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Dreams Resort recently opened its first property in the U.S. Virgin Islands on December 21 with Dreams Sugar Bay on the east end of St. Thomas. But some visitors are already finding this Dream to be a bit of a nightmare.
Formerly the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort, Dreams has rebranded the property and a segment of guests tell Trip Advisor it’s not up to snuff for the Dreams brand quite yet.
To wit, here are some recent reviews:
· "Guantanamo Bay, not Sugar Bay. "Dreams Sugar Bay, where Dreams turn into nightmares."
· "We felt somewhat 'tricked.' "
· "For what you pay to come here, this is a complete Rip Off!!!"
· "This is tantamount to FRAUD. The hotel is not ready for guests."
· "The spa is just a sick mess.
· "I have to say this was the worst vacation of my life."
· "We immediately left the property.
· "Do not stay here!!!!! DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT stay in this establishment."
Well, you get the gist.
For some time now, we've been skeptical of the reviews on TripAdvisor, especially after a few scandals broke out about hotels manipulating reviews or worse, bribing guests to write good reviews. But at least one person was still keeping it real on TripAdvisor. Too bad it got him fired.
Tnooz picked up on this story about a hotel manager at the budget Georgian House Hotel in Glasgow who was mocking reviewers who complained about his hotel. Some choice retorts that he posted on TripAdvisor include:
· "What do you expect for so little cash?"
· "If you want a good breakfast go to the Hilton and pay £100.00 a night. You pay little you get little."
· "Thanks for your money, sucker. Long may the idiot line continue."
· “With only one person to look after the place what do you expect. Think about what you paid.”
In our many years doing this hotel review thang at HotelChatter, sniffing out fake hotel reviews has become sort of a sport for us. It's easy to spot the planted glowing reviews usually because the verbiage used is so far from everyday conversation, sounding straight like a press release or just has way too much detailed information that a regular hotel guest is never privvy to.
Example: "When my husband and I walked into the lobby, we couldn't help but stare at the 1,000 LED lights from design studio Lighty Lights which had been handcrafted in India using rare glass and installed by the hotel's general manager himself."
It's also easy to spot the reviews from people with an axe to grind--often former employees or competitors--or people who didn't get that free hotel room they wanted.
Example: "This hotel sucks! There are rats on the floor and filth everywhere. The hotel manager doesn't manage anything except ladies of the night. They also charged my credit card $5,000 and I didn't even stay there! Avoid at all costs!"
But of course, there are always a few that are hard to tell.
It’s been two months since the doors swung wide at what's arguably DC’s most hyped hotel opening of the year — the W, duh — so we thought we’d check back in on the swirling review chatter, especially now that people are talking about the hotel itself and not just the rooftop POV bar.
Over at TripAdvisor, it’s registering with a 68% approval rating. Not too shabby. But true to DC form, people seem to be awfully partisan when it comes to the Congress of Cool, making reviews range from scathing to glowing.
Ouch. The Allegria Hotel and Spa at Long Beach is only just opening up but it's already attracted a bunch of negative reviews – at least on TripAdvisor where so far, no less than four people have complained about problems connected to their opening date – thanks to one of our dedicated HotelChatter tipsters for pointing this out.
Someone's whining because they had to cancel their planned wedding when the hotel finally admitted they wouldn't be open in time, and someone else had this for an attempted booking experience:
I called to make a reservation to inquire as to availability. The lady on the phone said"We have no rooms" and hung up. SO RUDE.
Um, Stephanie Tanner, is that you?
Our inner geeks have been pretty excited about New Haven’s new-ish hotel, the Study at Yale, ever since the place opened last year. But until we pay the hotel a visit ourselves, we’ll have to rely on our steamy fantasy involving a rendezvous with a hunky Visiting Scholar. Er, also, the TripAdvisor reviews, which are impressively positive—13 “excellent” ratings and one “very good.” Apparently even the doormen are “dapper!”
A few highlights:
* “The only other choices near the university are a Courtyard by Marriott that in our experience could use a good cleaning, and the Omni, which is good but overpriced for what it is -- so The Study is a wonderful, welcome addition for visitors who are looking to stay near Yale,” writes TA user Oliver001.
NYLO Las Colinas opened its doors in July with a lovely ribbon-cutting ceremony, after lots of anticipation and a whole lotta slowdown with the chain's expansion. Better late than never on this one, we suppose the NYLO chain has been a fave of HC's since the first property opened in Dallas in winter of 2007, and its middle child was born in Warwick, Rhode Island and now Irving, Texas (Las Colinas) boasts the third property in the still-young chain.
