The Consummate Traveler: How to Write a Helpful Online Hotel Review

I don’t know about you, but the minute I decide to take a trip and need to find a hotel, I hit popular websites to see what the public has to say. After all, picking a good hotel can make or break your entire experience. My favorite “go to” site is TripAdvisor.com, which has always given me reliable and timely insight over the years. However, I must say, that not all reviews are actually helpful.

Some offer only complaints but leave out important details, while others can be glowing but too short and vague. Knowing how to strike the right balance of personal experience and practical information can lead to an invaluable assessment of a hotel’s performance. Let’s take a look at a few key elements to consider when writing an online review.

Mention room numbers: Too many times I have read reviews where people complain nonstop about noise, plumbing issues, or dirty carpets, but they fail to mention what room they were in. Likewise, those who rave about beautiful views or a newly renovated room leave this critical information out as well. Mentioning this detail can help readers take appropriate action if they have an upcoming reservation and would like to avoid or request specific rooms.

List out pros and con’s: On a rare occasion, there may in fact be a property out there that has no good qualities. However, most of the time there are a mix of good and bad elements to someone’s overall experience. I find it very informative when a post provides this balanced view. This way, I can weigh the commentary against my own list of requirements and decide if the property will serve my needs.

Talk more about the food: I have often observed that individuals will leave a comment saying that a hotel’s breakfast buffet was great. However, they never mention that it was a continental style selection of breads, muffins, and cereals with no hot food options. While some travelers may find this type of breakfast perfectly acceptable, some may not. Giving these details could impact someone’s decision to book a reservation or not.

Mention obvious “missing” items: I have had a few surprises over the years when checking into hotels that have only offered a comforter on the bed with no sheet in between or that did not have a hair dryer in the room. Although some of these “misses” may be customary in the market where the hotel operates, an online review should mention any of these critical points. This way a foreigner who expects certain amenities can be prepared. To this day, if I stay at a small hotel in a more remote location, I may pack my own sheet just in case.

As always, I wish you all the happiest of travels!

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