Where are we in 2015-2016 ? Several years ago, the hotel industry was beset with a growing behemoth of "Reviews". The initial fight was to recognize that anybody could write anything about a business, and it's accuracy was often very questionable. Frenemies, ex employees, emotionally disturbed or just disgruntled persons, and of course a ligitimate arms length customer could also post a review. The initial years were difficult for the hotel owner to fend off the slander, and easier for the consumer to recognize what they were buying in regard to "Reviews" as it was easy to spot the slander. While the entire system has become much more sophisticated today, and the Review Industry has become much more responsible for any contents of Slander, which have been reduced significantly, the challenge, and indeed the new trend, is that ALL smaller and mid size hotels may now BUY Reviews from several sources. That's right, just order your 5 star, glowing and wonderful review, all for about $25.00.
Where does that leave the consumer? The industry of reviews has now come full circle. Initially, consumers had only to see through all the slander, now, they have to see through all the 5 star reviews and decide which are real.
Whats The Solution ? I don't think there is any substitute for a consumer other than a well documented website, which shows, in good detail, The Property, The Location, The Rooms, The Amenities....NO SUPRISES. Let the buyer beware by good accurate research, and let a good lodging facility facilitate ease of access of comfort to the consumer, with the information required. Not just glowing reviews....but a real, honest, forthright and WELL DOCUMENTED business website.
Value......what are you getting for your money. How can I tell what I am buying when all the hotels have 5 stars ? There simply MUST be a thorough and comprehensive property evaluation vis photo's, video's and google maps etc, in order to make this evaluation. So, in essence, even the most basic, unkempt, dirty, dishevelled accomodation could have glowing reviews, with a cheap price, no pool, old amenities,worn and uncomfortable. Check the reviews, sure, but please check the location, the video's the room video's or pictures, the grounds, the location. There is no reason not to get the TYPE of vacation you are seeking today, given a professional hotelier and a professional website, in concert with realistic reviews and a proper price. IF IT SEEMS LIKE A BARGAIN, well, you know the rest. You dio get what you pay for.