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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