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How reliable do you find Trip and other site reviews?

Posted by lsst (My Page) on
Mon, Sep 8, 08 at 22:12

I post on a lot of other forums but am planning a trip.
When I plan a trip, I do an internet search on places and Trip and other travel sites always comes up with reviews. Do you find them reliable?

It seems when someone posts a negative review- the owner posts a response against the review. I know the owner has a right but how do I tell the real truth? I do not want to find out once I get there.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

I used reviews from Tripadvisor for my Napa vacation and I was completely happy with everything. I don't think it was because of all the wine that I consumed LOL.

Hope that helps you a bit.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

I've used Tripadviser for the past 3 or 4 vacations I have taken mainly to check out the hotels I'd be staying at. The thing I have learned is that there's always someone that will complain. I look at the reviews as a whole. If 9 out of 10 say the food is bad, for example, then the food is probably bad. All in all, I have found Tripadviser fairly accurate on the reviews.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

I also use tripadvisor. I agree someone will always complain.

The last time we needed a hotel (very last minute emergency) the hotel we wanted because of location, we hesitated to book because of a review...
It ended up being where we stayed anyway. So it was a great help to us in locating what we needed!

I don't recall if this is still the case, but at one time you could email the person leaving reviews. I did this the very first time we used it years ago before they changed. We stayed in a very nice chalet in Gatlinburg based on thier review and email reply.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

Since anyone can post a review, there might be some false or "planted" ones. So in addition to reading those, do a search in their forums for the name of the hotel. The forums are NOT the same as the hotel reviews. The forums are where someone asks a question and other people write back. When someone mentions a place, then click on their name and check to see when they registered. If they registered as trip advisor members that same day, you cant trust their review. People on the forums are more likely to be long term members who know a lot about the area they are discussing.

I did a lot of research in Trip advisor before a long trip a year ago. I found the forums to be pretty reliable, and the hotel reviews more subject to bias or plants. Keep in mind that unhappy people are more likely to post a complaint than happy ones are to write a positive review.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

Tripadvisor, a great forum for sharing travel information is like most things open to misuse and or abuses by some individuals. The thing about tripadvisor is that anyone can say pretty much anything and you can't be sure they don't have another agenda. Whether it�s the proprietor trying to improve his rating, a competitor trying to drive another�s down or disgruntled employees with an axe to grind you need to take individual reviews especially the extreme ones with a grain of salt. Tripadvisor not only does not have the ability to sort out bogus reviews they won't allow the business owners to mention that this may be the case in their responses. So basically their policy is that they are above reproach and will not allow any criticism regarding the validity of the posted reviews or their screening system. The best thing to do is one: take an overview of all the reviews to get a more accurate picture of a business�s performance and two: be leery of postings from reviewers with only one review and little or no personal information.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

I'm convinced that vacation disappointments are almost always the product of incorrect expectations or assumptions. If you know what you're getting into, you can avoid most of this.

That said, different people have very different definitions and expectations based on their personal taste and lifestyle. I think sites like these are extremely helpful for getting first-hand accounts from people who let you know their priorities - why they liked or disliked a business or experience. Sometimes you'll find a bad review and you'll be thinking "that's exactly what I'm looking for! I would have given 5 stars for that!" I think it's mostly unvarnished personal experiences lacking in ulterior motivations. You have to interpret, too. Like people who give a $50 hotel room in a resort town a bad review for lacking amenities, bad part of town, dirty, older decor, noisy, etc... Most would think "well ya got what ya paid for!"

Love the forums.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

I like to look for specific information such as the beach had lots of debris or it was slanted downward and was just a strip of sand and it smelled bad because they are not allowed to disturb the seaweed due to the turtles and sometimes fish die in there during tide. Also on one island there was an endless death of horseshoe crabs on the beach. They are so prehistoric looking and it was sad that they were washed up and then died on shore. I was always out before they were cleaned up. Ok, so specific info like that is very helpful. The food was awful and the service was bad is not going to help me that much. Other info I like to find out is how far it is to walk here and there the size of the room or orientation what is nearby that could be annoying, what type of clientele all of that is valuable to me and what I like to know. I want to know if my hotel is the favorite of frat boys and girls gone wild before I book my vaca or conversely if every young family with screaming toddlers thinks this is the greatest then it's not going to be my romantic getaway.

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

What everyone [above] said! :)

I do reviews when I can and answer questions on the forums.
I try to be as honest as possible, but it is MY opinion.
I may be happiest eating at diners and you want 4* food.

I myself read multiple reviews when planning and get a composite picture. If the person who complained is dead wrong, I will come back and write "I never saw any mice in my room and I kept cheese there!"

If there are 38 recent reviews I don't add one. If there are no recent ones, or only a few comprised of little info, I will try to flesh out the picture, so to speak. Some write how much fun they had but no details. I try to include "many steps", or "good access for mobility impaired".

With the forums, I don't bother if the person has had 10 different suggestions already what-to-do-with-one-free-day etc. (sort of like on here...LOL!)

The thing that bothers me most is too many self-proclaimed experts that try to steer people in the same directions. It's like they are waiting there to pounce! I will chime in to offer a different option no one mentioned.

I really do TRY to help people, but take it all with a grain of salt just the same. :)

Oh, and I use a different name on there. ;)

RE: How reliable do you find Trip and other site revi

I do my research myself by calling the hotels. There is a travel section in our Sunday newspaper and the columnist settles complaints between the hotel and the guests, usually caused by the online reservations and information. He recommends you call a hotel you like and see if they have one where you are going, get your information from the hotel itself. I Google the city or cities to check for lodging then called them. My favorites are the Drury Inns.

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