Well, the second review titled "Bed Bugs!!!!" looks like it was done by the sort of person that was on that Channel 4 documentary about Trip Advisor.
And the owner of the apartments has posted a reply to the review which makes interesting reading !Edited: 23 February 2012, 15:43
The most recent of the negative reviewers said that it wasn't that close to the tube or conveniently situated. I looked the address up on the map and it's easy walking distance to Hammersmith tube. I'd probably go with the very good reviews. I generally, ignore the five star ones though.
Whilst all categories had multiple reviewers, it's interesting to note that few were of hotels and restaurants. Mostly they were of places to visit. This is information which I get from friends or guidebooks, not from reviews.
My main criteria for assessing reviews, especially negative ones are:
Does the poster have a history of posts and reviews or is this a one hit wonder? While one hit wonders may well be genuine I mostly ignore them.
If this review is negative, why? If it's "the towels were blue and I wanted green ones" then obviously this person can't be pleased, so I ignore.
If the poster has posted other reviews, how do they stack up? Are they mostly negative or some good, some bad? If mostly negative, this may be just a picky person, so I ignore.
I also ignore very terse reviews: "Really great. We had a good time." because I want details which give verisimilitude: "The hotel was only five minutes' walk from the tube station...there was plenty of space for our luggage...reception was helpful and friendly" etc.
In this case I would have thought it's blindingly obvious who should be believed.
Even if it were true that the place was not very near a Tube station (and it patently isn't true), that would hardly warrant the 1/5 marking, and the reviewer must surely have seen from the description before booking that there were shared bathroom facilities. They do not claim the place is dirty or the staff unpleasant (and if they could they would surely have done so), so why a 1/5 marking? Many of the sillier reviewers seem give the worst marking they can because of one thing they didn't like, which is really not the way to assess a hotel fairly.
The other bedbug nonsense screams someone who has an agenda of their own.
I totally agree with Wansteader - someone has an agenda and the bed bug claim shouldn't be taken seriously.
I always ignore one post wonders. I will always read reviews from contributors who have commented on multiple locations and are regular TA users. Like previously said on this thread, some people are incredibly picky and will vent about the most mundane things like their bathmat was too small, or there was a spot of dust behind the bed etc. While I insist that rooms be clean and tidy,comfortable bed,and an ensuite bathroom all the other necessities are just fluff, so I know when to weed out people who expecting too much for paying two star prices.
I remember reading TA reviews for a small family run hotel in Dubrovnik, Croatia, and I was amazed by the number of reviews it received from guests. When I started reading through them, several guest mentioned the only reason why they were reviewing on TA was because the owner sat them down at a computer in the lobby and told them to post something nice and they would get their free fruit basket. Like I said before, although I do find Trip Advisor a reliable source of info, a person needs to be level heading when making judgments based on reviews.
I never bother with first time posters who write a review either good or bad because I can't believe someone would write a review without ever having asked a question here before leaving for the destination.
Not sure I agree with Chrella that there is a causative linkage between initially soliciting opinions on the London forum and ultimately penning a review on Tripadvisor. I wrote my first London hotel review long before I participated in the London forum.
I completely disagree with Chrella. There are many people who post reviews who do not visit forums and vice versa. I wrote reviews for a couple of years before even knowing about the forum.
I do however dismiss 'nitpickers', tend to dismiss anyone who complain about theft or bedbugs(largely because I regard these as vexatious and people who may themselves be scam artists) and those who whine generally.. I also tend to disregard those who are overly impressed by concierges and towel warmers which suggest they are untravelled.
(It will be interesting to see if TA lets this thread continue btw.....)Edited: 23 February 2012, 18:21
Most of the time, you get what you pay for in life. Although the reviews amuse me at times, they are not pivotal to my choice of London hotel. I have built up such a good knowledge of the city over the past 35 years that it is almost second nature to me to choose high calibre hotels. Admittedly, I have made the odd regrettable choice. Of all the hotels I stayed in in London, however, the St. Martin's Lane Hotel was, to my mind, the most overpriced. It cost me a few hundred euro to stay in a small room there with outdated facilities and a tiny bathroom.
I also find that if someone (such as a conference organiser) books a hotel for me, their idea of comfortable accommodation is often a characterless two star disaster. But, hey, that's life.
I have used TA reviews for several years and have found that I need to read and figure out exactly what people are saying. For the not near the tube stop, I wouldn't count that because the comments are mostly personal preferences and they didn't like it. The positive reviews would make me discount it.
As for the bedbug review, I have to wonder at what the reviewer means by the problem not being sorted after two months. Are they still in the UK and monitoring the establishment? or do they just not like the response they have received from management. I do like the response of management -- that they did respond and in a way that didn't attack the reviewer, but said that the report on bedbugs was available for anyone to look at.