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So what do we think about TripAdvisor?

Old Mar 6th, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 79
I've found trip advisor extremely helpful especially since I've been traveling around a lot in the past couple of years. To me choosing a hotel is often a crap-shoot, so it helps to get a general feeling of what other travelers have experienced. I especially like the travelers photos. It gives you a good idea of what to expect outside the glossy photos by the hotels. As I read through the reviews, I find certain buzz words specifically appeal to me that might not mean anything to another travelers: friendly staff, good breakfast, close to metro. I could really care less about noisy locations, small rooms...
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 04:38 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,863
traveller1959: There is some pretty insulting "stuff" in your post. Suggesting that some unknown Fodorite went to the Cotswolds or Eze, and thus they became the "Official Fodor destinations" of all us lemmings. Sheese. Hate to tell you, but the Cotswolds have been a major tourist destination since long before there was an internet and before anyone had a computer to search/post.

Of course, there are lots of other scenic areas in the UK, but just because you don't like a place doesn't mean those who do are cretins.

That snobbishness is one reason I don't really use TA that much except to check for full service/larger hotels in towns I'm not familiar w/. But for small B&Bs, I personally would not rely on TA. For a small place the number of guests in a year is so tiny and the potential sample size is too small to be reliable.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 05:01 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,579
Staying on the subject, I use Tripadvisor a lot and contribute occasionally. I may not stay in the number 1 or 2 rated hotel, but I feel it's a wise bet to stay in the top 20 or 50, depending on how large the city is. So far, I've had great luck. I like to read the good reviews as well as the bad. I also think some of the comments are given based on individual expectations, but it's not that hard to see the comments that are made over and over again. The bad comments are more revealing. A hotel I saw rated very high looked great on the website until I read a comment that it was 100 stairs from the street to the hotel's front door. That told me to keep looking. Compared with research options fifteen years ago, this (along with others) is a great tool. The only down side is that I've lost the adventurous side of travel where I would exit a train or plane and look for a place to stay. I'm definitely staying at nicer hotels now, but I'm also locked into a schedule of where I will be and when I will be there.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,729
I found tripadvisor worked well for my trip to S. Italy and Sicily, but then I had a really bad experience with the riad Dar Silsila in Marrakesh, which I had picked because it was very highly rated, with many favorable reviews. I later came to the conclusion that most of the favorable reviews, from one-time posters, were scams. (For the gory details see http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...can-medley.cfm) I suspect that the same may well be true of other Marrakesh listings.

I have been much more cautious about relying on the site for my next trip.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 07:08 PM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 26,390
Traveller got it half way right; "there are dozens of better castles in Germany, but Burg Eltz is a Fodorites' myths"

I've met people irl and seen others go on about the glories of Burg Eltz, so they may not be exclusively "fodorite myths". It's that many people read a guide book or look up info and b/c the place is old and intact they are satisfied without thinking about it. Everyone has their own thing.

For the people who really like to think about architecture and history the Burg Eltz at the first glance is a disappointment. But OTOH, if people enjoy it, why not let them have the fantasy? They might be the same people that can look at what I’d consider just a pretty little pond and be able to tell me what makes it exceptional.

People who come onto this board and asked the old standards, “What should I do when I go ____”. They have no idea what they’re looking to see, they just want to see the standard tourists sites. So why shouldn’t they have that?

If someone were willing to take more travel risks and look outside of a guidebook for an itinerary they would be asking different questions. And those too, would be answered.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 07:45 PM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,928
I'm not quite clear whether this inquiry by Alice 9 was posted to the General Fodors Europe Forum or whether it was just tagged to "Greece Forum" readers -- I do know she has started several lengthy inquiry threads lately on the TA Greece forum.

About TA reviews as regarding GREECE HOTELS ONLY, a previous poster is correct in that they are QUITE reliable... especially if you do this: check hotel reviews, and then cross-check by using the "search" function in the TA Greece forum to see what is said about that hotel in a non-review context. Very often the forum threads have great detail about the comparative advantages of various hotels in a locality.

Many TA website/forums are quite different in character from Fodors -- I think the demographic is different. Fodors is more oriented to USA/UK, somewhat more affluent; while it deals with budget travel, also has more focus on gastronomy & luxe travel than TA. TA draws from a wider economic spectrum, AND participants include many more from other European countries. TA Greece forum, especially, has quite a number of active experts, Greek and expats, who actually LIVE in Athens and other Greece locales, so have a daily-life expertise that is MOST valuable, and which I do not find on any other forums.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 07:50 PM
  #27  
 
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Slight correction: not sure that Alice9 posted on the TA GReece forum; my memory may be playing tricks on me. If so, sorry.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 08:09 PM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I use TA especially for accommodation but I always cross check with other sites and books eg Lonely Planet, Hotel Club. Of course everybody has different standards and you need to read between the lines eg complaining about the size of rooms in very old European hotels , the unavailability of ice (who really cares), noise, mattresses.
I have stayed in some hotels that I found perfectly acceptable yet others have given poor ratings.I usually put a comment in TA.
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Old Mar 6th, 2009, 08:30 PM
  #29  
pdx
 
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The top rated TA hotels tend to be top dollar as well, don't they? Maybe Fodorites tend to be more middle-middle class?
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 01:46 AM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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pdx wrote: "The top rated TA hotels tend to be top dollar as well, don't they?"

