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spritsail

Hotel Reviews - Truthful or a load of pernicious lies.

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spritsail

A recent court case in UK regarding the right of a hotel to know the originator of a particularly pernicious review of their Hotel was thrown out. In effect this give free licence for an individual / corporate to write smear reviews of any hotel to eliminate the competition. The hotel in question went into bankruptcy proceeding because of the bad reviews thought to have originated from a competitor hotel.

 

So what are we to believe in hotel reviews on Tripadvisor or Agoda for example. Admittedlly many hotels embellish reviews of their own hotels to attract guests, but there are many that get reviews that would finish off the hotel and mostly are pernicious lies.

 

Going through some of the hotel reviews on Agoda , it seems the slight inconvenience guarantees a bad review. - " the plumbing was noisy. ' 'cockerells kept me awake from 4am,' ' it rained all the time", ' there was green slime in the swimming pool", and thousands of others that would fill a book of funny hotel reviews. Except that they are not funny and livelihoods and investments are hanging in the balance on a bad review.

 

This site also has its share of reviewers, Mr Whippy, being the most conspicious. In essence they were mainly objective, but then he would rant on about the past deeds of the owner during the vietnam war - I personally think that hotel reviews should be left to professionals and not travellers whose coffee may have been tepid when served or they were served Darjeeling instead of Assam and formed a grudge against the hotel. The most amusing I read was a guest complaining that the manager/owner was not around to meet hm in the port to drive 10 kms to the hotel despite the hotel being only 300 php a night.

 

I know that adventure travelling is almost non existent, gone are the days when you got on a bicycle to cycle to greece or south of france not knowing where you would stay that night, or hitch hiking when bound for Athens you would end up in Helsinki four days later from Ostend. I cant really imagine writing a review of a hostel/hotel, that the air con in the dorm was too cold, or shared showers had no free soap, or communial kitchens had dirty plates in the sink especially when you are paying only 5 dollar a nyt. Maybe they frequent the Salvation Army hostels in New York writing a review that the guy in the next bunk snored and I want my 1 dollar back.

 

To me, its a great travesty of the internet age that instead of enlightening people to travelling it has made us all whinging complainers. Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells.

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Paul

After having resided in Cambodia, where TripAdvisor type reviews seem to be the theme of the day, I would never trust another review from those types of sites. I would MUCH SOONER trust a review from a long time traveling member of an online forum. 

 

Cambodia is a much smaller country than the Philippines, in both size and population. To me, Cambodia is much more like a single small town. Business owners try to stab each other in the back. One way they do that is by going to each other's sites and posting negative reviews, stupid silly shit really, about the other party's business. The competition seems to be so fierce that some will resort to low life, back stabbing means in order to stay in business. So, the last web sites I would ever visit for reviews of a place to stay, certainly would be on Agoda, Trip Advisor, or the like. 

 

However, if a member of this site, for example, posted a review after having visited a hotel and wrote about cleanliness, friendliness / helpfulness of the staff, size of the room in relationship to the cost, quality of the food, etc., I would seriously consider their review.  

 

I disagree that a reviewer must be a professional. I also believe that slime in the pool is a genuine complaint. Cleanliness is one thing I am adamant about, regarding my accommodations, any time I stay away from my home. The other complaints you mentioned, as examples, were a bit trivial in my mind. 

So, my question is, how many people actually take those reviews to heart, without ever giving a place a shot due to them? Who knows? Personally, I ask people I know about places here, prior to locating accommodations. I don't usually ask for opinions that I pick. Rather, I ask them for their recommendation. If it is somewhere they will stay, I can pretty will figure it will be good clean accommodations, with few problems. So far, it has worked out pretty well. I can't think of a single case where it hasn't, actually. 

 

As a side note: We all have our pet peeves. Mine happens to be thrifty beavers who want something for nothing. As the owner of this forum, I have complaints too. I have experienced a number of members over the years who have joined and posted, attempting to self promote their places without giving a second thought to paying for a simple ad. The sad part is, ad prices offered here are much lower than other sites trying to be competitive to this one. The difference with this site is, I'm not trying to get rich off the site, or the backs of its advertisers. 

Edited by Paul
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Salty Dog

I've been writing reviews on some sites for awhile now. One thing I try to do is consider the type place. I don't try to compare a five star hotel against a two star hotel. Both can be good or bad based a large part on expictations. I've stayed at some Go Hotels in several towns and for the price they were as good or better than expected. When I stay at the Pan Pacific or Radison Blu, I have higher exceptions and most times they meet those as well. To tell you the truth I can't remember the last time I had much to say bad about a hotel.

 

Now as for restaurants, that's a whole other story. I've found my share of poor restaurants since I've been in the Philippines. I've also noticed that when a place is poor, that there are usually numerous reviews that bare this out.

