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For real. There is a brand of Aussie hotels who want to turn the tables and review YOUR stay and reward YOU for good behavior. Talk about opening a two-way street in the world of arm-chair critics that may or may not be rooted in truth remember this?
From April 17 to May 31, Art Series Hotels in Victoria and South Australia are performing Reverse Reviews on their guests and plan on naming and shaming those that act like Lindsay Lohan after receiving their room key. Just like the rating sites, the hotel will have an opportunity to reward their guests with 1 to 5 stars.
It's been over a month since we slept with the Virgin Chicago and a few things have already changed since we did it.
Opening next week is Miss Ricky's All American Diner a 23-hour spot serving "new classics" such as a Great Lakes Reuben, The Biggie Grilled Cheese, Short Rib Pie and decadent donuts and dessert. You can see Virgin CEO Raul Leal's recent tweet for confirmation of such decadence:
Dessert items in Ms. Ricky's at Virgin Hotel Chicago. pic.twitter.com/wvTHm6ViBg— Raul Leal (@VirginHotelier) February 25, 2015
The hotel has also rolled out a partnership with Tesla Motors, giving all Virgin guests the option to be ferried around town in a Model S P85D. It's color? Bright red of course. #howVirginsdoit
Now, these things are all fun to talk about, but it's time to see what real guests are saying about the hotel. And for that, we head to TripAdvisor. Even though everyone knows to take TripAdvisor with a grain of salt (seriously awful reviews can never be trusted, neither can the gushing ones) it's still a place all guests go to when thinking about booking a hotel.
Hotel Policies / Hotel News / Hotel Hell / Hotel Reviews / Online Reviews / Wedding Hotels / Hotel Weddings / → All Tags
UPDATE: The hotel told CNBC the policy was a joke and "It was meant to be taken down long ago and certainly was never enforced." We say, "That's convenient."
UPDATE, 8.6.14: The owner has posted this apology and update on the hotel's Facebook page. While the negative review policy may have been a joke gone wrong, the hotel still has a bunch of other ridiculous policies. Be sure to read those in our story below.
Hotels have been striking back at online guests reviews over the past few years in various ways. The most popular and most sensible way is the constant responding of management to all reviews--good and bad (so long as you aren't a dick about it.) Then, there's the requesting of really bad reviews to be removed from the site, which TripAdvisor has agreed to recently, especially if the property has been renovated since the negative note. Hotels have also gone straight to the guests,
bribing them offering them perks during their stay or discounts for future stays if they write a positive review.
"There will be a $500 dollar fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH place on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding even if you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review.”
The policy is in effect for wedding guests in the area and wedding parties at the Inn, not regular guests (although this a strange distinction to make.) The hotel will also refund the $500 if the review is taken down.
Um, yeah, well now that this policy is being condemned on the news, we can safely say this has back fired for the hotel.
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We’ve all had those days while traveling overseas when you can’t quite get the gumption to leave your cozy hotel world and explore the greater world outside. We recently had one of those days while staying at the celeb hangout, Fouquet’s Barrière in Paris (a Luxury Hotels of the World property), and have put together a list of things to do if agoraphobia hits you too.
1) Food glorious food: Fouquet’s has five restaurants and three bars, not too shabby considering the hotel has only 81 rooms. Our favorite places to hang out were at Le Bar Marta, with its black and white 1930s Hollywood glam design and La Petite Maison de Nicole because, heck, if it’s good enough for Jay-Z and Beyoncé, it’s good enough for us. The food at La Petite Maison is best-described as gourmet southern France comfort food. That means Macaroni with Truffles and Provençal Ratatouille. If you go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday evening you can groove with one of the resident DJs.
2) Shop at the front desk: There is no reason you can’t still shop if you don’t leave the hotel. If you’d like to buy the monogrammed robe you can certainly do that, but you’ll also find five proprietary perfumes, yo-yos, aprons, pencil sets and Panama hats. Some products are on display throughout the lobby, some in your room, and some are found at the front desk.
Three more tips below!
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Reviews look solid, particularly for St Petersburg Tchaikovskogo: free soft drinks in the mini bar, a “master of Thai massage” and excellent customer service (by no means a given in Russia) are what people are focusing on.
A room tonight will set you back 6800RUB ($199), though they drop in July to 4900RUB ($143). That’s up on the 4000RUB lead-in price on opening, though still great value for Russia.
To all the hotels out there that still insist on charging for WiFi, consider this comment we just received:
Earlier this month I stayed at the San Diego Marriott Mission Valley which provides WiFi in the room for $12.99 a day!
When I questioned this they told me that I had the option of using the free WiFi in the Lobby, which didn't help me when I needed to check my email while still in pajamas at 6:00AM.
Other than the WiFi situation the hotel was great, but it's the only reason I need to ensure I never book this hotel again.
It's a shame that they will lose my future business over a ridiculous WiFi fee, but I'm guessing I'm not the only one.
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / National Park Hotels / Zion National Park Hotels / Utah Hotels / → All Tags
Serene mountain views and the rush of a Virgin River at Driftwood Lodge; a HotelChatter Review
When visiting Zion National Park, many choose to experience this majestic slice of the Great Outdoors, well, outdoors. There are three campgrounds to choose from and, during the height of the summer, reservations are typically a must. Even the "off" season can get quite crowded given the right circumstances.
