Saturday, November 17, 2007

Dumpy hotels

Lodging. I’m somewhat picky when it comes to hotels. Can you believe it? And if I'm displeased by a lodging establishment, as you read when I stayed at the Squire Tarbox and the Western Inn Express, I make sure I share my disappointment. I want to protect others from staying in disagreeable surroundings. Let’s say it’s my mission.

So I just thought I’d share some of my latest best picks and worst picks. You can read the reviews of many of them on Trip Advisor, a swell site packed with reviews of accommodations by particular people, like me, and people who are willing to sleep in just about anything.

One of the things I’ve been trying to figure out on the Trip Advisor web site is how many fake reviews exist. I think there are gazillions of them. For example, when I stayed in the Robin Hood Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif., I made my decision to stay there based on the high rating of the place. But after I stayed there and realized it didn’t pass muster, I went back over the Trip Advisor reviews and determined the bulk of them were fakes. They all rave about the place and recommend that visitors eat at the sorry little restaurant downstairs called Nottingham’s. If you look at the Shoreline Inn at Terrace Point, in Muskegon, Mich., you’ll find the same thing. You can tell the owners have been desperate to turn around the poor reputations that are being advanced by people like me just trying to tell the truth. Same with the Priory in Pittsburgh, where I stayed the last few days, only to find a quaint bed and breakfast (I hate bed and breakfasts!) with tacky fixtures and shabby interiors.

Sure. If I owned a hotel, I would probably tell my friends to come and stay at my inn and write a rave review on Trip Advisor. “Be sure to mention that the host is wonderfully charming.” “Tell them the beds are ultra-plush: the most comfortable you’ve ever slept in.” “Tell them that the restaurant on the ground floor, Joey Goldman’s Delicatessen is far better than Zingerman’s or Katzinger’s.” And so the Trip Advisor review would sound like all of the fakes (minor grammatical gaffes intended):

    Joey Goldman’s Hotel is the very nicest in all of San Francisco. You’ve got to stay hear! Its conveniently located in the safest and most exciting neighborhood in Frisco. Stay nowhere else! The host, Joey Goldman, is the nicest person Ive ever met and he made us feel oh so welcome. He was always so genuine and upbeat. He wouldn’t hurt a fly! Their was even a complimentary box of wine when we arrived.

    The beds were like sleeping on spun honey, with 1000-thread sheets, nicer but remarkably similar in color to the ones they sell at TJ Maxx. The bathroom amenities were superb, all with a patchouli-catnip fragrance – very classy if you ask me.

    Be sure to eat at Joey Goldman’s Delicatessen. Their borscht soup is the bestest I’ve ever tasted.

    I know next time I’m in San Francisco, I will definitely stay at Joey Goldman’s Hotel.

I’ve gotten better at combing through all of the fakes and realizing which are genuine. The fakes will never mention lousy internet service, the sound of belching from the room next door, surly staff, moldy tiles. They will never tout the joys of eating stale Fruit Hoops (yes, the generic variety of the cereal) at the complimentary breakfast bar.

It’s not much fun to review decent hotels. I mean, it’s cool to give four stars to a nice place, but three-star hotels are kind of dull. I realized, with some input from Brad, that I tended more toward reviewing the hotels that suck like Splenda. But I’m not too negative. A lodging establishment would have to be unspeakably bad for me to assign it a lonely single star. It would have to be an out-of-this world experience to get the official Joey five-star rating.

Let me know if you need your hotel reviewed. For a price, I might be willing to go to five stars (just kidding, Trip Advisor). For now, I sincerely recommend you do not stay at the places where I wouldn’t stay. I know what you like and what you don’t like. Believe me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know you made this posting a couple of years back, but nothing on Trip Advisor has changed.
I am an Innkeeper (sorry it's a B and B) and over 12 years I have 23 comments.

However The Regent Rotorua has almost 70 and they have been in businness not quite a year.

I find the most interesting thing when looking at comments is the people who comment on just one property and none other.

It has become a nightmare and some people, I hear, use TA as blackmail if they don't get upgrades etc!

There is now a Facebook page Hotels Against Trip Advisor. There are a lot of angry hosts out there.

All the best, Colleen, The Springs Rotorua

About Me | Contact Me | 2007 Joey Goldman