The Future of Trip Reports is Video, and an Outstanding Review of the W Koh Samui

More than Mary reviews the W Koh Samui and what I’m most impressed by is the quality of the video review.

I stayed at the Conrad Koh Samui this past November and certainly detailed my two-bedroom ocean pool villa and also the resort itself along with the food there.

But clearly the future in trip reports is going to be video, and really well-produced video at that. Seeing Mary Rambin’s report on the W I really do get a feel for the property and the sense that while I very much enjoyed the Conrad — I think it represents one of the absolute best values as a points redemption that there is — that the W is probably the resort property that I would enjoy more.

And it tells me that I need to improve my video skills, my narrating skills, and my editing skills. My modest photo and written trip reports are likely fine now (or maybe they aren’t?) but the future is certainly going to be much more of a multi-media experience.

She also gives a shout out to my award booking service, the first one I’ve gotten in video…

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, 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. Well yeah of course it’s easy to make a good video trip report when you’re a strikingly attractive woman. But most internet travel people are awkward and/or schlubby dudes. So I don’t think photo reports are going to vanish 🙂

  2. Well yeah of course it’s easy to make a good video trip report when you’re a strikingly attractive woman. But most internet travel people are awkward and/or schlubby dudes. So I don’t think photo reports are going to vanish 🙂

  3. That was a very well produced video. However, I also like the traditional trip reports with photos and no video because normally I am scrolling through a bunch of blog posts and want to be able to get a quick sense of the place. I won’t always want to sit through a 3-5 min video unless I am seriously considering going there.

  4. With all due respect
    As easy on the eyes as the host is or the nice quality of the video… I felt like I was viewing an individual that is somewhat clueless
    With all due respect raving about a small bathtub for one with no Jacuzzi? No discussion on bed comfort or that it’s a hard platform?
    No close up reports of the food of what’s good or what’s bad and why? Glossed over details that adds up to a beautiful video post card. It felt more like a Starwood commercial empty without substance and details. While the future may be video I’m afraid this attractive host needs a much better teacher and some life experience as to what makes a great stay besides scenery & visuals. I think she’s great for 20s crowd who are into aesthetic without details
    Gary put your wig and heels on if your viewers want a prettier profile and figure but please don’t hand the reigns over to this host anytime soon 🙂
    How about classes how to review a hotel in detail and the proper analysis as opposed to just Award bookings assistance. I’m signed up immediately for that anytime anywhere if you teach that at your next University seminar.

  5. Can’t wait to see you walking around in speedos on the beach.
    TV/movies are made for beautiful ppl. Looks dont matter in radio and the written media. TPG often uses videos, but they don’t do much to help enhance the message.

  6. Gary- I think videos like that would enhance your trip reports. Still do the written reports, though.

    I think she spent more on her boob job than her hotel. I would say that enhancement cost her at least $3,000!

  7. James with such class act responses like yours
    I’ll assume you have stated all of your intelligence in a single word. I am sure all readers appreciate you in any forum with your true words of wisdom

  8. Don, there’s always tripadvisor, brah.

    Seriously… you’re complaining about an incredible, jaw-dropping attractive chick giving a tour of the entire villa; whom, might I add, did a fine job.

    James was pretty spot-on

  9. Mr.Redskin
    Thanks for a good sincere post here with your thoughts
    Point well taken on Trip A :)Thumbs up
    I fully agree that she did an excellent job on camera with good visuals as well as made a good appealing host.
    Having done work myself in televison many years ago I can say thats not an easy thing to do.What I felt that wasn’t agreed with here by some which I respect is that it came across to me like a glowing gushy review or a Starwood promotional in house produced TV commercial rather than great positives vs negatives which is my personal review style preference.The property came off in a very flattering light none the less

    I believe going forward just like online that there will always be room for both platforms in video and stills
    I think both serve a very important purpose for readers/viewers.

  10. I have to say that I prefer the traditional photo review. I don’t want to have to turn on volume and watch an entire video. Also, you can get more detail from a photo report. I certainly think she did a decent job but a video report can be incredibly risky because it takes a strong on camera presence to make it work along with good camera work.

    I spend quite a bit of time working with TV hosts and while it looks simple…it’s not! A good host makes it look effortless. A bad host is like a bad FA…they can ruin the experience.

  11. Jeff,
    Couldn’t agree more
    I like to be able to not have everything fly by me
    Prefer to take the time to really study indivdual details that go into making the right decision making.
    Even when booking resevations I find those online videos frequently distracting and sometimes counterproductive even without a host.

  12. Having stayed at W koh samui and reading your review of conrad, I have to agree that both are amazing but that W would be more enjoyable for many. We’re going back to KS next year, and I just cant convince myself to book conrad on an axon award despite the ‘amazing value’ and being flush with HHonors points.

  13. Hmm. I don’t know that video reviews are yet the trend for blooer reviews, but they have potential. If bloggers proceed with video, they MUST learn a few basics – like holding the camera steady (duh?), using HD gear – sorry kids, that semi-smart phone is NOT going to make it! And some geniune editing skill is necessary. The more traditional blogged trip reports in written form also suffer from awful (even terrible) writing, but at least the reader can usually figure out what th e blooger intended to express. Since most of the blogs with trip reports are amateur productions, many sins can be forgiven. Forgiveness with poor quality video reports is far more difficult and even the best videos still need some text. I just don’t see it for some years more, at leaast if the bloggers expect to be read – or viewed. Some of the more interesting text-base blogs and still having trouble with simple still photography.

  14. Very attractive host no doubt about that, but I have to agree with others here that it lacked substance and didn’t convince me. Photos and a well written, thorough and fair description are much more valuable IMO.

  15. The review was too polished for me. And too fawning. Makes me think she was paid by the hotel.

  16. I read blog posts at work & can’t really do video here, even if I was home, I’m not watching video. Stick with good pikcs & concise paragraphs.

  17. Hey bluecatjumping–
    Maybe she was paid by the hotel. At the end of the video in small print it says, “Thank you Starwood, for hosting my vacation!”
    What does that mean? Gary, I think before you post something like this you should find out if she is basically paid to do a commercial. It is not really a review.

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