If your idea of roughing it, however, is staying in a budget motel, there are many to choose from in the adjacent town of Springdale, Utah. Dubbed "The Gateway to Zion," the town's main road, which leads straight to the national park, is dotted with name-brand motel chains, independent lodges and quaint inns. Many are located one right after the other. A bit of Internet sleuthing caused us to choose the Driftwood Lodge for a two-night weekend getaway.
Arriving on a Friday evening as the sun set, the Driftwood Lodge made a postcard-worthy first impression. The lodge, actually a collection of newer and older stand-alone buildings, was aglow in the last rays of light as a majestic mountain ridge and endless blue sky towered in the background.
The main building, right on Zion Park Boulevard, serves as the lobby and check-in was effortless. Renovated in 2013, it fit within the lodge theme, however, a very sanitized version. Wood floors, brick walls, brightly colored area rugs were all present but lacked a lived-in rustic appeal. A completely nit-picky observation, we know, and nothing a few throws and some random chotskies couldn't overcome.
A cheerful representative greeted us promptly and quickly imparted the lay of the land (how to get to our room, where to find the passcode for the free WiFi and a reminder to turn in our room keys at the end of the stay or face a $5 per card fee) before sending us on our way. No bell service was offered, but none was needed. It should also be pointed out that the front desk isn't staffed round-the-clock, however, someone is always available via telephone for emergencies.
Yesterday, we had a good chuckle over the hotel manager who left jerky responses to guests on TripAdvisor. He ended up being sacked but it turns out he's not the only one, ahem, "keeping it real" on TripAdvisor. A fan on our Facebook page alerted us to a TripAdvisor response from the "Directeur Général" of Hotel Claude Bernard Saint-Germain in Paris:
What a terrible hotel. We stayed with our 10 year old daughter and had booked a triple room. On the hotel website, the pictures of the rooms were very nice, with one double bed and a real single bed. Pictures showed a new renovated room, which was also described in the text. Pictures are attached of the opposite. When we checked in we got the tiniest room, with 2 twin beds and a foldable extra bed was squashed between the beds. VERY disappointed. We immediately consulted the receptionist who couldn't assist. The next morning we tried again, with reference to management. But no management was present. Breakfast was very continental, but that was what we paid for. One thing is for sure, we'll never stay here again!
And here is what the Directeur Général wrote back:
Madam, I find your note and your comment very severe and your judgement partial.
Keep reading below to see more of his responses!
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Auckland Hotels / New Zealand Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / → All Tags
Harbor-side rooms and plush rooms at Sofitel Viaduct Harbour; a HotelChatter Review
Spending a few days in Auckland sounds like a dream, but once you start to look at hotel options, you might get a little discouraged since the city doesn't have much selection. With limited international hotel brands that we can trust, we settled on Sofitel Viaduct Harbour but didn't expect some harbor living during our visit.
After a winding trip through the sleepy streets of the city's entertainment district, we finally make it to a mid-rise building situated directly on the inner-harbour surrounded by yachts and sailboat masts. With a sleek, tiled lobby that featured a handful of reflection pools, we struggled to be anything but awed by the framed view of the private mooring docks beyond the lobby. Then after a speedy check-in process, we were off to our room.
The Viceroy: Would you "slog it for days/weeks eating Takeout Chicken in front of the TV in your unders" in this room?
We love design and architecture superteam Roman and Williams for their work at Ace Hotel New York, Standard NYC and Viceroy New York. But we are also rather taken with their excellent, often unhinged and grammatically erratic, Facebook page (category: counselling and mental health) where they give their uncensored take on everything from architectural news to hairdos and, now, hotel reviews -- of hotels they designed!
In case you're at work or reading this on your phone, allow us to tell you what's happening in this video above.
Holiday Inn has made a commercial featuring a nervous-looking guest* and a lovely looking lady with a guitar. The guest tells the lovely lady what he liked about his recent stay at the new Holiday Inn at Newark Airport in New Jersey and she puts his review to song. It sounds funny! It is not.
It's a little annoying and forced and at three minutes, is way too long for us to be voluntarily be watching video on our computer. Maybe if Tenacious D was singing the review we would be more entertained. However, the point has been made. Holiday Inn wants us to "Change Our View" of their brand (especially after they put a billion dollars into relaunching it) and we've certainly done that with this hotel.
The answer? TRUE.
We tend to do a lot of griping here about hotel WiFi--the cost of it and the speed of it--but there's another reason why guests may leave a hotel ticked off--noise.
Online hotel reputation management experts, ReviewPro, have found that noise is the most common complaint in online hotel reviews for 20 cities. And you know what? We totally believe it because we've found ourselves using the white noise app on our phone more frequently during hotel stays.
ReviewPro did some serious number crunching and review-site trawling to come up with these findings. They analyzed 2,532,461 consumer reviews published during the prior 12 months for 5,683 hotels in the following cities: Athens, Bangkok, Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Cape Town, Dublin, Istanbul, London, Lyon, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, New Delhi, Paris, Rome, Saint Petersburg and Sydney.
Interestingly, Cape Town had the best average online reputation followed by Melbourne and St. Petersburg. London and Rome, however, were below average. Eep. But also, not surprising.
After noise, complaints about elevators and smells ranked 2nd and 3rd. After that, air conditioning and heating systems were also given twice as many negative mentions as WiFi.