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Hotel Guest Ratings and Reviews

Alloggi Marinella photo

ABOVE: The Alloggi Marinella in Venice has a high rating from registered guests.

Guest ratings, or user reviews, are a convenient way to find out if a hotel is likely to meet your personal standards of comfort, cleanliness, staff courtesy, etc. Unfortunately, not all reviews are equally useful: Major U.S. and British newspapers have described how public-relations firms and hotel managers plant phony guest reviews on sites like TripAdvisor and VirtualTourist, thereby causing unpleasant surprises and disappointment for travelers who can't tell legitimate reviews from fakes. (There are even freelancers who will write 5-star Web reviews for $5, according to The New York Times.)

Fortunately, there's an alternative to reviews that may or may not be real: the guest ratings from our main booking partner, hotel descriptions are nearly always accompanied by guest ratings and/or reviews. What's more, these reviews are written by paying guests who have actually booked and stayed in the hotels. (We rely on such reviews ourselves when booking through Venere, and so far, we've been pleased with the results.)