The Art of Reviewing Hotels
Recently I’ve been spending a lot of time on the internet sussing out accommodation for an upcoming holiday. For me, a big part of deciding where to stay is reading the reviews and therefore being able to make a well-informed decision to stay at that hotel or find something better. Usually the reviews are honest, straight-forward and easy to understand … but after two days of reading reviews, I realised there must be a hell of a lot of nut jobs staying in these hotels, because some of the reviews were absolutely ridiculous!
Here is a selection for your enjoyment. These are real reviews, left on very reputable websites. Bear in mind that all of these hotels are budget, cheap, one to three star accommodations, which is made clear on the websites through descriptions, prices and photos.
“The art work on the walls was absolutely disgusting and too explicit. There were naked bodies. Disgraceful.”
The above was left by a “mature couple” who chose to stay in a hotel in Rome. Naked artwork in Rome? No way! Culture? What culture? I’m actually impressed there actually was art on the walls!
“The hot water was too hot, dangerously so.”
At least it had hot water! It made a nice change from the usual “no hot water, no water pressure in the shower!” reviews, but still, I wonder if this person knew the art of counter-acting the hot water with cold water?
“About bath, hot water did not last long, particularly after pouring bath tub fully with hot water, no more hot water was available… Run out?”
You don’t say? Perhaps you used the entire hotel’s quota of water for your one huge bath? This person can’t be serious?
“There was a bedspread in the bed that was very strange and kitsch.”
Okay, so they have crappy taste in bedding – tell me something I’m going to care about! For example, did the shower work?! Were there bed bugs?!
“4 of us wanted to pay with cards separately and they wouldn’t let us do it.”
Have you ever been to a restaurant? You’ll find they don’t want you to pay separately either, so why would a budget hotel happily sub-divide the bill into four? You book a room, you pay. One bill. Simple.
I’ve looked at some really shitty hotels over the past few days (some just out of interest) and here are some review headlines that just make me chuckle:
“I’d rather sleep on the street with the homeless!”
“Horrible hotel in the suburbs…oh yeah…blood stains!”
“WORST HOTEL IN THE WORLD”
“Below average isn’t harsh enough…”
“Blood on the ceiling, need I say more?”
“Worst Hotel Ever (Video Included)”
“IT IS ABOVE A BROTHEL!!”
But do you know what is the best about reading reviews? The websites which show two selected review headlines next to the hotel information, and the two reviews clearly clash in opinion. It’s like the hotel has a split personality and you’ve got to wonder what the hell went wrong to make one person love it and another despise it!
Jan 16, 2009: “Maybe one of the best budget hotels”
Mar 24, 2009: “Worst Hotel Ever!”
May 14, 2009: “Won’t be back!”
Apr 28, 2009: “Great place to stay”
May 12, 2009: “DO NOT EVER GO THERE!!”
May 20, 2009: “We would definitely go back anytime!”
Aug 15, 2008: “Great basic hotel”
Oct 24, 2008: “This hotel was just horrible!”
Mar 3, 2009: “Great value!”
Mar 9, 2009: “We were glad to leave!”
You’ve just gotta love hotel reviews! At first I would take every one seriously, but after a week or so, I discovered it was ridiculous to do this, because the responses are so varied. Obviously some people have a horrible stay, but you’ve got to wonder why – many bad reviews are because they checked out early (and got charged for a second night) or they demanded things the hotel simply doesn’t provide. Or their expectations were too high.
It’s done the trick though – Phill and I are now upping our price range for hotels in this particular city. We’d rather pay a little more and get better accommodation. Who knows, maybe I’ll be adding my own review when we get back, capital letters and excessive exclaimation marks galore?
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