A Reason Not to Trust Hotel Reviews

Leave aside that hotels post their own bogus positive reviews, and competitor properties post their own bogus negative reviews. Sure, some people like to create an image of themselves as sophisticated, either by associating with a high status property or trashing a high status property — or by convincing people that where they stay is indeed high status.

The individual incentives aren’t necessarily to spread the word about great places a traveler wants to return to. It can sometimes be better to keep them a secret.

Or so says XKCD web comic..

(HT: Dan R.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yeah, for all the problems with online reviews, are you really going to stay at, say, a Choice Hotel property without reading the reviews? There’s certainly no more reliable way to know what you’re going to get than with sites like Tripadvisor.

  2. Kind of depressing and cynical if you ask me. I rely on Tripadvisor, but try to be careful when I see either one time reviewers, or someone that seems to be off the curve, relative to other reviewers for the same property.

  3. I like to avoid staying at hotels that have recent reviews complaining about bedbug bites (especially those that post photos of the ugly, red welts). A single review could be a fluke, but more than one is the kiss of death and will definitely reduce occupancy rates.

  4. Completely agree! This applies to many of the hotels in Las Vegas. Many times people have personal issues with a hotel. They are upset when their outlandish requests are not fulfilled, when they are charged for a resort fee which they always agree to when booking, or if the hotel is near capacity and they do not get the upgrade they want. A lot of times it is sour grapes for paying a high rate.

  5. @Larry

    “A lot of times it is sour grapes for paying a high rate.”

    Well, if I paid a high rate and the place wasn’t all that great, it’s not going to get a good review from me.

    What I actually can’t stand are the many FT reviews that say “my upgrade cleared. This place is awesome!” Or “My upgrade didn’t clear. This place sucks!” Those are totally useless reviews for me.

  6. Online reviews through social media have reshaped our deciding process in the way many of us decide on hotels forever.Like it or not.
    Hotel companies and hoteliers are wide aware
    that enough negative reviews from those that evaluate fairly are a deal killer for future business.
    It’s up to savvy readers to spot the phoney reviwers.
    Trip Advisor does little to stop phoney reviews unless its so blatant its staring them in the face with the smoking gun.That said its still a good site as the lions share are legit.Even a real review one must assess the reviewers skills to review.

    Every time I read a bright response from a hotel that makes sense regarding issues I am 100% more likely to book with the given hotel.Vs not at all…..
    I hate canned responses and insensetive out of the loop self serving replies
    Hotels need to respond considerately with well thought out guest friendly answers and solutions.
    We armed with information today that travelers didn’t have 20 years ago.Some hotel chains/hotels have a policy of ignoring reviews.That’s at there own risk.
    Those hotels that don’t measure up and respond appropriately will pay the price in the end….
    We are in the age of information and its fantastic!

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