hotels.com reports on trends in online
hits one million qualified reviews on the
DALLAS, March 16, 2009 - Think you know all you need to about the hotel
you just booked? If you did so without reading online reviews, you might
want to think twice about your choice. hotels.com(R), a leading provider
of lodging worldwide, notes that as travelers shop more carefully they
are taking opinions of recent travelers into greater consideration. The
site now features one million authentic reviews - all from guests who have
booked through hotels.com and completed their stay.
Guest reviews are important to travelers for a number of reasons, according
to Scott Booker, chief hotel expert and guest advocate at hotels.com. "Reviews
help travelers filter an enormous amount of information about their possible
hotel options, helping them find great properties and avoid the lousy ones.
Also, reviews offer specific details about the stay that would be difficult
to find elsewhere - such as feedback about excessive traffic noise, poor
water pressure in the shower, or a first-rate complimentary breakfast.
Travelers value the candid assessments that a recent hotel guest can provide
- they want to learn from someone who's literally been there."
Different guests want different things from their trips, so not all
reviews will be relevant to every traveler. A review from a family leisure
traveler citing a small and crowded pool area may be a deal-breaker for
another family traveler, but not a problem for the business guest who doesn't
plan on spending time there.
Included below are key findings from a hotels.com survey of U.S. adults
on their online travel planning habits. According to the survey, travelers
* Figures in the first bulleted segment refer to U.S. adults
ages 18+ who use online resources to research and plan vacations
Spending more time online - On average, U.S. adults who use online
resources to research and plan a vacation ("online vacation researchers")
spend eight hours doing so, an increase of 48 minutes over the previous
Reading several guest reviews - Online vacation researchers who
read reviews when planning travel say they consult, on average, close to
eight reviews prior to booking a hotel.**
Watching for red flags - People pay close attention to the negative
experiences they read about in reviews. When asked what red flags would
prevent them from booking a property, 96 percent of online vacation researchers
who read guest reviews before booking a hotel said a dirty room, 95 percent
said bed bugs, and bad location and rude staff tied at 85 percent.
Relying on reviews for family trips - Ninety-two percent of online
vacation researchers who read guest reviews before booking a hotel said
reviews are most helpful when planning a family vacation, followed by travel
to an unfamiliar destination (89 percent).
Willing to share the good and bad about their hotel stay - While
23 percent of online vacation researchers acknowledged they were more likely
to post a review after a negative property experience, the majority - 52
percent - said they were equally likely to post a review after a positive
or negative experience.
** Figures in the second-fifth bulleted segments refer
to U.S. adults ages 18+ who use online resources to research and plan vacations
AND read guest reviews prior to booking a hotel.
What to Look for in a Review
What constitutes a good, useful review? Booker notes that this will
depend greatly on the traveler and the type of trip being planned. "Generally
speaking, a useful review is one that helps the traveler move closer to
a decision to book or avoid a particular property."
On hotels.com, guests are writing frequently about five areas - location,
renovations, quality of service, kitchen space, and value. As you plan
your next hotel stay, look for these points to help you pick the right
Some of our Favorite Reviews on hotels.com® http://www.hotels.com
Location of property - Do reviewers note the hotel's convenience
to shopping, popular landmarks, restaurants and more? If these places are
within walking distance, the traveler may not need a car on the trip. If
the hotel only has a pricey restaurant on-site - or no dining options at
all - having other choices nearby is often an important consideration.
Property renovations - Reviewers often include details about recent
remodels to rooms or common areas, which can make a stay more pleasant.
Are recent guests commenting on a property's new linens, fresh paint or
flat-screen TVs? Are they noting points that may have been missed during
Kitchen space and supplies - These amenities are noted often by
family travelers who have stayed in vacation rental or suite-style accommodations.
Do reviewers state that they had all the equipment they needed to cook
and serve a meal? Is the kitchen space a reasonable size, and are appliances
in working order? If not, consider a different property.
Quality of service - Was the front desk helpful to the guest at
check-in and throughout the stay? Were requests for repairs and orders
for room service handled quickly?
Value - Perhaps the most important points to look for in a review
relate to value: Do recent guests say the property was a great value for
the money? Would they stay there again? If two properties seem identical,
but reviews for one cite value repeatedly, that property may be the best
bet for the trip.
