Finding a bad place to stay can ruin a trip, or even your entire impression of a city. Lacking personal recommendations, you may turn to online reviews to help you find a place to stay. But how can you tell shill reviews from real ones? Other than an air of general fakeness, AOL Travel tells you what to look for in hotel reviews specifically.
1. Look for superlatives. – If it sounds like it was written by an over-caffeinated marketer, it probably was.
2. Look for the standouts. – Exceptionally good or bad reviews that don’t mesh with others from the same time period are a sign of fake reviews.
3. Look for references to other properties. – Comparisons to competing hotels in the same city could be placed there by – gasp! – people working for those competing hotels.
4. Look for reviewers with no track record. – They might be accounts set up specifically to review that particular hotel…not world travelers.
5. Look out for a lack of experience. – Similarly, if someone brags about being a “world traveler” right off, they may not be.
6. Look out for the warning. Tripadvisor puts a warning on reviews they find suspect.
7. Look for lingo. The AOL article warns you to be wary of reviews obviously not written by native English speakers, but we’d extend this to mean that you should also look out for hotel industry jargon that you or another regular traveler wouldn’t use.
8. Look for generalizations. – If someone really stayed there, wouldn’t they have specific anecdotes?
9. Look for photos. – Candid photos with people in them are a good sign of a real review.
10. Look for quick reviews. – Similar to #8, people who haven’t actually stayed in the hotel may write hasty reviews with sketchy details or none at all.
Do you depend on reviews when choosing a hotel? If so, where do you find them?
(Photo: Great Beyond)