Hotel hunting? Check the reviews.

Our family finalized all the plans for our annual vacation to San Diego this summer. This year, instead of staying with my sister as usual, we decided to get a hotel room instead. We found that getting our room through Hotels.com was the best deal, as they shaved $30 or more dollars a night off the price than the actual hotel did. But another cool feature? They allow guests to post their own photos of the hotel on their site.

My daughter and I were perusing the other hotels after we chose the one we were going to stay in, mostly to drool over the ones that were way out of our price range. And in our search, we found some at obscenely low prices as well. We clicked on one, and that’s when we discovered the guest photos. And we also discovered WHY some of these hotels were so inexpensive:

Here is a lovely picture of a victim of BED BUG BITES.

We were dying, we were laughing so hard! I mean, it’s so not funny. It’s actually really gross. But looking through all the photos, there was an obvious discrepency between the photos the hotels supplied and the real photos that guests supplied. There weren’t just pictures of bed bugs (and yes, there were actual pictures of the critters themselves), but of how tiny the rooms and beds were, how some doors didn’t even clear the bed, how the heater was old fashioned and behind the bed, how the mold in the bathroom had obviously been growing for quite some time…

Most people will book their hotel online. Obviously, that means you are not seeing the hotel in person and are relying on the website to show you where you’ll be staying. And if it’s a place that you’ve never been before, there is reason to be a little on guard. My tip for the day? Before booking your reservation, be sure to check out the comments, and photos if they have them, from guests who have actually stayed at the hotel.

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3 thoughts on “Hotel hunting? Check the reviews.”

  1. I have worked in the hotel industry and have learned that you always need to take everything you read on online review sites with a grain of salt. In the past I have witnessed members of my own company post bogus reviews tearing the competition apart while posting bogus ones on our own site building the hotel up. I’ve also seen past employees who were disgruntled with management post bogus negative reviews as well. I’ve learned that while sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp seem to provide the greatest volume of reviews, they are not always the most accurate. You can gather fair information on them, and you can generally throw out the REALLY bad reviews as well as the ones that sound like they were written by a marketing guru and find some truth in between. Overall the best places to look for honest and accurate reviews are on the major travel websites like Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, etc. These sites generally require that the person has booked that particular hotel through their site in order to post a review, thus removing most if not all of the B.S.

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