 

When I am reading reviews as on Trip Advisor. I usually read best and the worst. I also take into account the number and type of reviews by an individual? This can give you some indication that if they have reviewed a lot of different places, it is less likely they are a competitor trying to discredit a place. I've Often found that someone will give a poor rating when their review's don't as a whole find anything wrong with the hotel, but they had a single issue that set them off.

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by Salty Dog
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Davaoeno

 

 

- I personally think that hotel reviews should be left to professionals

 

I consider Whippy to be a professional reviewer.  Of course, as with all reviewers he brings his own personal preferences to the table, but it is up to the reader to do their own due diligence.

 

Whippy was seldom criticized for his reviews . The complaints were about his inability to not end every review with tales of his shagging every girl possible, with the least amount of money spent as possible. 

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manly4eva

I spent about 7 years backpacking Asia and I did it in my mid thirties so while I was technically a backpacker I didn't fit into the cheap ass drunk Fu*cked up kids Paul loves so much.I used TripAdvisor and hostel-world for reviews a few times but found that the better places I stayed in came from talking with other travelers that had been there before.That's the bonus of traveling like this is you meet so many people who have just came from a place you are heading to.As for Cambodia you hit the nail on the head the competition for anything is so fierce there.I arrived in Siem Reap by bus with my then ex and we were the only white faces.There must have been 50 cyclos there all looking for a fare and to take us to a hotel.One guy was bashing the side of the bus with his sign ANYWHERE IN TOWN $1...NO HASSLES.....We felt like we were in a drive around  Zoo and the Lions were loose.Pushed and shoved back and forth just trying to get our bags.Reviews from websites serve their purpose but you need to read both good and bad and to pay attention to the type of traveler that is reviewing.I have left many reviews for hotels on Agoda and TripAdvisor and I believe to fair pointing out the good and the bad.You can't expect 5 star when you pay for a 2 but you can and should expect a clean room and linen.

Edited by manly4eva
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Dragonladies.org

I noticed one review I posted on Tripadvisor was not approved for a few weeks.   The review was of a hotel I had stayed at many times, and usually was OK.  The review in question was for the last visit to the place, which was very bad.  There were some major safety concerns.  (Fire escapes blocked, etc)   When the review was finally approved, magically the  pictures I had uploaded were deleted.   (pictures of the safety issues, and some lax housekeeping)    I mentioned the safety problems to the manager FIRST.  He promised to take care of them, (which would have taken a few minutes).   I stayed at that hotel for 3 days after talking to the manager.  (had booked a discounted rate online, and was too lazy to check out and deal with the cancellation)   The safety problems remained the same, untouched.   That's when I decided to post the negative review and pics.  

The internet is full of idiots and nonsense.  I'm amazed at some of the reviews I've seen of total DUMPS.   Either they are fake, or these people live in dumpsters, and anything is  a step up.

 

At least in the Philippines, some of the better hotels I stayed at, meaning clean, and a good value, seemed to have few reviews on major sites.

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Foreststag

I always write reviews wherever I stay. My reviews are my reflection of my experience of staying at that particular place. I expect to receive what I pay for and not to feel ripped off. I try to be fair and to bear in mind that for example here in the Philippines a bad review could cost jobs. If you arrive at a resort for example having booked a certain type of room and you present a booking form describing that room. It is reasonable to expect that room or one that is at least comparable. If they put you in a room that is anything less, they know that they have done that. In my view that is a rip off and would be reflected in my review.

I stayed at resort recently and ordered an English breakfast. When the breakfast arrived after more than one hour I saw that the eggs were still very runny, I mean raw. The toast was just warm bread, not toasted. I called the waitress and asked for the eggs to be cooked and the toast browned. Five or so minutes later back came my breakfast exactly the same, not even touched. When I pointed this out to the waitress she said she was afraid of the chef and so was everyone else at the resort. I refused to pay and went elsewhere for my breakfast. On my last day there I thought I would give them another chance and tried again, unfortunately with the same result. Of course this was reflected in my review. On the other hand I will gladly compliment good service any feel good factors I experience. I use reviews  to decide on all my trips and value them greatly. I think it's not too difficult to weed out the wingers from the genuine reviews. In my view professional reviewers can be too easily swayed by, shall we say incentives. I also think that some companies filter reviews to project the desired view of their clients ie resorts and hotels.

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bargeman

I consider Whippy to be a professional reviewer.  Of course, as with all reviewers he brings his own personal preferences to the table, but it is up to the reader to do their own due diligence.

 

Whippy was seldom criticized for his reviews . The complaints were about his inability to not end every review with tales of his shagging every girl possible, with the least amount of money spent as possible. 

Just the dreams of a lonely Ice Cream salesman.

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mahogany

Just the dreams of a lonely Ice Cream salesman.

 

 

Rather condescending aren't you? Whippy's reviews have been generally very insightful: like them or not.

