Are Hotels Improving w/ Online Reviews?

Dec 27th, 2006, 09:15 AM
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Are Hotels Improving w/ Online Reviews?

Just curious to hear from people who stay in a lot of hotels....has this "age of online reviewing" brought about any improvements in hotel service, cleanliness of rooms, etc? Seems to me that a couple of bad reviews could really kill a place, and that online reviewing may be forcing some less-than-stellar establishments to clean up their acts.
tracys2cents is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:23 AM
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I would hope that the "age" you described has brought about a greater discernment amongst those who read some of those "reviews" which talk about things such as "scratchy towels" and "small" rooms.

IMO those places which are truly "stellar" won't have to worry about much.
Dukey is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 09:27 AM
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tracy, there was recently a long thread done on this very subject and the conscensus is nope, online reviews don't amount to too much.
Dec 27th, 2006, 11:43 AM
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I don;t think hotels that are awful are that way on purpose - I think it's the best they can do - for whatever reason (bad management, run down facilities and no money to repair, etc). And, often, complaints seem to be related to the price/consumer perceptions - that is the complainer is expecting too much for the money they're paying.

So - no - I don't think ratings web sites have much impact on the quality of hotels - although they may well have an effect on how much business the hotel gets.

nytraveler is offline  
Dec 27th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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No, I don't believe bad internet reviews will change bad hotels.
suze is online now  
Dec 28th, 2006, 03:16 AM
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nytraveller wrote:

<<And, often, complaints seem to be related to the price/consumer perceptions - that is the complainer is expecting too much for the money they're paying.>>

I'm sure that happens but there are nonetheless many times when it is not at all the case; there are certain basic standards which customers have a right to expect regardless of the price and these are all too often not met.

Starting with a certain basic level of cleanliness...
Swaying_Palms is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Swaying Palms -

Obviously you are correct - all hotels need to provide basic clenliness.

But many of the hotel reviews I look at (perhaps because a lot are in NYC and more upscale hotels in europe) make it clear that the reviewer's expectations are unrealistic (expecting a $200 hotel in NYC to provide "luxury" is simply silly) and many complaints are similar (didn't like color of drapes or view out the window of a budget hotel).

There are also quite a few about "bad service" - in which it sounds like the poster is lucky not to have been hit with something. (And yes, I have been in some hotels with bad service - but having to wait 5 minutes to check in doesn't count.)
nytraveler is offline  
Dec 28th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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If a hotel is not kept clean, for whatever reason, no amount of bad reviews on Trip Advisor is likely to change that imo.
suze is online now  
Dec 30th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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I think that the internet reviews help travelers who are deciding where to stay. Whether or not the reviews actually change the hotel's habits is debatable. I personally don't pick a hotel that most sensible travelers dislike, for good reason.

Maybe a hotel notices when their demand falls, and maybe management searches for a reason and finds the bad reviews posted. I have to say I believe the power of the people's opinions has some influence overall.
Dec 30th, 2006, 10:28 AM
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This would be a clue on whether a hotel cares about the reviews it is getting online: on the feedback card, when it asks "Why did you decide to stay here?" (or something similar), is "Online Review" a choice? A hotel that gets 90% of its business from people driving down the interstate, or for which 80% of its customers say "Price" is the main reason they decided to stop there; won't care squat about its online reviews.

I don't know if this has become a possible answer; I haven't looked at one of these feedback cards lately. But the presence (or absence) of it would be a good sign that a hotel cares about online reviews (or not).
PaulRabe is offline  
Dec 30th, 2006, 11:08 AM
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No, no more than restaurants improve when they are rated by Zagat.
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Dec 31st, 2006, 01:51 PM
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I believe they have to have some effect.

I always read reviews, and if a place has consistently bad reviews, I don't stay there. I can't be the only one.
nina is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 03:28 PM
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Thank you for replying, nytraveller. Your point is quite valid and relevant and I did not mean to imply otherwise.

I was just concerned that you might be dismissing or downplaying those
cases of poor reviews which are _not_ based on unreasonable expectations, which I believe are many. (In addition to seeing a number of reviews which seemed as such, I have also personally seen properties and had experiences which were simply unacceptable at any price)
Swaying_Palms is offline  
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