So, how does property number three appear to be faring? So far, so good at least according to the lone review of the place on TripAdvisor.
Hey, ever heard of the Inn New York City? Neither had we, really. A quickie search through the HC archives (which go back way, way back) was fruitless, and racking our brains turned up nothing. Why were we searching far and wide for info about this hotel, you ask? Because, according to TripAdvisor, Inn New York City is the very best hotel in all of the Big Apple. Hmm.
We know TripAdvisor is not always the undisputed bastion of accurate and consistent (or even sometimes real) reviews, and we also know that just because we haven't talked about it doesn't mean it's not good but really, what makes this the supposed best hotel in all of NYC? Let's investigate.
The Roosevelt New Orleans re-opened this month, with a brand new Waldorf-Astoria Collection flag, newly-renovated rooms, and a pretty hefty and impressive history but is all the hype and hooplah worth it? How are guests feeling about the place?
Natch, we checked in on the property at TripAdvisor and, sadly, there are only two reviews of the iconic hotel that have come in so far.
Still, reviews are...good, if not bland. As usual, there are some service glitches to work out. One guest who called the hotel "beautiful, beautiful, beautiful" also said this:
I waited an hour for breakfast and it was alright,waited a bit for valet parking to bring my car but there was a lot of construction in the area. Overall you will not be disappointed with this hotel-I would most certainly go back
Another guest added this (and, um, sic):
The shower was the best thing during my stay multple jets and sit down. The king bed very comfortable, very small rooms but in new orleans your not suppose to be in them..... the restaurants and bars service was excellent when you received it. I walked out once out of the bar after waiting 15 min for service and walked out at the restuartant once waiting on service after 10 mintues.... food is expensive but good.
Rates are still sitting under $200, and the famed Blue Room lounge should be open by the end of July.
[Photo: Judi Bottoni, AP via USA Today]
It’s been a little more than two weeks since the W checked into DC, and we’ve been anxiously prowling the web for the first reviews. Sadly, the only TA review so far just covers the rooftop bar. Over on Yelp, we found a slightly more comprehensive overview — again, more of which focused on the POV bar than the hotel guest experience.
The Good: The one guest review we can find was decently positive, which is encouraging. “The renovation that they have done to transform the old Hotel Washington into a W is very impressive, and it's cool to see all the W glitz superimposed onto a stodgy old Washington building. I found the staff helpful and friendly.” Of course, there are a few caveats: “One major drawback — having one elevator devoted to the POV crowd is annoying, since they only have 3 elevators, and each is small.” Ah yes, we can attest that those elevators can get pretty majorly backed up — but really, we're not sure what can they do to solve that issue.
Every so often we feature a hotel review from one of our readers that we feel should be shared with the rest of you dear hotel guests. These reviews are highlighted because they are timely, about cool hotels in cool places and are relatively level-headed. Think you can submit one just like this? Send it in.
We've given the Greenwich Hotel a fair amount of heckling around here we have a somewhat tumultuous history with the Robert DeNiro-owned place but we quite enjoyed this review, which landed in our inbox over the weekend.
Hey, at least someone had a kickass time at the Greenwich. And there is a possible Will Ferrell sighting, too.
From an enthusiastic, very satisfied Greenwich guest (spelling in context, where applicable):
My great stay was in Tribecca at the Greenwich Hotel where I encountered the most friendly service from front desk to concierge to GM all of whom managed to positively welcome me and the physical property is luxe in a very subtle in it's eclectic mix of reclaimed civil war era wood and modern appointments to include the basics but also bose dock for iPod and phone charging and playing, free goodies at the in-room snack basket and drinks all excepting alcohol drinks which are not free of course. The spa is over the moon, particularly the pool which is saline and out of a design mag, with private steam showers in the changing room.
Will Farrell was the only other client working out, which also was cool for me.
The introductory corporate rate for this property was $429 for a King bed, down from a rack (ex-hotelier) of $579. It was a lot of bang for the buck. I am referring it to all my NYC business traveller friends.
We're sick of seeing renderings of the W South Beach. Got a real snapshot of the new hotel? Send it to us.
As we'd been highly (highly) anticipating for a very long time now, W South Beach is now open. Glorious! And after its inaugural weekend, the place has gotten its very first review on TripAdvisor. Even more glorious.
Not so glorious: it's not very good.
Okay, yes, so it's the very first review on TripAdvisor we understand that one person's experience does not necessarily represent the quality and performance of a brand new hotel (nor is the quality and performance of a brand new hotel necessarily representative of how the hotel's going to operate later on), but it's worth taking a look at only because it's the very first review.