Should I take trip advisor reviews with a pinch of salt?

Hello,

Having said we weren't going to go away this year on holiday due to a rather extravagant holiday early next year we've started looking at a cheap week or two away at the end of September.

We haven't set aside a massive budget (approx £600pp) so not expecting 5 star luxury, we just want somewhere thats going to be fairly warm, clean and somewhere to relax.

Having considered the usual cheapish destinations Turkey, Egypt we found a nice one in Portugal...

Thomson | Holidays designed for you. Only from Thomson

It looks pretty much spot on with good flights from Birmingham and all inclusive, which is what we want.

However before clicking the book now button I decided to have a quick look on trip advisor and they reviews are so varied its hard to know if its any good or not. Some people are saying its the best holiday ever others are saying its awful. For this particular hotel it seems to be 50/50.

I've been to a few restaurants/attractions before which have had some poor reviews (on trip advisor)and really enjoyed them.

As I said I don't expect a palace as I appreciate our budget is pretty tight for 2 weeks all inc but on the other hand I don't want to waste £1200 living for two weeks in squalor!

Cheers
Mark
 

Trollslayer

Distinguished Member
50/50 is poor.
Looking at the pictures of the bedroom they have spent a lot of money on the fish eye lens, the bed seems to be three times as wide as it is long so I suspect the room is pretty small.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Fine to take some reviews with a pinch of salt but I've used it before a few times as a guide.

As long as there are plenty of reviews, there should be enough to get a rough idea.

As the troll says, 50/50 isn't that good.

I'd be looking for at least 80/20 positive.

Looks a decent price for 2 weeks AI. Decent flight times too which is a bonus.

For that price though, i wouldn't be expecting anything that great so as long as your expectations are tempered somewhat (as there are from your comments).
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
As with any ratings system more people will post a review to complain than would ever post if it was good. But if there are a significant number of negatives then I would try a different hotel.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Echo what others have said. Also if you get a bad review from someone who has only posted 1 review then ignore it.
If a bad review is from someone who has plenty of reviews I would take more interest in it
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
Last edited:

[email protected]

Well-known Member
Repeating what these guys say really

I spend between 50 and 100 nights a year in hotels (mainly on business) and TripAdvisor is something I use a lot.

You will always get bad reviews. Some people cannot be pleased, some people do it to try and get money off, I have even see people sit in a restaurant and threaten the owner with a bad TripAdvisor review if they don't get a free bottle of wine.

But you have to learn to look at the bigger picture.

Are there common complaints? Are the majority positive or negative? When you see a negative complaint, check the reviewers profile and other reviews and see if they always complain. Likewise if a review seems too good to be true, check it isn't the only review ever posted by the person (could be the hotel themselves posting under a fake account)

But look at the overall trend and even then, only do that if there are reasonable number of reviews for the hotel in the first place

So I have looked at the hotel you have suggested and looked at it's trip advisor reviews and here are my thoughts if I was looking to book there

It's ranked 18 out of 26 hotels in the area based on over 30 reviews. Whilst standards in different countries vary, this tells me that this falls well below average for the area

Having read past the large number of recent reviews which all claim it's the worse hotel ever and are all posted by people who have never posted before my take is that this is quite a tired hotel which is needing a little TLC and is a little frayed around the edges.

The staff are mainly non english speakers which is not uncommon when you go abroad for a holiday but this in itself upsets a lot of people because no amount of slow shouting in english seems to get even the simplest complaint fixed thus a simple problem soon escalates. When I go to a foreign country I make an attempt to know what language the locals speak before getting there.

The food seems to be below par. Not uneatable but certainly not fine dining but again, for this part of the world in an all inclusive not that uncommon.

Indeed all of the above feels like your typical european all inclusive resort and is a reason I don't holiday at them anymore.

If your goal it spend a week on a sun lounger drinking cheap local beer and getting away from it all and the price is right then you will probably be fine but don't expect any frills, fine dining, or four star service but I suspect for the money you are looking to spend, you could probably do better
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
If a bad review is from someone who has plenty of reviews I would take more interest in it

Depends if they only post bad reviews though, they could be a serial complainer! A Victor Meldrew.
 
Thanks for all the great replies. We've knocked that one on the head the reviews are putting me off somewhat even though as I say my expectations aren't high for our budget for 2 weeks all inclusive.

The search continues....


Thanks again :)
Mark
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Repeating what these guys say really

I spend between 50 and 100 nights a year in hotels (mainly on business) and TripAdvisor is something I use a lot.

You will always get bad reviews. Some people cannot be pleased, some people do it to try and get money off, I have even see people sit in a restaurant and threaten the owner with a bad TripAdvisor review if they don't get a free bottle of wine.

But you have to learn to look at the bigger picture.

