This may be too good to be true, that is if you're a TripAdvisor critic, but interesting for anyone visiting the massive hotel reviews site.
Arthur Frommer has been a critic of the reviews site for some time, and recently Christopher Elliott also wonders whether TripAdvisor is playing straight with all of its hotel reviews.
A guest at the Occidental Grand in Cozumel, Mexico, left a very negative review after what seemed to be a horrific stay with the hotel. However, the review wasn't posted until Mr. Elliott got in touch with TripAdvisor. Here's a juicy snippet from the review in question:
"When you arrive in your room, the first thing you notice is the mildew smell. The smell is pervasive, because when the rooms aren’t occupied, they pull the cards for the room electric, and the room sits and swelters in the jungle heat."
As Mr. Elliott questions, why did TripAdvisor initially reject the review without notifying the reviewer of the reason for doing so? Eventually they cited that the reviewer made comments on other reviewers which may have broken some policies. This looks disingenious though, as the following seems to have been the sticking point: "How this place rate 4 stars will always be a mystery to me. I really didn’t think that people could have such low standards."
In any case, whether TripAdvisor is censoring reviews or not, it's another reason to be careful and read all the reviews with some scepticism.
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I find this disturbing. When I read reviews of a hotel I expect them to be honest and fair. Covering up negative reviews will only lead to more people having bad experiences and less people trusting TripAdvisor.
Kristin McShane on 07 October, 2009