I think that is generally true. Having used Tripadvisor for quite a while, I have formed the impression that many, possibly most, reviewers make their judgements on some sort of abstract absolute standard, and don't adjust their expectations to take account of price.

You can see that in another way: some budget hotels get negative reviews because they provide a budget hotel level of service rather than a five-star level of service.
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 02:23 AM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Alice, you're absolutely right about how much the internet has opened up possibilities for (for me at least, almost endless) searches for the right lodging. I remember the days of looking through Michelin Red Guides--only--and trying to make sense out of the symbols since the reviews were always in a foreign language. It still amazes me to remember some of the fantastic hotels I found that way--and what fun it was to finally see them since I'd never even seen a picture.

Sort of like how before I became proficient in reading menus in various languages we used to just point to something and hope and what fun it was see what it turned out to be. Now I can see the menus over the internet and if necessary run them through babelfish to practically know months in advance what ingredients will be in something I might choose to eat next summer.

Have we lost some of the fun along with some of the angst?
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 02:51 AM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 429
I do prefer Tripadvisor. The posters are less clickish. There really is no bickering or primadonnas on the forum. The information that you get is very helpful
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 03:42 AM
  #33  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,026
My way of using TA is to first locate a place that interests me. I'll then go to TA to see the overall review. Then I'll look directly at the worst reviews, then mid range, finally the top.

If the worst reviews are things like "the pillow wasn't fluffed" or "the manager was rude", I'll ignore the review. If it is like "plaster falling in", "rooms smelled like a sewer" then I go to the next location.
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 03:54 AM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 274
TripAdvisor is usually my first port of call when looking for accommodation in a particular town. Since the establishments are presented top down by rating, I read the reviews of the top rated places first and work my way down. I read the reviews carefully, looking for key words that will tell me whether or not I am going to like the place. The more factual detail in the review the more helpful it is. Just plain raves (good or bad) are not very helpful. Once I have a shortlist of places that I think I might like, I Google each of them in turn and check them out on every other site I can find that mentions them. This process usually whittles the short list down. When the list is short enough, I initiate a correspondence with each of them, asking questions, checking rates and availability, etc. Their responses are then factored into the selection process. I will usually gravitate towards the more helpful, friendly ones.
I selected all the B&Bs for my Scotland trip by the above method and, fortunately, I did not have a single dud. I am currently doing the same for Devon and Cornwall and have high hopes of an enjoyable trip.
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 04:05 AM
  #35  
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I THOUGHT I was posting to the Greece forum since that's where I've been lately and there are clearly many thoughtful people on this forum. But I might have forgotten to check that box (I'm still not used to the new interface). But the question is certainly pertinent to any of the forums. We're all here for the same reason - to help plan our trips and to help others to do the same.

In my experience, the top rated TA hotels are not necessarily the most expensive ones, it seems to be a mix.

And the forums here are for much more than hotels, of course - people are so helpful about WHEN to go, transportation issues, what to bring (there AND home). An invaluable resource.

Alice
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 04:40 AM
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 408
I always consult TripAdvisor about hotels before I travel, and I think you can rely on about 80% of the reviews. Fodor's provides a lot of info about sights, food, etc., but for hotels Tripadvisor has a lot more info...
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 04:44 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 21
As far as i can see TA has the same people answering the same information all the time - I makes you wonder if the DE are Travel agents in drag ? No room for travelers? - All info seems to point to certain hotels and agencies. I have received a letter from a group of people in Santorini that inform me of under the table practice by certain people - something as they say is common knowledge on the island. - When i confirm this i will publish the letter - I have very good friends in Santorini and they can and will inform me if that is true.
I believe That forums should be open to people that have actually used the hotels and services No one person can know everything.

Let only Travelers post reviews not D.E. that live millions of miles from the place of question.
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 05:03 AM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 326
For my trip planning either in USA or Europe, I check both TA and Fordor's. Both sites give me what I am looking for. For hotel, I use TA because it is easier to navigate. I look for smaller hotel in certain price range and start reading the reviews. Most of the time, the chosen hotels met my expectations. For other questions, TA is easier to glance through the subjects page by page. I like the fact that they have local experts. Fodor's is a good site with good people. I like the new layout.
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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 05:38 AM
  #39  
ira
 
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TA is one of many resources that I use in planning.

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Old Mar 7th, 2009, 05:41 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 574
Pakanfou,
I am a DE on TA, so are a number of others that post on here!
For me it's the Peloponnese, I holidayed here for years, now live here & I have never been a travel agent, nor been approached or paid by anyone. In fact I don't think any hotel or restaurant owners know I contribute on there.
I just enjoy sharing & helping as do most contributors. IF there are any that are self promoting or have a hidden agenda they soon get spotted & reported.
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