Booking the right local hotels in new countries can be tricky, and it’s VERY important you do it right the first time. Firstly, take my advice on recommendations. I’ve stayed in a lot of crappy places in order to have identified the ones suggested. For those I have not stayed in, I have a team of locals who have made recommendations that won’t disappoint.
Localized features including a receipt with the address in the local language are CRITICAL when traveling to your hotel upon arrival in some countries. This and the superior number of local options make Agoda really stand out.