Here's the dilemma. To help users quickly find a hotel (the same could be true for a shop finder, pub finder etc) there is a search field on the homepage where they can type the search query. This could be postcode, hotel name, street name etc.
Once the search is submitted should the user be taken directly to the matching hotel page if one is found, or taken to the search results screen with the most likely result displayed as the first result so the user can see the other possibilities?
The problem with taking them direct to the specific hotel page is that they may have mistyped the address, or there may be multiple ones matching the result. Is it better for the user to see the list of posibilites so they can choose the one they actually want, or should they be presented with the actual hotel page so there is no need to view the full list?
I'm thinking that if there is a single clear result found then that page should be displayed, at other times the list of results should be shown. However, is this not an inconsistent method? - What if the user wants to see which hotels there are in and around Brighton, so they type in 'Brighton' and are not given a list of results but are taken to a specific page instead?