There was a time I was helping a friend find a hotel room for her vacation. I checked many websites, and found the Red Roof Inn. They had really good reviews, so I suggested she’d book it. And she did. But when she got there, her room was in horrible condition. She then had to find another hotel. I asked myself, how did that happen? Then I went back to the website and saw there were a lot of bad reviews as well, I was mesmerized by all the good reviews! This turned out to be a learning experience.
Sorry to say, but we live in a world where people are paid leave good reviews. Sometimes, there are the owners or employees themselves! But there are ways to decipher between the real and fake. Here are a few things you can look for.
Yes, I know this seems cliché. But it is crucial to look at the bad reviews first no matter how much we want to stay at that particular hotel. If you see there are tons of 5 and 4-star reviews, then 1 or 2-star reviews of equal or greater value, good chance most of those good reviews are fake. Make sure you go directly to the bad reviews. Sometimes the reviewers will tell you straight up “the good reviews are fake” or “don’t listen to the good reviews”. They more than likely had a bad experience already.
Look for reviews with the traveler’s photos. Not the property manager’s, which are typically edited or outdated. Most sites like TripAdvisor (known to harness fake hotel reviews) will tell you which are travelers and which are not. Make sure you look at the most recent photos which will give you an idea of how the place currently looks. Sometimes you will find reviews of the worst conditions, and be glad you didn’t book!
Typically fake reviews will be more “general” using phrases that sound more like an advertisement. The real ones are usually the ones that are personal and lengthy. When I mean by personal, they may include their husband (wives usually write the reviews), or kids, or even an employees names.
The real reviews will also give you tips. Those tips will include what to do in the area, how far are restaurants, if you need a rental car, or best times to do a leisure activity.
There you have it! Make sure you take these tips into consideration before you book your next hotel. But just don’t limit these tips to a hotel. You can use these tips for flights, tours, or car rentals. Safe travels!