Hotel reviews – Tripadvisor and co

Nowadays not many people book hotels or travel to unfamiliar locations without googling venues or checking other travellers’ feedback for their opinions and experiences. Broadly speaking, hoteliers welcome reviews with open arms – constructive criticism is always valuable as the majority of good hotels constantly strive to improve their service to guests and thereby increase their appeal to more customers. Greetham Valley is no exception – we actively encourage guests to provide us with their opinions and suggestions via our in-house questionnaires and also ask them to leave a review on TripAdvisor on their return home.

But sometimes, encouraging guests to provide public reviews can backfire – review websites are by their very nature open to abuse. What happens when a guest has ulterior motives eg threatening bad publicity unless they receive ‘compensation’ for non-existent problems? Many hotels may well ‘pay off’ the guest, reasoning that refunding the price of a room is preferable to receiving a bad review and a potential decrease in ratings.

TripAdvisor encourages hoteliers to utilise the option of posting a management response to any review; this gives them the opportunity to show appreciation for the good and provide their perspective on the bad. As reviewers are unable to reply publicly to management responses, hoteliers do get to have the last word and, in the case of genuine serious issues, would invite the opportunity to have private dialogue with the disgruntled guest.

It is important for potential guests to bear in mind possible abuse of the review websites – please do look at the majority of the reviews for whatever hotel, attraction or restaurant you are considering and bear in mind possible motives behind any that seem the ‘odd ones out’.