Good friends do not let friends stay in rat-bag hotels

Thanks to power of blogging, we now know that the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, SC and the Prescott Springhill Suites by Marriott in Prescott, Arizona should be avoided at all costs.

This is a great help for those who were planning to go to those two cities, but what if you were going somewhere else, like Ft Lauderdale? You can Google "Ocean Manor Resort Hotel problems" of course, but your results may vary. Where can you get relatively unbiased feedback on current hotel conditions?

After reading Marie’s rant about her hotel experience, I started checking around and discovered Tripadvisor.com. The reviews on this site are eye-opening. I never realized how hilariously bad some hotels are! Check this site out by entering your hometown hotels. You might be surprised.

If Marie had read these reviews of the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, she would never have gone near the place.

As you read reviews of different hotels, you will see a peculiar pattern of bad and rave reviews. There will be several really bad reviews and then there will be a glowing review that says everything is really first-rate, the service was excellent, the staff charming, blah, blah. It is obvious that these reviews were written about hotels in alternate universes.

My take on it is that the hotel chains have finally realized that their patrons are exposing the wretched situations that exist in some hotels, so the hotels have decided to counterattack, instead of fixing the problems.

The language of the favorable, cover-up posts is quite revealing, and is quite different than the happy traveler who says the place was pleasant and the food was OK. These glowing reports sound like press releases and they always seem to come a few weeks after the negative reports of mold in the bathroom and hairs found in the beds and sinks.

Yes, there are people who will complain about the finish on the Pearly Gates, but most travelers just want to have a safe and clean place to stay while they visit a city. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

Reviews such as the ones on tripadvisor.com will give you the good and bad points of a particular hotel so that you can make your own choices. I think these review sites are the wave of the future and can provide a nice income for those who manage them well. These people are information brokers with a new set of tools. It will be interesting to see what happens in this field.

If you have had a travel experience, good or bad, I suggest you add your comments to those already online at tripadvisor.com.

I’m sure there are other sites like this one. Do you have any favorite travel advice sites to add?

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0 Responses to Good friends do not let friends stay in rat-bag hotels

  1. Tripadvisor is a great site, and here is another great site to check out for prices. Try kayak.com

  2. Kristen says:

    Hi David,

    My mom and I relied *HEAVILY* on tripadvisor.com when planning our 2005 trip to Scotland. We made our bookings almost entirely based on the reviews on that site, and we stayed in very lovely places all around. Not a rat bag in sight. (We almost booked at a place that Scotland for Dummies recommended… but someone on TripAdvisor said they really did see rats in their room. This is the moment the site won our loyalty.)

  3. Hi Guys

    You think that Trip Advisor is only allowing people to say bad things against hotels and guest houses. There are comments made against our gust house and the people did not stay with us but with another guest house next door ie Bimini guest house. We have lost business all of June and up to last Sunday 12 August 2007 when we looked onto the web. I have attached the comments on the bottom of the page.

    I would be careful what TripAdvisor has to say about hotels and guesthouses.

    Regards

    Diane

    Hi TripAdvisor

    I have contacted some expert advisor’s and they have informed me that you should look at the TripAdvisor mapping and how close Burnetts and Bimini are together. Burnetts is at 75 Constitution Street and Bimini is at 69 Constitution Street Aberdeen and we both begin with ‘B’. Please look into this problem and ensure it is not your mapping that is causing us problems.

