Can We Really Trust Online Hotel Reviews?


You find the perfect hotel in a central location with the free WiFi, swimming pool and continental breakfast all at a great price. You think to yourself “What a deal!” But then you read the reviews… “horrible service” “awkward stench” and “fire station next door” and realize it’s not for you. For many of us, reviews dictate every decision we make about traveling. But just how much weight should we give them when considering our options?

Who writes reviews?

Think about when you left feedback on an experience. Chances are it was either out of this world fantastic or downright horrible. It’s important to keep this in mind when searching around. Simply meeting expectations will often not be recognized, so relying on reviews alone may not be your best bet.

How do I know what’s real? 

A study by Gartner says that by 2014 10% of social media reviews will be fake. So how do you make the distinction? It’s not easy, but here are a few sure fire ways to tell if that review is fake:

  • Exclamation marks: Just how excited can you be?
  • Recently made accounts: Right after a bad review, how convenient.
  • Odd usernames: JonDoe is a little too generic, buddy.
  • Vague statements: How many adjectives can you fit in one sentence?
  • Similar language in multiple comments: Doubtful “modern ambiance” in the past 3 comments is coincidence.

Reviews are definitely worth taking into account and can be used as a reference for just about anything. But like most things on the internet, you should be cautious of anything that sounds too good to be true. Do your research and make sure you’re getting information from a credible source. It could make all the difference.

Learn more about trusting hotel reviews with this hotel review infographic.

Featured image by Travelarz [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons