Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Telling It As It Is

I rely on TripAdvisor alot when researching on hotels. Firstly, the search engine allows you to simultaneously search for room availability on multiple websites, mainly Travelocity, Orbitz, Expedia and Hotels.Com. Also, reviews posted by other travellers are a major consideration when choosing a hotel to stay in. Of course, all reviews must be taken with a pinch of salt - you never know if a negative review was submitted by a competing hotel out to slime and shame its neighbours.

There are a few considerations I go by when reading a review:

(1) How long ago it was posted (things could have changed since then)

(2) Profile of the reviewer (parents concerned for their children's welfare, or a couple of senior travellers, would have different lodging needs from us)

(3) Nature of the trip (honeymoon vs backpacking/budget trip)

(4) Amount paid for one night's stay (it can vary, depending how/when you booked the room)

We usually go for the cheapest room available for the dates we need a room for. Most of the time, the cheap rooms get u
tterly scary reviews on TripAdvisor. We only decide against a hotel if ALL the reviews posted are negative. If it's a general mix of the Good, the Bad and the Average, we will give the hotel a chance.

Travellers take the time and effort to put in review, be it good or bad, and we've be
en taking advantage of their goodwill in planning our trip. Thus, I've decided to return the favour and write reviews for TripAdvisor as a service to fellow travellers.

Since we're homeless nomads who change hotels more often than we change our clothes (haha, gross but true), I don't write reviews for every single place we spend a night in. I only do so when the hotel has:

(1) Performed exceptionally well - usually good, clean rooms + warm service;

(2) Received a string of poor reviews but turned out to be decent. I would like to think that my review can help salvage its image; or

(3) Given us a less-than-satisfactory experience and doesn't deserve other travellers' money.

My most recent review on Swiss Cottage Inns in Niagara Falls (on the New York side) has been submitted
but yet to be posted (TripAdvisor takes a couple of days to scan each post for expletives and whatnot.) I'll post a link to my less-than-sterling review once TripAdvisor puts it online.

Here's my
review on Sleep Inn (what a corny name!) in Denver. Since TripAdvisor has yet to upload my photo of the room, I've provided it here. The review sounds rather gushy, but it was really that good, especially since it was just US$38 per night!

We heeded Sleep Inn's advice and slept in ALOT in this room!


Yeepster said...

Looks like a nice cosy room. Yeah, I also relied on Trip Advisor for my Melbourne acomm. Usually I just check the following: a) popularity index (Top 3 if small town otherwise top 10) and b) total no. reviewers. And they've got these nifty 'Top or Best Value' labels. If only I did that for Rome last year.... sigh...

Yi Lin said...

Yeah, I've 2 best friends on this trip - TripAdvisor and MapQuest. TripAdvisor has compiled a PDF brochure of the Top or Best Value lodgings as voted by their users. Should check it out.

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