Are there common complaints? Are the majority positive or negative? When you see a negative complaint, check the reviewers profile and other reviews and see if they always complain. Likewise if a review seems too good to be true, check it isn't the only review ever posted by the person (could be the hotel themselves posting under a fake account)

But look at the overall trend and even then, only do that if there are reasonable number of reviews for the hotel in the first place

So I have looked at the hotel you have suggested and looked at it's trip advisor reviews and here are my thoughts if I was looking to book there

It's ranked 18 out of 26 hotels in the area based on over 30 reviews. Whilst standards in different countries vary, this tells me that this falls well below average for the area

Having read past the large number of recent reviews which all claim it's the worse hotel ever and are all posted by people who have never posted before my take is that this is quite a tired hotel which is needing a little TLC and is a little frayed around the edges.

The staff are mainly non english speakers which is not uncommon when you go abroad for a holiday but this in itself upsets a lot of people because no amount of slow shouting in english seems to get even the simplest complaint fixed thus a simple problem soon escalates. When I go to a foreign country I make an attempt to know what language the locals speak before getting there.

The food seems to be below par. Not uneatable but certainly not fine dining but again, for this part of the world in an all inclusive not that uncommon.

Indeed all of the above feels like your typical european all inclusive resort and is a reason I don't holiday at them anymore.

If your goal it spend a week on a sun lounger drinking cheap local beer and getting away from it all and the price is right then you will probably be fine but don't expect any frills, fine dining, or four star service but I suspect for the money you are looking to spend, you could probably do better

@[email protected] has just saved me typing the above (or thereabouts)
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
Trip Advisor is very good for giving you information about what's in the vicinity of the hotel. So bars, restaurants etc. How long does it take to walk to the town centre? Room reviews - I tend to ignore these when they go on about broken bathroom tiles etc. You need to look at what you want from the hotel and /or area you are staying in.
No point staying in a 5* hotel 5 miles from town if you want to eat out every night. Trip Advisor can help with this sort of situation.

Phil
 
Little update...

Couldn't find anywhere that was wetting my appetite so started looking a little further afield.

Considering out budget was £600pp, we blew that :facepalm:

We wanted to fly from Birmingham we're now flying from Manchester :facepalm:

Didn't want to fly for more than four hours, it's now 10! :facepalm:

We've booked two weeks in Cuba. Doesn't tick any of the boxes we set but looks amazing and can't wait to go plus the trip advisor reviews are all very positive :thumbsup:

Thanks for all the replies.
Mark
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
Where in Cuba if you don't mind me asking? We are looking at 3 days Havana, 4 day tour, plus a week on the beach. We've got the Havana hotel sorted we think, and the tour has accommodation included, but we've not got the beach hotel done yet. Looking at one of the Iberostar's in Varadero.

Cheers
Phil
 

Hillskill

Moderator/Games Reviewer
I'm really active on there. I'm away a fair bit these days and will always review the hotels I stay at. Main reason is more for me to have a record but I can't deny it's nice when you see that people found it useful. I'll always offer advice on what rooms to try get/avoid aswell as the usual stuff you would expect from a review. It's fairly easy to discern the grumpy reviews from the genuinely useful ones.
 
:clap:
Where in Cuba if you don't mind me asking? We are looking at 3 days Havana, 4 day tour, plus a week on the beach. We've got the Havana hotel sorted we think, and the tour has accommodation included, but we've not got the beach hotel done yet. Looking at one of the Iberostar's in Varadero.

Cheers
Phil

Hi Phil.

Sorry for the slow reply mate. Only just checked back on here. I'm on my phone now and my parents are turning up shortly but when I get chance to jump on the computer I'll pop up a link to the hotel.

We're going to guardalavaca. The beach/water along that coast looks amazing. We've done most of the Caribbean now through holidays and cruises although not been to Cuba before. Really looking forward to going, 5 weeks tomorrow :clap:
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
Thanks! We got 3 days in Havana, a 4 day tour, but still not sure what to do for a second week. Let us know how it goes; were off March 2015.

Cheers
Phil
 

Philly112

Distinguished Member
Thanks Mark. We looked at that place, but it's just too far from Havana, so we've gone for a place at Varadero for a week. Still like to see the photos! Have a good time.

Phil
 

bluedroog

Well-known Member
I tend to discount anything with a small pool of reviews, 10 five stars and not much else I avoid. Anything with a spread across the board I discount. I really want about 60% on the top two ratings, you'll always get a few isolated disgruntled individuals or bad reviews from sly rivals. That would be me booking a budget holiday, if I'm pushing the boat out I expect mainly excellence from reviews and again discount the few who had a bad experience.

I also make a point of reading a lot of the 4 star reviews once I've settled on a short list, I'm reading the reviews because it passed my rating stage so then I find 4 star reviews a bit more balanced, they tend to give you the full picture, great hotel but I didn't give it five base of x and x.
 

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