When you are shopping online for accommodations, it can be hard to tell the difference between a place that looks great on screen (but is a disaster when you arrive) from a place that actually is great. Here are some tips to help you find useful and genuine reviews for accommodation.
Look at spacing of reviews
Genuine reviews will occur at a random spacing over time. If you notice that your accommodation has a sudden rash of high or low ratings all written within a day or two of each other, this can be a sign that the reviews may not be genuine (although there can be natural peaks around peak times such as Christmas holiday or if the accommodation has decided to offer an incentive for guests to review). More recent reviews tend to be the most useful as they are more likely to reflect the current operation of the accommodation you are looking at.
Look for trusted reviewers
Many sites have a process to verify that the reviewers have actually stayed at the hotel and allows them to rate other accommodations. By checking other reviews by that reviewer, you can see if they are generally reasonable in their reviews or if they have written overly negative or positive reviews about all of the places that they reviewed.
Look at the subject matter of the reviews
As most guests will be focused on having a great night´s sleep and then exploring the surroundings, genuine reviews tend to focus on cleanliness, bed comfort, noise levels and location. A fake review is more likely to mention facts that the reviewer is hoping to emphasise, such as recent upgrades to décor or the offerings of the in-house restaurant. When you are reading reviews be sure to look for comments that reference the issues that are most important to you. The language of genuine reviews is also often a little less excited than a fake review, which will tend to use a range of long words and punctuation to emphasise the high praise.
Look at how the accommodation management has replied to reviews
Professional accommodation managers will be used to dealing with positive and negative feedback and will often respond on the review site to let the guests know how they are resolving the issue. This can be very useful as you can see if an issue which was a problem many months ago has since been resolved.
Using a sensible and well thought out approach to checking accomodation reviews can help you to to find great accommodation for your next break.