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Why have some hotels lost their Karen Brown recommendations?

Why have some hotels lost their Karen Brown recommendations?

Old Mar 28th, 2001, 04:46 PM
Deb Kalikow
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Why have some hotels lost their Karen Brown recommendations?

Does anyone know why a couple of places that Karen Brown used to recommend are no longer recommended by her? I tried to access two that were included in her France B&B book, by putting the given urls into my browser. A normal-looking page for those hotels popped up, but just for a second. Then it was quickly replaced by a page that said, "We no longer recommend this property."

The 2 places I was interested in where I found this happening are: Chateau d'Arnac, in Beaulieu-sur-Dordogne; and Le Mazet des Mūres,in Grimaud. Anyone know what the story is with these places?

(Please note this is a different result than something else I encountered with her site -- some places that are in her book are not on her website because the places themselves choose not to be part of her website. When that's the case, the resulting message says just that, & doesn't word it as "no longer recommended." So the "no longer recommended" certainly sounds like a real negative, as if she found out something "unworthy" about these places.)
Old Mar 28th, 2001, 05:00 PM
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I think that publishers use two criteria for "dropping" a place - - number of negative letters they get and any serious drop-off in positive feedback they get. The popular book (series) "best little hotels..." openly will publish - - <<we haven't received any up-to-date reports on such-and-such place>> or even state outright - - <<we NEED more feedback on this place>>.

Old Mar 28th, 2001, 09:41 PM
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I don't know but I was looking for one place (in France) that I just read about in her book in the bookstore and now when I try to find it on her website, it is not there at all, and there is no note about wanting not to be included, etc, it is simply not on her web site. It was Chateau Unang in Provence at Malemort du Comtat. The thing I would also like to know is what kind of criteria Gault-Millau uses for inclusion in their book, which I like, but their ratings seem a little erratic sometimes (giving both modest 2-star hotels in Avignon a rating of one house as well as more expensive, well-known inns that other books rate about 3-star level), and some larger hotels/inns are not in there at all. Their book is not as comprehensive as Michelin, so I figure complete omission may mean something, not just no room for it, but their text does not explain that. I wonder if she writes those descriptions, generally they are good but sometimes she'll be very effusive about a place that in the photos looks very ordinary or pretty plain/modern, not charming. I like the Rivages series pretty well, actually, for France -- they are on the web also, something like www.guidesdecharme.com, you could check it. That web site has good idea of a balance between giving you free stuff on the web but not everything so you might want to buy the book. It gives listings, photos, and the basic info but not the descriptive text, but it will give you links (if the place has a URL) so it's a good reference for whom they include in their guides (which I think are pretty good).
Old Mar 28th, 2001, 11:50 PM
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Hello everyone,

Karen Brown charges hotels, B&Bs and guest houses to be listed in her book. If they do not pay every year they will not be in the next book. Since she charges several hundred dollars a year some of the smaller places may find that prohibitave especially if they do not get a lot of traffic from Karen Brown's book. It is also possible that they were removed because of many complaints.
Old Apr 15th, 2001, 08:52 AM
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Karen Brown does not charge for inclusion in her books - she does charge for inclusion on her website - once you are mentioned in her book. if all you had to do was pay, her books would be as long as an encyclopedia - it doesn't make sense.
Old Apr 15th, 2001, 11:09 AM
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We stayed at a wonderful little place in Dordogne. There were new owners. The place had previously been listed in Karen Brown's but wasn't presently. When I asked the owner why, he stated that since they had taken over they had been fully booked and didn't need to advertise. Since they had taken over two years before, the Karen Brown people had stayed there (expecting and getting a complimentary room and dinner, by the way) and offered to keep them in their guide. But the owner said the cost was simply too prohibitive, meaning that they were going to charge him to be listed in their guide. Since he was renting all the rooms anyway, it seemed like money down the drain. I have no reason to doubt what he told me.
Old Apr 15th, 2001, 11:29 AM
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Sigh. I suppose it was too much to hope for that travel book scouts would check into a hotel anonymously to have an unbiased experience.
Old Apr 16th, 2001, 09:19 AM
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I am sorry - I can't let this die - I sent an email to Karen Brown's Guides and the answer I got back was as follows:
"Thank you for writing. It is sad that those who don't know get involved in
statements that aren't correct. We do not charge for inclusion in the
guides, we do charge for a page on the website."
If someone asked you why your weren't in the book any longer - would you admit that you had been dropped?

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