There’s no question – travelers have no shortage of opinions
about their recent hotels stays and are willing to share them. Good,
bad and indifferent, other travelers rely on this feedback to help them
book the right property for their trips. Here are some of our favorite
reviews, based on the amount of detail they offer to prospective travelers
who are trying to find the right property for their trip.
About the survey
If you want to be centrally located to explore the unique and living
residential neighborhoods and ethnic restaurants that make this such a
rich and interesting place to visit stay at this hotel. Rooms are spacious
and clean, service is friendly and it is a fantastic deal for the price.
We were both very happy with our selection. Only problem is limited parking
at the hotel.
Recently remodeled, however it could have used a walk-through after
the fact. We found the toilet not fastened too securely to the floor.
The fan in the bath needed more force.
The breakfast buffet was fantastic (and my wife lives or dies by
breakfast buffets): four different kinds of juices, various breads, croissants,
rolls, meats, cheeses, cereals, hot foods, breakfast cakes, fresh fruit,
coffees. There is a cappuccino machine that you can get yourself, but ask
the servers behind the table to fix a "fresh" cup for you, and they'll
bring it to you, too. Our son was able to find plenty to eat as well.
This “non-smoking” room reeked of smoke; the carpets were full of
Room was fine and beds were OK. Fine for a brief, overnight
stay versus having to drive home late at night. Wouldn’t stay there
for a vacation.
Every time we left or returned to the hotel, we were addressed by
our names and waited on as if we were VIPs. We needed directions to a restaurant
and a lovely employee walked us through the hotel via a short-cut to the
part of the street we needed to go. What a hotel! It more than exceeded
The tub was dirty, the pillowcases had stains on them, there was
only one functional outlet in the room, no mirror or phone in the room,
the elevator was broken, I borrowed an iron which turned out to have black
goo melted on the face of it (luckily I tested it on a towel before I used
it on my suit). I chose this hotel because it was cheap, but in the future
I would probably pay more for a little better quality.
I was there for four days. The room smelled of dog. It
was a nightmare.
Parking is non-existent; to save a few bucks, park at the 16th street
You can catch a bus just outside that will take you to the downtown
for only a dollar a person. Fresh, updated, clean room with fridge,
microwave and coffee pot. Very nice continental breakfast.
We would definitely stay here again and have mentioned it to others.
The water didn’t get very warm so it was not pleasant taking a shower.
The beds were too soft. The walls were like paper, you could hear
everything from surrounding rooms and outside. I was expecting a
lot more for what I paid.
In town for just one night before boarding a cruise; this hotel is
PERFECT for this type of scenario. We found the entire staff to be
impossibly polite and helpful. Great room for the money. I
would stay there again.
This hotel is designed to reflect an over-the-top air of ritziness
that often crosses into gaudiness. The restaurant showed more attention
to appearances than taste.
One of my all-time favorite hotels. The front desk is truly
multi-lingual; there doesn’t seem to be a language they don’t speak.
They went above and beyond the call of duty. They recommended restaurants
where the locals eat, taught us how to use the public transit, and one
of them offered to let us use his personal cell phone when we had issues
with the phone card we purchased.
The condo was too old. Needs updating and new carpet.
There was an insect problem in my room.
I was surprised by the sparkling updated bathroom, the fastest wireless
internet of any hotel I’ve ever been in; and a convenient location at a
great price. It will never make the cover of any architectural or
interior design magazine, but for giving the traveler all he/she needs
it’s all there for a good value.
This Travel Reviews survey was conducted by telephone within the United
States by Harris Interactive on behalf of hotels.com in the fourth quarter
of 2008 among 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18+, of whom, 566 use online resources
to research and plan a vacation, and 382 have also ever read guest reviews
before booking a hotel.
hotels.com(R) is the leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering
an extensive selection of more than 85,000 properties ranging from traditional
hotels and vacation rentals to bed and breakfasts and all-inclusive resorts.
hotels.com serves as an advocate for guests before, during and after their
property stay. To help travelers choose the right property for each trip,
the company provides a variety of tools and features, including property
descriptions, guest reviews, rate calendars, maps, virtual tours, and more.
hotels.com offers additional value for guests through its Price Match Guarantee,
Flexible Booking(TM) and welcomerewards(TM) programs. For more information,
please visit hotels.com or call 1-800-2-HOTELS. hotels.com is an operating
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