Whether it’s the secluded 18th century villa on Lake Como, an ultra-luxe hotel in downtown Tokyo or a suite designed after Coco Chanel herself, some hotels just stand out from the crowd. In a time when travelers rely on real hotel reviews to make their booking decisions, it pays to have the best online reputation management tools at your disposal.
To help you get the most out of your online reputation management efforts, we’ve compiled this list of the best hotel review sites in the business. The sites aren’t necessarily the most popular, but they all offer a great way to check real-world hotel reviews and compare prices.
TripAdvisor is the 900-pound gorilla of hotel review sites, with 661 million reviews on accommodations, airlines and experiences. Its big flaw, however, is that reviews aren’t verified, meaning anyone can submit a review regardless of whether they’ve ever stayed at the hotel in question. As such, some of the reviews on TripAdvisor are inaccurate or even malicious.
For that reason, savvy travelers often look elsewhere for trustworthy hotel information. That’s especially true for luxury travelers. The best hotel reviews on the Web can be hard to find, but these five websites can help you spot the right hotels for your budget and style.
Google is making a bid to be the new king of hotel reviews, with its Hotel Finder feature that displays a map with hotels in your destination city, as well as photos, prices and street view panoramas. It’s also integrating reviews into search results, giving it an edge over TripAdvisor. However, just like TripAdvisor, Google doesn’t require verification, and some of the reviews on this site are inaccurate or even malicious.
If you’re a member of a hotel loyalty program, it’s usually best to book directly with the hotel or chain. That way, you’ll earn points and elite night credits, and you’ll be less likely to lose out on a discount or deal. If you don’t have loyalty status or are looking to save, start with a travel website like Kayak or Skyscanner. These sites show you all of your booking options, and many of them include a “view prices” button that shows you the lowest rate available on each site. Then, click through to the hotel’s website to complete your reservation. If you can, avoid booking through a third party because they may charge you extra fees or mark up the price of the room. It’s not always worth it. If you do want to book through a third party, keep an eye out for deals and discounts, such as Priceline Express Deals, which offer up to 60 percent off certain hotels. Also, be sure to read the fine print to avoid overpaying or getting duped into a scam.