I want to keep it real on Europe a la Carte. Many hotel and restaurant reviews seem to be a mixture of pure fluff, implausible if the reviewer hasn’t actually stayed or eaten there, based on unrealistic expectations, or used as an excuse for a negative rant. Although I often stay in hotels and eat at restaurants on a complimentary basis in exchange for a review, I do try to be objective. Anything else if pretty useless to readers.
I’d write the same travel reviews whether I stayed/ate free or paid for it myself. I let you know in the first paragraph of my reviews if I stayed or ate at the establishment free of charge, so that you can factor that into your assessment of my review.
My reviews predominately feature my own photos, rather than taking the glossy, professional photos from the hotel or restaurant’s own site. I also put my video of the room into my recent hotel reviews, to give you a better feel for the place than just from photos. Now, my own photos aren’t always great – I find taking decent photos of food in restaurants in the evening pretty hard – but at least they show that I’ve been at the hotel or restaurant. If I’m critical of something, I try to be constructive and realistic.Â After I criticised the lack of real fruit juice and fresh fruit on the breakfast buffet at one hotel, the manager emailed me to say they were going to change these items. If there’s poor WiFi in a hotel it’ll drive me mad, but this may not be something that will influence your decision if you don’t plan to be online during your stay.
At the end of the day, it’s only my opinion, but I hope it’s one on which you can rely to be honest and, as far as possible, objective.