What do you look for in a review? With so much information now freely available on the internet, from industry reviews to blogger accounts, who do you trust?
Having recently reviewed the Four Seasons Resort in Whistler, it made me think about a review in general. Should it be short or long, to the point or in great detail? It is something which I have deliberated over for a while and after writing in a more prose like style, I finally settled on a more structured approach under certain headings. It is easier to read particularly if you are glancing at it and just want to see a general overview. This does however come down to personal preference, a factor which is clearly apparent in the world of hotel reviews.
It has been widely reported that Trip Advisor can be extremely damaging to smaller hotels and although it is obviously a huge resource for travellers, it is not something I would always put my faith in as I don't know the reviewer and reviews can be so subjective.
Subjective reviews are not unique to Trip Advisor. A clear example would be the W Hotel in Barcelona. I reviewed this hotel on Triptease and although it had many good points, for several reasons it didn't appeal to me but other people on Triptease rate it very highly. Another example just this week involves the Rosewood Hotel in London. John O'Ceallaigh, luxury travel editor at Telegraph.co.uk, had a bad experience in terms of service and as a result posted a low score in this area. I have no doubt that he experienced service that did not match his expectations but it could not have been more different to mine where the Rosewood staff delivered in all areas.
In my opinion it all comes down to trust, regardless of who the reviewer is. Be it an industry insider or a good friend, if you trust in what that person says is true and you have a similar outlook on what you want from a hotel then you can't go far wrong.