    Regards

    Diane

    > > Hi TripAdvisor
    >
    > This is the comments from TripAdvisor in Burnetts 4review but its actually for Bimini.
    >
    >
    > The first few lines are what is under Burnetts Guest House and any reader would not go any further. However click on the 4review and Bimini Guest house appears.
    >
    >
    >
    > We stayed at this bed and breakfast for 5 nights in June 2007 in their
    > twin bedded room.
    >
    > The place does not deserve its current ranking on trip advisor and the
    > proprietor gave me the impression that he does not value his guests.
    > Here’s why.
    >
    > Firstly, we had to wait for 10 minutes when we arrived before someone
    > opened the door . That was the proprietor Colin and he offered no apology.
    >
    > More importantly, we had asked for a quiet twin room when we made our
    > booking and we were surprised to be shown a room that faced the road. I
    > asked Colin if the room was noisy at night? He immediately looked
    > displeased, asked me what my problem was and said the noise couldn’t be
    > helped as it was the city centre.
    >
    > We sat in the room for a while and found that the traffic outside was
    > quite heavy. Considering that it was the afternoon, I was still worried so
    > my husband went to the basement to speak to Colin and he was shown another
    > room facing the back. Because the other room was not a twin room and it
    > was smaller (we had a lot of stuff with us), we decided to put up with the
    > room facing the road instead.
    >
    > It would have helped if we had been informed when we booked the room that
    > it faced the road and that there was traffic noise. The response from
    > Colin when I first asked him about the room was also most horrendous.
    >
    > Noise aside, there was no soap or shower gel provided. I requested some
    > soap and Colin gave me his displeased look again so I asked my husband to
    > help. He had to run to their `office’ in the basement to get the 4 packets
    > of shower gel. What’s worse is that these were NOT replenished during our
    > 6 day 5 night stay.
    >
    > You may consider shower gel or soap a luxury (and something for the
    > ladies) but I’m sure you would agree that toilet paper is a necessity! We
    > ran out of toilet paper on our 3rd day (there was no replenishment on the
    > 2nd day) and, having learnt my lesson, I asked Colin’s mother Molly
    > instead. She was nice and chatted with us during breakfast but still,
    > there was no toilet paper in the room when we got back from breakfast.
    > Eventually, I got my husband to run to the basement again to ask for a
    > toilet roll and he came back with one roll.
    >
    > I then went to see Colin and asked if we could have an extra one just in
    > case we ran out again. He looked visibly angry and told me off in a
    > condescending tone that he would place another roll in our bathroom later.
    >
    > In addition to the poor attitude of the proprietor, the room was not
    > fantastic either. The furnishing was plain and there were stains on the
    > carpet , which looked worn, and on the walls and door frame. They also
    > placed a dresser along one of the walls and it restricted our access to
    > the closet space.
    >
    > Although it is within walking distance of Union Street, it is still a walk
    > , and I have friends who stayed at Holiday Inn just off Union Street for
    > 15 pounds more per night. At least, I did not hear any complaints from
    > them.
    >
    > Also, I stayed in 5 other bed and breakfasts during my trip to Scotland
    > and this was the only one that was terrible. (I should mention that
    > Balloch in Isle of Skye is highly recommended. The owner Barbara was warm
    > and friendly and made us feel most welcome. Barrisdale in Glasgow was also
    > very nice.)
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > This TripAdvisor Member:
    > Liked: cooked breakfast
    > Disliked: everything I mentioned in my review
    >
    >
    >
    > Regards
    >
    > Diane
    >
    >
    >
    I am complaining because our guest house (Burnetts Guest House) comes up
    >> when the comments for Bimini Guest house should appear.Click onto google
    >> and use “guest houses in Aberdeen”. Then click on guest houses near
    >> Aberdeen. Burnetts guest house is at the top with comments from some
    > one
    >> but if you click onto the site for more details it is Bimini guest house
    >> that comes up. We would like to have this changed as it refers to us
    > when
    >> in fact it should be Bimini guest house. We would like this completed
    >> ASAP.
    >>

    >>
    >> Laws: Defamation / Libel / Slander
    >> Name: Diane Burnett

    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: This Week’s Carnival of The Capitalists
    URL: http://financialrounds.blogspot.com/2006/03/this-weeks-carnival-of-capitalists_14.html
    IP: 72.9.234.70
    BLOG NAME: Financial Rounds
    DATE: 03/14/2006 06:43:29 AM
    This week’s COTC is up at ProHipHop. My picks for this week include posts by Searchlight Crusade, Ripples, Interim Thoughts, The Coyote Within, Econbrowser, and Professorbainbridge.com. Here they are:
    —–
    PING:
    TITLE: Carnival of the Capitalists
    URL: http://www.prohiphop.com/2006/03/carnival_of_the.html
    IP: 204.9.178.8
    BLOG NAME: ProHipHop – Hip Hop Business News
    DATE: 03/12/2006 10:41:20 PM
    I’m this week’s host for the Carnival of the Capitalists, a weekly gathering of business related blog posts that adds up to over 50 briefly noted entries in this week’s edition. Next week’s Carnival of the Capitalists will appear at

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