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Not to listen to TripAdvisor reviews

(40 Posts)
maxbradbury Mon 25-Jul-11 16:12:43

Going away next week and keep checking for reviews on trip advisor, anyway just come across a review and i really do not believe its genuine. I mean my seven year old can write better than that -

So do you really pay attention to trip adviser reviews??

NotADudeExactly Mon 25-Jul-11 16:24:57

I can't possibly comment on this particular review, but as a former lower level manager at several luxury hotels, I can say a thing or two about trip advisor in general:

In general, the idea is very good and I'm quite certain that a lot of places are quite accurately portrayed by their reviews. Some problems, however, include, ...

- Positive self reviewing. I know of a general manager of a Mayfair hotel who used to do this on a regular basis.

- Negative reviewing of the competition. And, yes, hoteliers can have reviews removed - they need to have some rather good arguments for TA to agree, though.

- TA blackmailing: I've seen this one myself quite regularly while working as a duty manager. Guest will demand something or other that is not part of their reservation (e.g. a free upgrade) and will threaten to write a bad review on TA if this is not given to them.

- Review begging. This is where hotel staff ask very satisfied guests to write reviews about their stay on TA. Naturally, guests who are not quite as please are never invited to comment.

Finally, please be aware that pure numerical ratings are not the only factor on which TA rankings depend. Some parameters can be influenced by hoteliers. For example, a hotel's ranking will improve if management replies to comments. You can achieve a significant improvement by simply replying "Thanks for reviewing our hotel, we appreciate your comments and are looking forward to welcoming you again very soon" to each review.

Pandemoniaa Mon 25-Jul-11 16:30:22

Yes and no. I've actually written what I hoped were objective and helpful reviews and I've read very many useful reviews. However, I also take account of what some people dislike and realise that actually, the place will suit us all the better for those perceived shortcomings - it's usually Americans on their first trip to Europe getting hysterical about bathtubs or the unfortunate habit of medieval Italian hotels having small windows.

As for the place you've linked, I'd ignore the ludicrously illiterate review but take note of what sound like much more valid, and mixed reviews and be a little thoughtful before booking. Personally I'd not stay there but then it's not my sort of holiday anyway.

issey6cats Mon 25-Jul-11 16:30:51

im a bit like you i generally have a look at tripadvisor im going to malta for the first time this year, and the hotel ive chosen is because its cheap, the reviews of this hotel people either love it or absolutely hate it, to me if theres a clean bed to sleep in, a shower that works and a kettle that works (tea monster) i dont care about all the rest of it, got to admit though one hotel we stayed in in marmaris i wish i had looked before booking cos it really was as horrible as everyone said

DurhamDurham Mon 25-Jul-11 16:33:07

I admit that I do always check on TripAdvisor before booking a hotel, however a few negative commentd would not put me off. If the hotel has had lots of bad reviews and photos showing dirty bathrooms or bedding (as in the case of the first hotel I was going to book in New York) I wouls steer clear and find somewhere else.

I always think the 'glowing' reviews are written by a member of staff and take them with a pinch of salt.

Muckyhighchair Mon 25-Jul-11 16:34:53

Having worked as a travel agent, Thomas cook did a severy when I was with them

7/10 people would write a bad review
5/10 people would write a review if there stay was okish
And only 4/10 people would write a good review

So your more than likely to find a bad review then a good one, even though the hol was fab people just don't write them.

And remember not everyone likes the same things, and things change such as staff, weather etc

Take reviews with a pinch of salt as long as there's not 100 bad ones and no good then don't go.

Also check the date date it was written, ones written 5years ago have no reflect on today's. I'd only look at reviews for the season/the end of last season

LRDTheFeministDragon Mon 25-Jul-11 16:35:18

I listen to the majority opinion if there are lots of views - if 10 people with different writing styles all complain, sorry, not worth the risk. The odd few negatives, not so important.

NoMoreWasabi Mon 25-Jul-11 16:37:02

I use tripadvisor quite frequently as it can be a good place to start looking for hotels and considering what we might like but I take individual feedback with a pinch of salt.

NotADudeExactly Mon 25-Jul-11 16:37:22

Low number of reviews written by poster + officious language + overly positive content + "brochure" description ("Italian marble bathroom") = best way to identify staff reviews IME

eurochick Mon 25-Jul-11 16:37:45

I write reviews on and look at tripadvisor when booking hols. I've generally found it pretty reliable. That illiterate review is awful.

faaaaghinatub Mon 25-Jul-11 16:37:59

Well not in detail no

I go on general "trends"

You're always going to get some random oddball complaining that the soap in his bathroom is the wrong color or that his hotel meal didn't come with 33 peas like he'd asked the waiter for (there were 37) or whatever.

But if somewhere has 50 reviews and 20 of them are negative and 17 of those negative ones mention the cleanliness of the room, I'd avoid.Or if 90% of the positive ones mentioned the lovely food, it would reassure me. basically i'd be looking for a large number of reviews OVER TIME that tell the story. you can't go by individual ones. just like when friends recommend places to stay or places to avoid - those are just little snapshots, but if several friends tell you to try something or avoid somewhere, there's probably a reason..!

Birdsgottafly Mon 25-Jul-11 16:40:45

The complex that i stay on regulary in Cyprus doesn't get good reviews because it isn't a drinking holiday.

