder treatment?
• Will the hotel be generous? If I’m going to end up spending more on a bottle of water to drink than I will earn for writing the piece, it’s going to be a no from me.
• I’m unlikely to go on a press trip. The truth is I’m not a travel journalist, I’m a journalist that writes about travel, so I have to fit reviewing around my other gigs.
• If it’s a family hotel I’m reviewing, I will want to go in peak times because that’s when my family can go.
• I’ll run a mile if I feel too pressurized about delivering coverage immediately. A good journalist won’t take a trip that they can’t place (or they will say upfront if that’s the case) so it’s good to keep the trust.