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hotel reviews: validity

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hotel reviews: validity

Hey guys, we were looking for a hotel near termini station under a budget. We booked a hotel and then realised some/most of the pictures posted were fake/tailored. The hotel still gets 4.5 rating with 600 reviews. Can this be right?

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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83,916 posts
13 reviews
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1. Re: hotel reviews: validity

Yes. There is no checking of the people who submit reviews. They may have stayed at the hotel, or they may not. They might be an employee of the hotel, or they might be an employee of a competitor.

San Francisco...
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2,067 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: hotel reviews: validity

Fake/tailored? How do you know? Inside info? I rarely look at the "Hotels" photos...I pay more attention to the "Travelers" photos. The 'Hotels" photos were taken when the furnishings were "new" and the furnishings could now be 10-20 years old! They certainly don't want to show you tired and worn beds, tables, and chairs.

And also...if you are paying 75 euros a night for a room and it's clean and comfortable, and the staff does a good job, you are going to give it a good rating...right! What a deal...I was expecting a dump...wow! On the other hand some people who pay 350 euros will pan a hotel when the A/C is noisy and their pillow is to hard or soft.

Be specific...take all reviews with a 'grain of salt', throw out the best and the worst reviews and read between the lines.

Edited: 08 August 2014, 07:49
York, United Kingdom
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428 posts
10 reviews
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3. Re: hotel reviews: validity

If you're looking at reviews here on TA use the same rule of thumb as I do and ask myself "Does this person post on forums?" . If they post here across a range of subjects the chances are that they're straight. A good review - even a glowing review (or, of course, the opposite) - is no real indicator that the writer has an axe to grind. I only tend to write good ones, because a negative one tends to carry much more wieght and inflicts more lasting damage on a business which may have just been having a bad day. That said, I've rarely encountered service bad enough to warrant it. Perhaps I'm just easy to please. By and large I take people at their word, but if they have a couple of hundred forum posts to their name the chances are they can't all be about praising some taxi company or another to the skies. And you can engage them yourself, using the "ask so-and-so a question about..." If they post often they'll soon pick up the message and respond.

Cheshire, United...
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6,063 posts
230 reviews
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4. Re: hotel reviews: validity

Check the hotel reviews on Venere.com or booking.com as those are from verified guests, you cannot write a review with either without having stayed at the hotel

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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31,829 posts
16 reviews
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5. Re: hotel reviews: validity

I agree with both Jessybobs and Muse4Life, I check reviews on venere.com and only pay attention to reviews on TA from posters who have a history with TA. Those who only post reviews or don't have any forum posts are the ones I don't bother with on TA. There really is no way to tell if a review is fake but if someone is posting regularly on the forums you can be pretty sure they are posting about a real experience and are not working for or against the hotel in question.

Donna

Brussels, Belgium
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31,643 posts
3 reviews
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6. Re: hotel reviews: validity

"Can this be right?" in what way? It is not impossible for a place to get a 4.5 rating with 600 reviews: why not? But whatever information you are looking at, anywhere, on any topic, you have to be able to distinguish opinion from fact and also consider that opinions may or may not be genuine, but positive or negative advertising (brochure-speak is a dead giveaway). You can't be so naive as to think that just because you read something on TA (or in a newspaper..), it must be true, accurate, or in line with what you yourself would have seen or commented on in the same way in the same circumstances.

Reading TA reviews should in any case not be the only research you do, and if the fact that they cannot all be trusted scandalises you, I would advise not using them at all. Make your own mind up about a place from other information you can find online and in guidebooks - where you also have to read between lines.

For the record, I spent a lot of time reviewing hotels I had stayed at in Bhutan last November, uploading photos etc. - and TA has not seen fit to publish them (even though none of them could be considered as slanderous!). TA is not the neutral platform people seem to assume it is, it has a commercial agenda - that doesn't mean it isn't useful, but the system has its limits.

Seattle, Washington
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3,048 posts
21 reviews
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7. Re: hotel reviews: validity

It would be helpful to know what you mean by "fake or tailored". Not surprisingly, photos posted by a business are going to cast it in a favorable light, and not include photos of the McDonald's that they're built over. (That actually happened to us with a room we almost booked in Ostia Lido.)

I look for recent reviews by people who have posted in forums and/or who have posted a lot of other reviews. I completely ignore those with only one review. I also sort the reviews in date order, regardless of language, so I can get a more accurate picture of recent reviews.

York, United Kingdom
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428 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: hotel reviews: validity

I'm not convinced of the "validity" angle as applied to Venere, actually. Only last night I was looking through the reviews there for a hotel I know intimately. Much was made in that review of the reviewers dislikes of one or two aspects of their accomodation, and - it goes without saying - they were perfectly within their rights to voice their displeasure. However I know that both of the things they were complaining of would {not simply *could*} have been sorted out if they'd simply talked to any of the hotel's concierge staff about matters. Another review complained that certain other guests were making a noise at night, not a complaint reflective of the hotel itself, yet still likely to have a negative impact on the reader. So by all means read and be informed by Venere. But remember that the same caveats apply to that site as any, and the reader should ask themselves as many questions about its "validity" as they would when reading reviews here at TA. Read between the lines and any advertising or foul play should become much easier to see.

Ian
Leeds U.K.
Destination Expert
for Costa del Sol
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11,007 posts
40 reviews
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9. Re: hotel reviews: validity

I have spent more hours then I dare think about reading reviews for our trip next month.

I think by about 50 reviews you can start to make a judgement on the hotel, then using the search on this forum you can see what has been written in addition.

Its vital you have listed the needs your hotel must provide, it can take less then 3 reviews to show the hotel not for you.

Some peoples issues can have no impact on your requirements, for me that well known programme Location, location, location is the key.

I need to find my location then start a search for the hotel, unfortunately the internet often does not seem to have a clue on a location, stating in your area of need, when on the 4th map you find it is miles away.

pittsburgh
Destination Expert
for Rome
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31,829 posts
16 reviews
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10. Re: hotel reviews: validity

I know for a fact that you cannot post a review on Venere.com without having stayed at the hotel. They send you a link to post a review after the stay is completed. Yes, some people have a very low tolerance for what they consider okay or not okay but the reviews are by actual clients and are not faked where on some sites anyone can write a review, even if they have never stayed at the property.

Donna