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Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

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Middle Tennessee
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Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...


I'm really curious about something that isn't really specific to Gatlinburg, but I've seen it twice there and you guys on the Gatlinburg board are really nice.

I'm always on a budget, whether I'm travelling for business or pleasure. I look at maps of places and reviews of hotels I'm looking at staying with, but over the past few months, I have stayed in a few places that had awful reviews to get a good price. Each time, I have been pleasantly surprised with the facilities and service at these hotels.

I guess what I'm asking is, am I just a cheapo who's willing to overlook things for the sake of price, or do other people expect to stay at the Ritz when they are really on a No-Tell Motel budget?

I do realize that I'm a guy of large physical stature, and I don't drive a car anybody in their right mind would steal. So I don't worry about those things like some others might.

Maybe some of you have some insights here. I just had this thought on the way home today and wondered what some of you might say.

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1. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

There was a post and discussion a while back on the same subject.

IMHO some reviews are so askewed from one terrible etreme to over the top praise.

I think several owners of motels and cabins log onto forums like TA anonomyously and puff their own establishments.

Then there are posters that just cannot be pleased and complain about everything.

It is a shame, because both of these actions make it hard for us to get accurate reviews. You must read a lot of reviews and hope the majority is correct.

Columbia, South...
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2. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

Hi D -

(I can't call you "delicious"... that title is reserved for my dh, sorry!)

I think you nailed it about expectations... a lot of people really don't do their homework and are therefore surprised about what they end up with, then they feel cheated and want to complain.

The "fun part" about these reviews is that they make the reader play psychologist. In a detailed review, I can usually tell by tone and content whether someone's nitpicking. That helps me to know whether or not to ignore the complaint. Of course, if most reviews are consistently bad, I would think that's usually reliable.

As far as wildly varying reviews for a single hotel, I encountered that for a lovely budget hotel I stayed at in Waikiki. The reviews were about half stating "terrific" and the other half "never again!". Maybe $100/night gets them a new Hampton Inn where they come from, but it will only get them an old Econolodge in Hawaii. Again, knowledge is power.

Then again, you just might be a cheapo! Which is a HUGE blessing... I'm sure you have much more fun since you aren't upset by everything!

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3. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...


I too love to call myself "thrifty" or "cheap". Afterall, look how much money we save to enjoy other things while traveling and vacationing. I love a great motel for a bargain and religously use truck stop motel/hotel discount coupon books.

.I study TA reviews carefully as DP said. You can just about tell nitpicking and I LOL when someone ask for a "luxury" accomodations. Luxury to me is clean, good location for great rates.

As JMH said, you get both worlds on here. Read between the lines of bad reviews and watch out for posters marketing their properties with rave reviews/posts with pics of their properties.

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4. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

I agree with dplady&Bsmith.You have to do a little homework if you are looking for specifics.We have scouted out places when we are on vacation and asked for a peek inside if we have been curious.Most everywhere we have looked at the mgmt. has been very nice and accomadating.If they weren't then we crossed that off our list.I too have been suspisious of certain properties with a glorious review after a bad one.Most motels/hotels in the Mountain area are a bit dated and may not have all the luxuries of a five star but as long as I know that, I am fine with that as long as it is squeaky clean and quiet and has reasonable rates.We have our favorites that we seem to go to over and over again and we look forward to each trip.

Great Smoky...
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5. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

Enough said.

Orange Beach
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6. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

A lot of cheap women on this board - and men. Often when we are traveling, we will decide on a moment's notice to take off. A lot of those times we won't have reservations for hotels or cabins. We'll just roll into town and look for a place to stay. If it's not October or July, we actually will go to the motel - ask if they have a room and then ask to see the room before hand. Sometimes it shocks them and sometimes they say no. If they say no, then we leave, because if they're too afraid to show us the room before hand, we're pretty sure it's "not up to standards". If we go in and ask for non-smoking and then go in and the room reeks of cigarettes then we'll ask to see another. Most hotels are pretty accomodating and some will actually give us several room keys and we can pick our own. If we choose a room right on the parkway and they have given us other options, then the noise is our fault. Don't be afraid to ask. We've been in almost every hotel establishment in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg so we know what we're getting before we put the money on the counter. We've also found in the slow seasons, if they know you are scouting around from one hotel to another they'll throw out and extra special deal to keep you there. We've ended up in some really nice rooms with jacuzzi tubs, fireplace, kitchenettes, kind bed, balcony, etc. and paid $20.00 night in off season - all from asking to see the room prior to registering. Happy Hunting and Merry Christmas.

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7. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

I agree with the rest of them: You really have to read into the reviews to see the tone and asking to see the room before you decide on it is fantastic!

Franklin, TN
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688 posts
3 reviews
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8. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

One thing I look at is the nature of the negative review. Was it a rude employee, or the overall state of the facility. If the former, everyone is entitled to a bad day, or perhaps they didn't meet someone's high expectations. If the latter, you should be able to distinguish that the overall facility is not acceptable.

Look at other sites. Also check the dates of the reviews. One that is a couple of years old may not reflect the current status of the facility.

Lastly, do like I do, throw out the best and the worst, and see what's left.

9. Re: Cheap (thrifty?) traveler curious about bad reviews...

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