Saturday, March 8, 2008

Posting Hotel Reviews

1. Why does one post a review of a hotel?
2. Why does one use a site like TripAdvisor where they read reviews of hotels?

The answer to those two questions will tell you a lot. To me, the only answer to those questions should be:
1. To give advice to help travelers that follow - Hence the name: Trip "Advisor"

2. To be advised as to what to expect and get information that will make their experience better through advance knowledge & planning

Since I believe that those are the only answers and I believe TripAdvisor is a great tool, it drives me nuts when people post reviews from a long time ago. Especially when they don't point that out in the review. I really doubt people read reviews that are a year old when researching their hotels to stay in. I know I don't. If I want an idea of what a hotel is going to be like, I read the current reviews. Too much can change in a year for an old review to be of any real value in my opinion - Good or bad. Managers come and go, hotels change ownership, the staff changes and the place could be more worn or renovated since the they were there. If someone just wants to tell their story, write a blog or use the Forum.

If, for some reason, I suddenly decided to post a review of a hotel that I stayed in last year or before, I would at least try to provide information that would still be helpful for others that read it, such as the location of the hotel, best room location, attractions, things to see or avoid, etc. I would avoid making claims and statements about things that may have changed since I was there when posting an old review. I would definitely point it out that my experience was on such & such dates.

Another thing I think is unfair is when people discover TripAdvisor AFTER the fact. They go on the site and complain or criticize about things that are mentioned through out the reviews of that particular hotel already. In our case, with our European sized rooms, they are not going to change...ever. The rooms are smaller than you find at most American hotels today - we know that. Thanks to TripAdvisor and the many other resources, every future guest of ours should know that too. Nearly every review of the Chancellor mentions room size. Some people say the rooms are just fine, some say they are claustrophobic. If you stay with us, you should know your opinion of the rooms should fall in that range. Going on TripAdvisor after the fact and complaining about things that are what they are, is really just a case of sour grapes and shows that person did not do their own due diligence. We used to use travel agents back in the day, now we do it all ourselves. Travel agents are professionals and provide expertise. It reminds me of the old saying..."The person who acts as their own lawyer has a fool for a client" If the travel planning doesn't work out to the traveler's satisfaction, maybe that travel planner had a fool for a client?

Just my opinion. Post a comment if you disagree. Post a comment if you agree. Post a comment.


Brett H. Nelson said...

I totally agree with you on this issue. Upon planning my Christmas vacation in NYC this last year on Trip Advisor, I too found many reviews on a lot of subject matters that were recent posts, but from vacations of long ago. I even took a risk from the many negative reviews about dining experiences and found out they were much more pleasant than what was posted about them. But fret not, it is also through Trip Advisor that I found the wonderdul and insighful (and recent) reviews that swayed me to give up my Marriot Reward Points so that I can stay (one week) at the Chancellor Hotel in September 2008. It will be my first time in San Francisco and the accomodations are perfect for what I'm looking for.

Adin said...

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