Hotel Reviews 2013: Just How Trustworthy Are They?

Trying to find a straight answer about whether or not a certain hotel will add or subtract from your well-plotted vacation, or business travel arrangements, can be a bit of an undertaking. The internet is highly oversaturated with dozens of deal and travel information websites that all claim to have the best of the best, when it comes to providing information about accommodations all over the world.

Imagine trying to book a hotel in Perth, but not knowing which websites review you can trust – what information is actually trustworthy? What information and reviews actually reflect the experience that the hotel provides?

They all look great on their websites, of course, but it’s difficult to tell which ones are sporting photos taken 15 years and several economic downturns ago. Most online deal websites, however, have significantly helped in this arena. One in particular is; a website chock full of genuine traveler reviews, as well as traveler-taken photos of the hotels that they load onto the website themselves.

Of course, these online reviews are very subjective; what one person finds luxurious, another may not, or one person might consider a hotel to be a dump, while another would be perfectly pleased. Typically, I find that it’s a good idea to read a few bad reviews, but to make the larger portion of your review-reading be of positive reviews. After all, not everyone is a “reviewer” who writes about every experience. In fact, some only take the time to jump online and write a review when they have a negative experience; a positive experience doesn’t typically evoke the same response. Due to this, even great hotels will have more bad reviews than good reviews, because their guests that had positive experiences, simply didn’t review it—they were happy, no need!

Another thing that is important to keep in mind is to choose review websites that have a substantial amount of reviews. For example, for most hotels, Trip Advisor has hundreds of reviews. This will provide you a far more accurate “big picture” when it comes to that hotel, as the numbers will simply average into more accurate ratings.


Now, what you—the traveler—want more than just casual conjecture is facts, statistics, that will back it up; which is why we’ve pooled the following below from a study and info-graphic published by the travel news website Tnooz in 2013. These facts and figures deconstruct how the general public feels about online reviews of hotels, and how much they trust them based on what their experiences have been.

How much do travelers trust online hotel reviews?

  • 53% of travelers will not book a hotel with no reviews

  • 78% of travelers feel more confident when booking a hotel that they feel has been thoroughly reviewed online

  • 95% of travelers say that reviews are very trustworthy

How much do travelers trust online hotel reviews in comparison to other review media outlets?

  • 48% trust Newspaper Ads

  • 57% trust Brand Websites

  • 70% trust Online Review Websites

How often do reviews reflect the actual guest experience and meet expectations?

  • 80% of travelers say the online reviews of their hotel reflected the actual experience

  • 15% of travelers think their hotel exceeded the experience and expectations expressed in the reviews they read

  • 5% of travelers claim that their experience was less than what online reviews indicated