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Do point bloggers ever stay at a bad hotel?

Do point bloggers ever stay at a bad hotel?

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Old Nov 27, 14, 3:35 am
  #1  
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Do point bloggers ever stay at a bad hotel?

My experience is that 99% of hotel reviews from credit card bloggers are glowingly positive. The review will show glossy photos of the suite upgrades, "free" breakfast, and club lounge offerings. There will be no mention that they were overcharged on price and/or points.

There are a few bloggers that post honest reviews. I think Loyalty Traveler and Wandering Aramean have shown integrity over the years. And I’ve seen honest feedback on Jetsetter’s Homestead blog.

Which bloggers are willing to post negative reviews?
Which bloggers are the biggest hotel pimps (100% positive reviews of poor or mediocre hotels)?

Also, if a negative review does somehow get posted, have you seen a blogger delete a review due to pressure from a hotel?

Last edited by stackm; Nov 27, 14 at 4:11 am
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Old Nov 27, 14, 9:25 am
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Lol exactly. One can't trust the bloggers because they are so SPG and Hyatt obsessed that they will never give a bad review.

Honestly, I find TA more useful. I know the reviews are usually only for a terrible or excellent stay, but at least the pictures are useful.

Plus, all the upgrade experiences are clearly listed on FT usually. If I have a question it will be better answered here always.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 10:55 am
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I m under the impression that no blogger has ever stayed at a non chain hotel, and will always go for a crappier chain hotel even if other, independent, better hotel is in the area.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 11:31 am
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Was happy to slate the St Regis Doha - I even had the GM post a comment!

http://www.headforpoints.com/2014/10...review-photos/

However, you need to differentiate between bad things that happen to you and bad things that could happen to anyone. If a hotel loses your bag or forgets a wake up call that is not necessarily a reason to slate it in front of thousands of people, esp as peoples livelihoods are at stake.

On the other hand, if the building causes a shadow over the pool for much of the day or all the signs are falling down or views are not as advertises then you have legitimate complaints.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 12:18 pm
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Actually, I think the answer here is pretty simple. Two points.

First, miles & points bloggers, by definition, stay at upper-end chain hotels. Even Hilton Garden Inns or La Quintas are too low end. So if all you do is stay at high-end chain hotels known for their consistency -- no Days Inns or other "flags of convenience" need apply -- you're really never going to be too disappointed.

Second and more fundamentally, miles & points bloggers are all true believers else they wouldn't be miles & points bloggers. They love travel. They love long, circuitous flight routings. They love changing planes. They love hotels. All the the stuff I can't stand they love. They're hotel and airline cheerleaders not because they're shills (necessarily) but rather because that's what they live for. On a few of the blogs, the passion and enthusiasm for what they do shows itself in practically every paragraph of every post. For these folks, the glass always full practically no matter what.

Some are so extreme that they even profess to like airplane food!

Is that balanced or objective? Of course not. Do I care? Not really or I wouldn't keep reading. Do you care? Same answer.
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Old Nov 27, 14, 8:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
However, you need to differentiate between bad things that happen to you and bad things that could happen to anyone. If a hotel loses your bag or forgets a wake up call that is not necessarily a reason to slate it in front of thousands of people, esp as peoples livelihoods are at stake.
I think dealing with something like a lost bag or rude staff is absolutely something that's noted down. A trip report is just that, reporting all of one's experiences good or bad.

EDIT: I really enjoyed reading that review by the way.

Last edited by CitizenWorld; Nov 27, 14 at 8:49 pm
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Old Nov 28, 14, 12:25 am
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Yes indeed I am happy to do a bad review. Radisson Dublin and JFK, and the Hilton JFK all have received well earned bad reviews from me in recent months.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 11:03 am
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I agree with Raffles, no reason to publicly excoriate (omg I spelled that correctly) someone if something goes wrong, unless it appears systemic.

It doesn't make a bunch of sense to review Garden Inns (and the like) also because the lower-tier hotels thrive on a consistent look and feel from hotel to hotel whereas the higher-end Park Hyatts and whatnot have the same design themes but will have completely different interpretations of those themes.

Selfishly, my posts about the more routine hotels don't get too many pageviews on the blog, so I don't really like going through the trouble of taking and editing all the pictures and writing my hilarious jokes (ed: two previous words up for debate) for a post no one really wants to read.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 12:03 pm
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I mostly stopped writing hotel reviews because they're all so much the same that it isn't fun for me anymore. I know those posts get a lot of traffic for the authors but if I'm not enjoying writing it then I'm not going to bother.

When I write a hotel review it is because of something unique or special, not just because there was a suite upgrade or a nice "free" breakfast in the club. But I'm also selling a very different product.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 12:04 pm
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I think you can or might even should say something about a lost bag. But, it should be framed in the proper context.