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questsea73

I find reviews on the two mentioned sites valuable but one must sift through them to get a a reasonably unbiased, real world view of what is offered...sometimes  it takes me 40 or 50 to go thru to get 2 or 3 that tell me 80% of what I want to know.  Many reviewers use standards appropriate for a 4 star USA hotel and apply them to 1.5 star semi-hotels.   Sort of like comparing Philippines to some real world countries which I am still trying to train myself not to do .

 

 

Ken

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sandwindstars

I am a professional in the industry, consulting here and there in different parts of the world.  I don't review the hotels I consult with but ask the cleints to look at the reviews from various sites, to see which areas they can improve on. I prefer to use these instead of the guest surveys because the guest surveys are eschewed to positive response.  I also do reviews for hotels I stay on personal basis (not job related) here are some things I'd like to share as a guest or customer,

 

Value for money - all those photos and reviews can be deceiving.  Guest photos are the best because they show the hotel in its "normal" state.  Reviews you have to read a few or quite a few.  If the reviews are all over the map, skip that hotel. Also, look at the overall rating for the hotel.  The overall rating should be looked at as overall satisfaction rating not in terms of "quality" of the hotel.

 

Not all hotels are the same - when looking at a hotel, look at the hotel profile first and see what they offer.  One cannot compare b&b with a 5 star hotel. So if a b&b or hostel is rated 5* by a reviewer, it is only 5* for its category.  I've given a couple of small hotels in Europe 5* because they delivered what I had expected.  5* is for a small hotel or hostel category not for a Shangri-La etc.

 

Cleanliness - "Cleanliness" is a relative word, depending on where you come from.  Look at the median rating on the reviews for "cleanliness".  In Asia or say less developed countries (Lat Am or Eastern Europe), I only go for 9 pts or 4+ pts minimum.  After seeing so many hotels in my lifetime in various parts of the world, people's idea of cleanliness may be different from mine.  In Manila or the PH, from what I've seen professionally, I'd only go for a minimum 9-10 or 4.5-5 pts in this category. 

 

Service - maybe relative to some.  I've learned that in some places in the world, the hotel staff don't smile or not even allowed to smile.  I've stayed in one Spain nice 4 star, oh my lord, the manager acted a little imperious. In Japan, they bow and bow, but the eyes are kinda blank.  Efficient but no 'love. "So it all depends on the culture.  What I look for in reviews is if the reviewers felt the "love", it adds to the experience even if the hotel is lacking amenities.  (I don't mean "that kind of love.)

 

Reading reviews - if the first sentence starts gushing or puking about the hotel, (Oh, I just love this hotel or This is the worst hotel.), its suspect.  When I actually read one, I look at the nuts and bolts of the review - things or features I look for in a hotel or any kind of lodging. (A room with a view may be the only saving grace of a hotel or the room, how about the actual room itself or the location of the hotel.  Big difference between a room with a view in Boracay Stn 2 and that of a mountain view on Sibuyan Island.)  If I'm looking for a dirty cheap hotel, my expectations are lower, if I'm paying a lot more, then it goes up.  The other thing too I ask myself who are these people reviewing the hotel.  Travel sites have a profile of the reviewers, where they've been etc.  If its a one off, it's highly suspect.  In the PH, I skip reviews from the locals because local expectations are quite different from mine (from my professional experience).  I look at a good cross section of people. So you don't have to read all 40-50.

 

These reviews are actually beneficial to the hotels, esp small hotels, inns, hostels, because they are an equalizer to the bigger ones.  It keeps them on their toes.  Yes, they are scammy hotels and reviewers, but in the end it all washes out.  Hotel managers/owners have huge egos and they can't take a smidgen of criticism even if it's minor they can fix without blinking an eye.  Reviews in these web sites are not the same as AAA or Michelin ratings.  They only tell you if they can deliver what they are offering.

Edited by sandwindstars
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Contango

I have about 10 or so reviews in tripadvisor, they are all truthful.

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Enuff

I view myself as a professional traveler, staying hotels about 200+ nights per year.

 

I rarely write reviews as most goes as expected. when I find a diamond in the rough I will review and when I find a grossly overrated shit hole I review as well. I am an internet junkie and review the shit out of everything I book and have only been dissatisfied once. I look through the hundreds of reviews and weed out the whiney people who complain about coffee, sheets or unaccommodating personal service. IMHO just because your in a hotel doesn't mean you can stop being human. I have never ordered room service, I get off my ass and go get it myself. instead of calling the front desk I walk down and talk to them personally to make sure they understand my dilemma, though very rare. I usually just suck it up as shit happens.

 

life is what you make it. 

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spritsail

I had never read a hotel / restaurant review until a year or so ago. Many pubs. restos were word of mouth only. What the hell did these chaps do 10 years ago when internet was not so prevalent. Would they be able to put pen to paper, write succinctly to the hotel or to the Guardian  Newspaper that the Beverley Friary Youth Hostel  had men dorm rooms costing 9.5o pounds a night but had cold water only.

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