NY Hotel Fines Brides And Grooms $500 For Each Negative Review Posted By Their Wedding Guests

This is a generic hotel room. (frankieleon)

This is a generic hotel room. (frankieleon)

UPDATE: After hundreds of outraged posts on social media sites, the hotel addressed its Facebook audience early Monday afternoon to say the negative review policy was all just a big misunderstanding.

The post is enough to make someone wonder if in addition to apparently not knowing how the internet works, the hotel in question also doesn’t appear to know much about inside jokes – or that they should, you know, stay between the staff.

“The policy regarding wedding fines was put on our site as a tongue-in-cheek response to a wedding many years ago. It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced.”

Their explanation really brings up more questions than it does answers. First of all, if the wedding happened “many years ago” does that mean the policy has been posted for years? Also, how do they explain the commenter who reportedly received emails containing alleged financial threats over a negative review?

——-ORIGINAL STORY———

Between food, booze, flowers, decorations, and the millions of other tiny little things everyone has come to expect, weddings can be quite costly. One thing the bride and groom probably didn’t count on paying for: their guests’ negative online reviews of the hotel venue.

A Hudson, NY, inn now charges the bride and groom $500 for every negative review posted about the establishment on the internet, The New York Posts’ Page Six reports.

The boutique hotel’s website provides details about the fairly strict policy:

Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our Inn, your friends and families may not. This is due to the fact that your guests may not understand what we offer…If your guests are looking for a Marriott type hotel they may not like it here.

Therefore: If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at [The Hotel] there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of [The Hotel] placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event.

The policy doesn’t just cover weddings that occur at the inn, either.

If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.

The hotel notes that the fine will be refunded to the guest or the couple if the offending review is removed from the internet.

A post on the hotel’s Yelp page from November 2013 details the company’s attempts to have the former guest remove a negative review he made two months earlier.

The management of this hotel had the gall to email us twice to threaten us financially about the negative review!

Here is an excerpt from their first email:
“please note that your recent on-line review of our Inn will cost the wedding party that left us a deposit $500. This money be charged via the deposit they have left us unless/until it is removed. Any other or future reviews will also be charged to the wedding party (bride & groom) from the guarantee they have provided us.

Aside from charging for negative reviews, the hotel has other strict policies including canceling at your own risk.

The hotel states that it only accepts cancellations via email and will approve at its own discretion. However, the hotel can not make exceptions for any reason including “weather, family issues, personal issues, illness or anything that is not something we can control.”

Since the Page Six story appeared Monday morning the hotel has received considerable backlash from consumers on sites such as Facebook and Yelp.

Hotel fines $500 for every bad review posted online [New York Post Page Six]

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  1. ResNullum says:

    So even if the negative review is valid, they will still charge you or the bride and groom? And someone thought this wouldn’t be detrimental to their image? I’m nearly certain if I look through their Yelp reviews I’ll find a link to the Wikipedia article on the Streisand effect.

  2. MathManv2point0 says:

    They’re still 4 out of 5 in tripadvisor. To the Internets!!

  3. Raekwon says:

    It looks like they tried editing out that rule about the $500 fine. The first paragraph is still there but I didn’t see the second that details the fines.

  4. MarthaGaill says:

    I don’t understand how it’s right to charge the bride and groom for someone else’s review.

  5. ophmarketing says:

    Sounds like they don’t understand how reviews–or the Internet–work.

  6. Xenotaku says:

    Wow, I’m reading their policies… if you cancel a reservation (not the wedding, your individual room), it has to be 61 days in advance (most hotels have 30 days), they decide whether or not to accept it, there’s a /minimum/ $35 fee (they say it’s $35, but then elsewhere note “other fees”), and if you don’t pay it, they charge the bride and groom for it.

    Oh, and if you reserve the whole place, and there’s unused rooms? You forfeit your entire deposit (which is probably much higher than the cost of those rooms).

    I do note that any mention of this $500 fee is nowhere in their “Events and Weddings” section anymore.

    [edit]
    Reading further, I see that the 61 days is only for wedding guests, it’s 15 days for everyone else. Also, in their “Rates & Policies” section, they contradict the wedding section by saying that the party will be charged the cost of the unused rooms, whereas the other section says they forfeit their entire deposit.

  7. ReverendTed57 says:

    Seems like an excellent policy. Just be a jerk to your guests and guarantee yourself an extra $500 income when they complain about it!

  8. Snarkapus says:

    “Hello Streisand Effect? Yeah, Union Street Guest House here…..”