Does anyone describe hotels in terms of ‘stars’ anymore? Not in my experience, the last time I found myself researching hotels with friends, we described them in terms of ‘reviews’. Word of mouth advertising is back, and on a much bigger scale as social media and travel review sites like TripAdvisor are giving people a platform to give feedback and tips for other travellers. Sites like TripAdvisor, Kayak, Booking.com, Expedia and many more are popular because they aggregate data from a huge number of independent users. It is a much more informative system as well, because ‘4 stars’ doesn’t give you much information about the hotel itself, but a collection of reviews might mention that, for instance, the restaurant downstairs is fantastic. If you consider yourself a foodie, this might become the deciding factor for which hotel you book with.
We opted out of the AAA scheme several years ago, but sometimes wonder if that was the right decision?
Personally, I am a fan of looking at a hotel’s website and seeing how they promote and portray themselves, then jumping over to TripAdvisor to see how the images and reviews compare. Sometimes the differences can be pretty amazing!
Let’s turn it over to you now, do you still take hotel star ratings into consideration when choosing a hotel? Or do you focus on reviews from previous guests?