We’ve all heard the scams about cockroach infested hotels, legionnaire’s disease, unclean nylon sheets, paint peeling off the walls, dirty windows….if you’ve watched ‘The Hotel’ in the UK you’ve probably seen some of them. Fawlty Towers is not the done thing these days. There are many ways to book your holiday and choose your hotel online. Probably two of the most well-known if you are in the UK are trivago.co.uk or tripadvisor.co.uk where you can read reviews about your hotels and rate them yourself. One such example is the IBEROSTAR Anthelia hotel in Tenerife, one of the most popular all-year-round holiday destinations for Brits.
There are literally hundreds of reviews online now. The Iberostar Anthelia hotel, for example has close to 3,000 reviews to date on Tripadvisor. The review rating is out of five stars and is classified on tripadvisor.co.uk as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’, ‘average’, ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’. If you’re wise, you can trust the people. It’ll save on the budget Budapest ‘hotel’ that turns out to be a youth hostel and doesn’t have towels any bigger than a flannel and is full of students. Mind you, if that’s your thing, you must read the reviews…
With the insurance claim culture so high, hotels and other tourist attractions are bending over backwards to get you to write good reviews for them. In a restaurant in Madrid my party gang showed the Lonely Planet review of the restaurant and got it free meal for all of us – it does have its perks. As the waiter ran off to photocopy the review for the rest of the staff, they upped their game and smiled a lot and let us stay late into the night when most people had left.
Tripadvisor and Trivago give an overview of amenities in the hotel, let you know about wifi signal availability (in the rooms or the lobby for instance), whether there’s a pool or spa – it even rates the breakfast and offers information on whether there is air-con.
The hotels are writing back too – this is their chance to put the record straight if they are criticised, or welcome the praise. Online reviews are now a two-way dialogue and reviewers can sometimes be a little too harsh with their criticism. It gives a chance for neutrality to be achieved.
Online reviews are the world we live in, we have reviews for almost everything we buy online now. Amazon.co.uk will give you feedback and offer you ideas about what other people who bought your item bought, you can review literally most things you buy somewhere online. The digital footprint just got onto higher ground and you’d be a fool not to a part of it. If you go on holiday based on a sales rep telling you it’s a great place, you’re not considered ‘with it’. The majority of people take a sneaky peek at what their hotel is like before stepping there. Don’t be a fool – make sure you are not the one with critters in your bed… join the online reviewing revolution! Vivre la revolution!