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Improve social media reviews of hotels?

By January 15, 2013September 8th, 2022culture, travel, web-tech

I came to New York to help my daughter get set up in Brooklyn, where she’ll be going to college for her last year. I decided to stay at a Hotel Indigo, which is not “officially open” but got pretty good Yelp reviews. I have been taking notes so that I can post my own Yelp review, and at the same time I’ve been pondering what would I like to see in a Yelp review?

Many reviewers simply provide a narrative of their bad or good experiences, without any attempt at a coherent overview. Since I’ve been thinking about it in a deeper-than-usual way, here are some things I think belong in a hotel review:

  • What is the signal strength of your cell carrier like? For example, I get great LTE coverage at my hotel when I’m in my 14 floor room, but no LTE coverage in the 2nd floor lounge. My carrier is Verizon; others would want to know what AT&T’s signal is like (ditto T-Mobile etc.)
  • What’s the exercise room like (what equipment etc)? I have taken a couple of pictures of the exercise room on my iPhone and will post those with my review. I took pictures not just of the equipment, but also the bookcase that has yoga mats, hand weights and towels, so that people can get an idea of those small amenities.
  • What are the other common areas like? Is the Wi-Fi good? Is the lounge area enjoyable to hang out in, or are there TVs blaring noise and kids running amok?
  • What was room rate did you pay? I am paying $109/night because I’m staying at the Indigo for 4 nights. Perhaps the fact that it’s not “officially open” is a factor. It’s January and not a busy time, so that’s definitely a factor. So it’d be nice if people said (1) what rate they paid; (2) how they got that rate, and if it was a busy time for the property.
  • Do the rooms have convenient electrical outlets for charging phones, computers, tablets etc? What features show that the hotel operators have upgraded to make the place “tech-friendly”? The Indigo, for example, has an alarm clock that lets you charge your iPhone or iPod and play music through the speaker. They also have really crisp HD channels on their ultra-sleek flat screen TVs.

Things I don’t really want to hear much about are problems that aren’t likely to come up often, like your room wasn’t ready on time and you had to wait 30 minutes. It’s fine if people mention those things in passing because it is a flag that can be compared with other reviewers who mention the same thing. But making small annoyances the centerpiece of a hotel review are low value to others.

Bottom line: we can all probably do a better job of reviewing places if we think about things more from the perspective of what future visitors might appreciate knowing. What kinds of things might those be? I don’t have a definitive answer. Perhaps your comments below would be helpful in figuring that out.

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