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TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

Rehoboth Beach...
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach
Level Contributor
3,372 posts
29 reviews
TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

I just read in another thread here that some visitors only consider places rated in the "Top 25." I'm curious to get your input on this.

I have long been an outspoken critic of the ranking system here. While some (evidently) put a lot of faith in these rankings, others have noticed how completely arbitrary they can be. For the "don't trust anyone under 25" crowd, my advice would be to not keep checking the rankings, because it might shatter your faith to see how quickly they can change. And it's no wonder.

There are many reasons these rankings are flawed, and most were mentioned in the other thread, but the most glaring one is the absence of categories. Does it really make sense to any of you to be comparing a Marriott property "apples to apples" against a vintage mom'n'pop motel? Or a fast food joint rated on a level playing field against a highly regarded fine dining restaurant?

In my hometown, where we have dozens of classy restaurants, a neighborhood bar was ranked as the #1 restaurant for several weeks. A friendly place with a decent dining room and good, homecooked food, but strictly a loud, blue-collar ambience. I think it's #56 today; I guess their regulars lost interest in manipulating the rankings.

The second way TA could make the rankings more credible is to qualify the rankings. At present, it's a "free for all." You can "one dot" a place because you had to wait for an elevator or didn't like the pool attendant's attitude. Or you can "five dot" them solely because the front desk clerk was affable. How would we even know if a reviewer's criteria even remotely resembles ours? (Yes, you can sometimes "read between the lines" in these reviews.)

Besides the solicited reviews, you've got the "axes to grind" factor, the psychology factors (including the "more rants than raves" factor) locational attitudes, prejudiced reviewers, etc. etc.

I hope TA will address this someday. Until then, I don't pay much attention to these rankings. At best, they are probably reliable only for weeding out the worst places, meaning those that consistently rank near the bottom.

Edited: 14 July 2010, 12:51
Ohio
Level Contributor
114 posts
60 reviews
1. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

No. Those numbers mean nothing to me. I do however read the reviews and always check TA, among a few others, for reviews before I make my reservation. Even then, some reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Athens, Alabama
Level Contributor
3,880 posts
398 reviews
2. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

I pay no attention to those rankings. I would rather read the reviews, analyze for myself what was said and then make my own decision.

Lexington, KY
Level Contributor
19 posts
16 reviews
3. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

This is a great post. I totally agree with you. I use TA as just one way to "judge" if I would care to stay at a property. I feel like your comments also apply to restaurant reviews. Seldom is the #1 ranked place, #1 in my mind.

I am also suspect of people who give awful reviews and over-the-top glowing reviews if that is their only post.

And lets face it, people are different and travel for different reasons. I have traveled for both work and vacation and my expectations for hotels are different. High speed internet if a luxury on vacation...but a must have when I am working.

georgia
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach
Level Contributor
2,334 posts
21 reviews
4. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

I also agree with daddio. I enjoy reading the reviews and posts, but take them all with a grain of salt. The only thing that really impresses me is if they continually get reviews with the same complaints from numerous posters, then I would factor that in. One complaint about "A". "B", or"C" would not make ab impact on my choice.

georgia
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach
Level Contributor
2,334 posts
21 reviews
5. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

Don't know where the "ab" came from. I guess I need to proof read before I post.

Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
2,264 posts
41 reviews
6. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

I look at the ratings but pay more attention to the individual reviews. I skim over the nit picky reviews. You can usually tell in a few sentances if it's someone who expects the Four Seasons for $75 a night or if it's a helpful review. I look for recurring complaints or compliments regarding cleanliness, safety & value.

Raleigh, NC
Level Contributor
838 posts
140 reviews
7. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

I think the OP should give reviewers more credit. Most people give an overall rating that takes different factors into consideration.

That being said, individual reviews are often all over the map. I read most of them, discount the very good and very bad, and pick up an aggregate view. I think they're extremely helpful, personally.

Fort Erie, Canada
Level Contributor
33 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

Agree with mooth!!

Edited: 15 July 2010, 17:32
Bethpage NY
Destination Expert
for Myrtle Beach
Level Contributor
3,367 posts
249 reviews
9. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

When I am looking for a resort to stay in I read many reviews on TA,however, there are reviews where people had specific problems with checking in,fees,billing,etc which may not reflect the quality of the resort.I also realize that places thar are obviously not as nice as many other places get great reviews because the patron are expecting less and are happy just on a value basis. I think the most important # on TA is the % who recommend the resort. To be honest I have not stayed in a place outside of the top 10-15 and in the vast majority of time I have been extremely happy. If you research properly you can eliminate almost all of the suprises and you know what your getting prior to arrival. Since TA doesn't seperate properties by class or costs then it's up to us to do it.

Pawleys Island SC
Destination Expert
for Pawleys Island, Murrells Inlet
Level Contributor
1,444 posts
139 reviews
10. Re: TA hotel/restaurant rankings...do you "go by the numbers?"

Personally, I like rankings but completely agree they are diminished by an abundance of problems. The ones that bother me the most are submitted by users with a total of 1 or 2 contributions. At some point, everyone writes their first review, but I question the wisdom of including reviews by contributors who have never participated in the forums to at least some minimum level of postings.

I recently came across an excellent example where a very good, long established restaurant was trashed by three consecutive extremely poor reviews. All three reviewers had a total of 1 contribution each. Can I prove they were all 3 written by the same person? Of course not, but I firmly believe they were. Those types of problems de-value the contributions made by all the honest TA contributors.