The reviewer might say something like "my bag was lost and it took them 45 minutes to find it. The front desk was nice (or maybe rude?) and apologized profusely. Obviously, it was a mistake and it didn't change my opinion of the hotel"

Or something like that.

The bloggers job is to write something up that will make me want to click through on something on their blog so they can get money. I'm ok with that.

I understand that many airline lounges stink and are good for maybe a better bathroom (not shower) and a more comfortable seat. I would probably almost never schedule a super-long layover in an airport just so I could go to a lounge. My time is more valuable than that. Also, most club floors are useless to me. Do I really want to spend my evening in the lounge of a hotel when I can be out and about? Hardly.

Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
Was happy to slate the St Regis Doha - I even had the GM post a comment!

http://www.headforpoints.com/2014/10...review-photos/

However, you need to differentiate between bad things that happen to you and bad things that could happen to anyone. If a hotel loses your bag or forgets a wake up call that is not necessarily a reason to slate it in front of thousands of people, esp as peoples livelihoods are at stake.

On the other hand, if the building causes a shadow over the pool for much of the day or all the signs are falling down or views are not as advertises then you have legitimate complaints.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Raffles View Post
However, you need to differentiate between bad things that happen to you and bad things that could happen to anyone. If a hotel loses your bag or forgets a wake up call that is not necessarily a reason to slate it in front of thousands of people, esp as peoples livelihoods are at stake.
I'm of the opposite view: This is exactly the type of thing that I'd be interested to read about -- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Details such as these are what separate good hotels from great ones.

Originally Posted by bthotugigem05 View Post
I agree with Raffles, no reason to publicly excoriate (omg I spelled that correctly) someone if something goes wrong, unless it appears systemic.
One way to know if an issue is systemic is if it appears in multiple reviews by multiple people. If it's a one-off, then reporting the issue won't have much of an impact.

With respect to which hotels are reviewed, I think people would much rather write (and read) reviews of aspirational properties than ordinary ones. There are probably more trip reports written about the Park Hyatt Tokyo than of the La Quinta by the Interstate.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 1:25 pm
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A Motel 6. It smelled so bad when I walked in to the room, I turned right around went back the the front desk, handed him my key and left the property. Never asked for a refund, change of room, nada. I was done with that chain and have never been back.

I had a weak hostel room in Aquas Calientes once where the rain leaked through the roof all night, but I knew I wasn't getting much and it served the purpose of keeping us mostly dry
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Old Nov 29, 14, 5:30 pm
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I try to call my stays as I see them which includes reporting little hiccups I notice along the way (and what, if anything, I complained about to the hotel and/or what I noticed but didn't complain about).

The way I see it, things I may nitpick are not the kinds of things the average guest is going to make a stink about - so I don't either, but I do note it in my review. I do review lots of mid-range properties... because I disagree that they are all the same. I see lots of variation even in Hyatt Place or Courtyard type hotels.

I got taken to task in the comments after my Grand Hyatt Singapore review this past week because I said the club failed to "wow me". Accurate statement because it's my subjective opinion (and one contrary to what other bloggers have expressed). The commenter said I couldn't possibly know what a good lounge was since I only stay at low-end properties in the US. *sigh* I can't (and wouldn't) go back and retroactively review every hotel in almost 50 countries that I've ever stayed at, but I think I'm more than qualified to say I'm unimpressed by something.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 7:08 pm
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Originally Posted by techgirl View Post
I try to call my stays as I see them which includes reporting little hiccups I notice along the way (and what, if anything, I complained about to the hotel and/or what I noticed but didn't complain about).

The way I see it, things I may nitpick are not the kinds of things the average guest is going to make a stink about - so I don't either, but I do note it in my review. I do review lots of mid-range properties... because I disagree that they are all the same. I see lots of variation even in Hyatt Place or Courtyard type hotels.

I got taken to task in the comments after my Grand Hyatt Singapore review this past week because I said the club failed to "wow me". Accurate statement because it's my subjective opinion (and one contrary to what other bloggers have expressed). The commenter said I couldn't possibly know what a good lounge was since I only stay at low-end properties in the US. *sigh* I can't (and wouldn't) go back and retroactively review every hotel in almost 50 countries that I've ever stayed at, but I think I'm more than qualified to say I'm unimpressed by something.
Comrade, your opinion is not valid if it conflicts with the official Party line!
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Old Nov 29, 14, 9:04 pm
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I stay at terrible hotels all the time. Most of my stays in Myanmar were sub-par for example. I find hotel reviews difficult though, everything is relative to what else is available. I don't do trip reports/hotel reviews but if I did I'd only really want to do them when I've stayed at a number of different properties in the same or similar location.
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