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hotel guest reviews on various sites. what to believe?, what to ignore?

hotel guest reviews on various sites. what to believe?, what to ignore?

Old May 29th, 2012, 07:06 PM
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hotel guest reviews on various sites. what to believe?, what to ignore?

it seems that no matter what site you visit regarding hotel reviews, or what hotel site you go to, there's a slew of both good and bad reviews from recent guests.

some reviews seem legitimate, esp when there are multiple guests voicing some of the same concerns. other guests just seem to be the type that would gripe about pratically anything, and when you get to the hotel, you find that whatever complaint they had was either minimal or nonexistant altogether.

ive also heard rumor that some of the good reviews are actually fabricated by hotel management itself to balance out the bad reviews.

ive found that some guests complain about very minor issues, but exaggerate them to large proportions to make them stand out. things like: thread-bare towels. unless youre paying around $200 or more per night, youre not going to get luxury plush towels...as many hotels have had their towels come up missing after guests check out (that embroidered "M" doesnt stand for "mother", it belongs to Marriott)

some complain about a "continental breakfast" only offering fruit, cold cereal, and make-your-own waffles. these are guests that lodge at 1 and 2 star hotels who are expecting 5-star treatment. give me a break.

so, as you can see, and have probably noticed on your own personal accord and experiences, there's really no way to ascertain a logical and sound judgment coming from any guest review because there's no way to really distinguish the validity of a valid concern than from someone who gripes at everything under the sun.

have you encountered similiar hardships when trying to look for a hotel room based solely on the validity (or lack thereof) from guest reviews
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Old May 29th, 2012, 07:50 PM
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> there's really no way to ascertain a
> logical and sound judgment coming from any guest review

Interestingly, before making this statement, you list a couple of ways to do exactly that. For myself, I'm more likely to trust reviewers who:
1) have made several reviews.
2) consistently make detailed reviews.
3) note the pluses and minuses of a place.
4) is aware of the adage, "You get what you pay for."
5) also the adage, "There's no such thing as a free lunch." There are no FREE amenities at any lodging, there are only ones provided at no additional charge. A place that charges $5 a night for an amenity (like wi-fi) but charge $10 less per night to stay there, is still a better deal than the latter place giving "free" wi-fi.
6) avoid superlatives. I almost immediately ignore any review with the words, "This is the WORST [fill in the blank] EVER."
7) are aware that not every place is right for every person, and try to state what type of traveler would feel right using a place.
8) recognize that problems can occur, and concentrates more on how the problem was resolved.
9) understand that, if they fail to take the time to learn about a hotel's policies or amenities, they shouldn't complain about a "misunderstanding" over them. For instance, I recall one place that very clearly stated there would be a charge for holding luggage after check-out, and half a dozen people complained about the charge.
10) has a review consistent with others at that place. I don't expect a cheap place to be highly rated, so I'm not going to believe someone who rates such a place at 5 out of 5 stars.
11) if they badmouth a place, explains WHY the place was problematic. A true five-star with lousy room service might deserve being lambasted by someone who cares about room service, but it wouldn't be a problem for me.
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Old May 29th, 2012, 10:12 PM
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How did we ever manage to find a place to stay before hotel reviews?
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Old May 29th, 2012, 11:00 PM
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tracys2cents - blind luck. It probably works better than many of the reviews I've seen.

The 'problem' I usually see is that the folks that give the review don't travel very much and / or only have a Motel 6 or Travelodge as reference. When your TV is chained down or mounted on the wall, that's a sign of a not so good of a place.

Given that, for the most part, AAA has been pretty consistent for the past umpteen years, long before the internet. I still check their reviews for any domestic stay.

In fact, I prefer them to any TA reviews. Any group of people that rate Applebee's as the 2nd or 3rd best restaurant in a city....
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Old May 30th, 2012, 03:32 AM
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You have to remember that sometimes an Applebees actually IS the 2nd or 3rd best place in a town. Of course, if you've only traveled to Paris or Rome...
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Old May 30th, 2012, 04:53 AM
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I agree that I'd throw out any review from a "one time" poster. No reviewer's review means anything to me until I read a few more from that same poster.

But when you read a dozen reviews of one hotel and 9 or 10 of them mention the same thing -- air conditioning that doesn't work well, for example -- then you can pretty well count on it being an issue.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 05:25 AM
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I agree with everything that's been said, especially PaulRabe's list, with an asterisk next to no. 10. I don't pay much attention to the star ratings (rather I read the written text), but I don't mind a 5-star rating for chain motel if the person doing the rating generally stays at fleabags. JUST SAY SO. (My all-time favorite was the person who rated a Waikiki hotel "THE WORST EVER" because, in her own words, she had left her iPod on the nightstand, when she came back to the room it wasn't there, and "the hotel wouldn't do anything about it".
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Old May 30th, 2012, 01:56 PM
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I have - incredibly - actually been in a place where an Applebees would have been (if they had one) the best place in town - one step up from Pizza Hut and two steps up from a deli in PigglyWiggly.

This only goes to show that you can't make assumptions (for instance, that any town large enough to show on a map would have a legitimate place to eat). We have to drive more than 30 minutes to find a place with edible food.

I think you can often tell from the tone of the post if the reviewer is a reasonable person - or one with inappropriate expectations about the lodging - or him/herself. I am always amused by people who go to extremely upscale hotels and then complain that the staff isn't "friendly" enough. You're not paying for "friendly" - you're paying for luxury and that includes highly professional (and usually somewhat reserved) service. Hotel staff that are overly friendly give me the creeps.
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Old May 30th, 2012, 04:49 PM
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I always read reviews backwards - from bad to good. If the bad reviews are old, it means it's an old problem and probably doesn't exist any more.

I skip over the singular reviews - they are meaningless and possibly made by the management.

My main criterion is not so much plush as clean. I "scour" the reviews to find out how clean a place is. It can be an old and very simple place out in the desert somewhere (New Mexico and West Texas come to mind mostly), but if it's clean, it means pride of place and I'd stay there again if given the chance.

OTOH, if I'm travelling in Asia, I want a hotel near the top - love those smiling doormen, the pot of tea on arrival, and all the other oh-so-great little touches to help me relax after a long plane ride.

In Europe, I like to stay in pensions - it's the social thing I'm after.

So, what I look for differs in different countries and regions.
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Old May 31st, 2012, 03:31 AM
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@ nytraveler. what if these guests that complain that hotel staff isnt friendly enough and it came around to haunt them later by having hotel staff knocking at their room door asking if they can come inside to play a game of monopoly or backgammon with them, while offering them mint herbal tea and triscuits.
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