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Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Auckland Region...
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18 posts
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Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Hi all,

I just want to know your general opinion about hotel reviews in TA at the Istanbul section. I am planning to go to Istanbul for the first time and reading reviews there, I raised my doubts on its honesty.

Many hotels are filled with excellent 5 stars reviews by single-contribution reviewers. That seems staged up the hotel rank to the first pages. Some are even smarter to have several contributions but only at Istanbul or other Turkey areas with all 5 stars reviews. It seems so difficult for me to get real reviews by real travelers that share their honest opinions.

I am curious whether my feeling is similar with others.

Thanks.

Surrey, UK
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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7,098 posts
16 reviews
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1. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

There has been a lot of talk on the forum about this..... and there are doubts about some of the reviews for the reasons you have pointed out.

Generally when you are looking at reviews, pay more attention to people who have several reviews to their name, or who are established TA members. While first time posters may be genuine, they also may not (or may be the hotel owner's mother etc!!).

The other advantage of regular reviewers is that you can PM them if you want more information!

Once you have a short list of properties, come back to the forum and we may be able to give you more information too if the hotels you choose are ones that any of us have stayed in!

istanbul
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2,989 posts
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2. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

you are right in being cautious.

this subject has been covered under three threads during the last few weeks.

best thing for you could be to ask about specific hotels on the forums, or ask for recommendations by DEs.

if you have time, playing detective with the hundreds of reviews can also be fun.:)

Auckland Region...
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18 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Thank you. So my intuition was right. I used TA in other places and was always satisfied with the given reviews after I stayed.

Now, I've to be extra cautious. I'll drop by again to ask DE's for my chosen properties.

Istanbul
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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37,143 posts
66 reviews
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4. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Hi everyone,

The "one-contribution" label by TA for the poster of the hotel reviews is very misleading. I have only one hotel review with TA and more than 2400 posts at the forums as a DE. However according to TA my forum contributions do not count and in front of my hotel review I am listed as a single contributor. Now anybody reading my hotel review may think that I just wrote that review some years ago and then disappeared, unless they bother to go to my profile and see my forum contributions. Therefore "0ne time contributor" label is totally misleading and I suggest that it should not be used as a way to judge the authenticity and validity of a review. There are other and much better ways of judging the authenticity of reviews and those were discussed in an excellent thread started by former DE "otherchelebi".

enigma...

Kayakoy, Turkey
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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9,108 posts
65 reviews
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5. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Hallo!

You are very right, and recently there has been a lot going on about fake reviews either from hotel owners, or the new trick is that people who think they know really better than all the people who like it is a certain hotel, and they did not. They take 2 screen names, write a post under one name and a review under the under. And the newest one I just found out today, they can create a 3rd screen name to compliment themselves on the good review. Tricky, so read careful, and do not limit yourself to TA reviews, TurkeyTravelPlanner is a good webiste as well, the good ol' Lonely Planet of course, compare and you get a better opinion!

Cheers, good luck!

Surrey, UK
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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7,098 posts
16 reviews
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6. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Just to expand on what Enigma says - while the 'contributions' number by the hotel reviews only tells you how many hotel reviews people have made, if you click on their profile name you can find out more about them. In Enigma's case, you would then see he is a DE and an active member of TA and so you could then give his review more credence...

If someone joins, posts and vanishes on the same day, you would treat them with much more caution!

In addition, if someone posts a few hotel reviews, they are more likely to be experienced travellers with realistic expectations - and, as they bother to come back and write reviews, are more dedicated to helping other people.

Mount Dora, Florida
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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14,146 posts
245 reviews
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7. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

Every time I read a review by a first-time poster I click on the screen name to read the profile. If I find that the person has some history on a forum I give greater credibility to the review. If that person just joined TA on the date he wrote the review, and has not participated in a forum, I tend to be more suspicious.

Enigma is very right. You must check the profile before discounting a hotel review.

Sultanahmet is really a tiny community when it comes to competition. Currently many hotels are spending lots of time and energy to see their hotel in the "top ten" on TA. I think most of their efforts are legitimate, and I do not think that a review that is solicited is less reliable than one that is provided voluntarily, but I remain skeptical of the one post - no forum history review.

There is also some evidence to suggest that hotels are writing unfavorable reviews for competitive hotels, so I take those unfavorable reviews with the same test and skepticism as the single post-no history positive reviews.

Ireland
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733 posts
65 reviews
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8. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

I'd like to echo all the comments. I have found TA's Istanbul Hotels review section the least helful of all I used. I've booked many hotels on the strength of TA recommendations and have never been disappointed.

Can I suggest, in addition to asking for the forum recommendations, thay you also look at the booking dot com website? As far as I understand, the reviews posted there can only come from those who actually booked their hotel through the website and stayed there. I've done that recently and was sent a link to review the hotel I stayed at. These reviews just list the likes and dislikes but they do look rather genuine and quite helpful.

Surrey, UK
Destination Expert
for Istanbul
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7,098 posts
16 reviews
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9. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

I also admit to having no confidence whatsoever in the rankings of TA Istanbul hotels.

Hotels can open one month, and be at the top of the rankings the next (thanks to lots of one time posters), while other long-established hotels that I know have kept high standards and have lots of satisfied guests year after year, drop down the ratings.

I do however pay attention to particular reviews, and to what is said by forum members - and I do check up on people who have written positive reviews of a hotel I am interested in (or negative reviews for that matter but that seems to be less of a problem with the Istanbul hotels) to make sure they are 'real'.

As Otherchelebi and VR say, you have to be a bit of a dectective to get to the truth - and use lots of sources!

Wellington, Florida
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915 posts
156 reviews
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10. Re: Confidence level when reading hotel reviews in Istanbul

I can also report that the reviews are pretty suspicious. Also, I got three private messages when I was actively visiting this forum that constituted plain advertisement. Therefore it is best to ask the forum about some specific hotels. Thar is how I found mine...