Old Dec 4, 14, 6:06 am
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Monterey, California
Programs: Affiliated with all, participate in some
Posts: 2,176
My Square Foot London Edition is a piece I wrote last week.

I generally use TripAdvisor and FlyerTalk to figure out where I want to stay. Between the two resources and hotel reviews on BoardingArea, finding good hotels is not a difficult challenge.

As a hotel blogger, I meet many hotel chain senior managers. I am sometimes asked by hotel managers I meet at conferences to let them know when I am coming to stay. That is an insider benefit of being associated with the industry. I rarely take advantage of the offer. Last year I did in Berlin at the Radisson Blu Berlin and I had one of the most beautiful views ever looking out the window from my bed to the Berliner Dom cathedral bathed in blue light. I paid the normal rate for the room, but the upgrade was not typical.

My experience with sponsored trips where hotels and activities are complimentary is the line is too easily crossed between being a marketing agent rather than an independent reviewer. I prefer independence and have moved away from most sponsored trips. Yet, I consider sponsored trips if it looks really appealing.

There is no way a reader will not be aware when I am getting a freebie when I am writing about it. I tend to overly disclose upfront rather than letting you read a piece and then learn at the end that it was a freebie trip.
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