Some of the reviewers have given a low score on your trip because the bar shuts at 12pm, if they are used to Marmaris then i can understand why they were disappointed.

Bodrum is nice and i would agree to shop at the markets and not in the local shop, you will get really good bargains.

Look at what the pros and cons are and decide based on what you want out of the holiday.

revolutionscoop Mon 25-Jul-11 16:40:59

Funnily enough, there was a piece in the Sunday Times yest about freelancers writing fake tripadvisor reviews for £3 a time. It said the no 1 hotel in Rome on tripadvisor is one which only opened back in April; three quarters of it's reviews were posted by unknown, one-time posters. It's chronically open to abuse.

ViolaTricolor Mon 25-Jul-11 16:44:29

The last hotel I stayed in in Spain had some bad reviews because there was "no entertainment". That clinched it for me, we had a great time.

clam Mon 25-Jul-11 16:45:48

You can tell a lot by taking a look at the reviews for somewhere you've already stayed. Then compare.

ThePathanKhansWoman Mon 25-Jul-11 16:47:10

Oh do read them for a laugh. Las year we were going on A.I to Eygpt, some of the reviews were gold,one poor unfortunate woman had fallen off a camel, and preceded to slate the hotelconfused.

Me and Dh were up for hours rolling around, Ohh and the sniping at the Russians is just so `'little Britain' IYSWIM. Hillarious grin.

<Disclaimer: Russians i have met on holidays are very nice, make a big fuss of DD and like a good time>

NotADudeExactly Mon 25-Jul-11 16:48:53

Funnily enough, there was a piece in the Sunday Times yest about freelancers writing fake tripadvisor reviews for £3 a time.

What a waste of time. Don't these places have night auditors? grin

It said the no 1 hotel in Rome on tripadvisor is one which only opened back in April; three quarters of it's reviews were posted by unknown, one-time posters. It's chronically open to abuse.

In some ways it might seem preferable to operate a system such as that on, where you can only review once you have a) made a reservation and b) your stay date has come and gone. The problem with that is that different booking channels may lead to different experiences, though. (Most top secret deals will be for cheap rooms only, never the grand uites, for example)

iklboo Mon 25-Jul-11 16:50:02

I use it as a general guide. I've seen people leave bad reviews because of poor weather, or because of roadworks outside the hotel (like it's the hotel's fault!).

PirateDinosaur Mon 25-Jul-11 16:50:42

I read them, but take individual reviews with a pinch of salt -- it's more looking for consistent trends.

Allinabinbag Mon 25-Jul-11 16:53:56

It's quite easy to spot the fake reviews. More genuine reviewers have stayed in lots of places and been posting for a while (of course a few newbies might get discounted by this method but one-off glowing reviews are really odd). You can also compare against other websites that have rankings.

I wouldn't book something off the strength of TA, but if I liked the look of something, I might check out the reviews. It's unlikely 100 people are all wrong.

higgle Mon 25-Jul-11 16:57:01

I leave a review on everywhere I stay, most of them are good ones because I also read Tripadvisor before I book. I look for good reviews that seem individual and honest and disregard any wierd negative ones. I'm also most influenced by the reviews about cleanliness and good customer service. You can read between the lines sometimes and I think a few highly renowned places are cutting corners a bit these days for economic reasons - if there is a definate pattern of minor niggles I don't book

Pandemoniaa Mon 25-Jul-11 16:59:08

Our nearest town has, according to Trip Advisor, one of the worst hotels in England, I regularly visit TA to enjoy the most recent series of horrified reviews. It's positively poetic at times! Quite why people persist in assuming things might be different given the 69-page Volume of Shame that are the reviews I do not know. But it does provide us locals with a great deal of entertainment.

rookiemater Mon 25-Jul-11 17:01:14

I tend to look at the overall star scores rather than individual reviews, in this case the highest percentage is 5 star so I don't think you have anything to worry about.

That review is hysterical btw. I can't really figure out what they are trying to say but I think its something along the lines of the buffet was nice but not very varied and it took a long time to get a drink and the floor wasn't cleaned as often as they would have liked - I could be totally wrong though.

Sidge Mon 25-Jul-11 17:03:39

I approach TripAdvisor reviews pretty much as faaaaghinatub does. I look for a common theme, if loads of people write that the food is shite and the rooms dirty then I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole but some people write some absolute tripe on there.

For example we booked an AI holiday at a hotel in Cuba; before we went I avidly read hundreds of reviews and the vast majority were very positive. Some I took with a pinch of salt - someone marked it down because the hotel didn't have free WiFi (it's Cuba not Canada...) and some said the buffet was crap because they actually had to wait whilst their food was freshly cooked to order in front of them! I mean, having to wait in a restaurant while someone cooks your order for you, the nerve of them hmm

We went and had a fab time, the hotel was lovely. Since our return I have read more reviews and wonder if some of those people actually stayed at the same hotel we did.

pineapple70 Mon 25-Jul-11 17:40:57

I couldn't work out which the linked review was maybe because I'm on a mobile but I have been caught out on a few of occasions by places that have faked their reviews. I usually check whether they have written other reviews - e.g if someone has only ever written one review saying "we travel all over the world all of the time staying a five star hotels and know absolutely everything there is to know about everything and can honestly say that blah blah is the very best b&b we have ever been to..." it sounds sus. Often people are not too bright and put the same phrases in about 15 glittering reviews.

Hope you have a great holiday!

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