Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hotel Teatro Heeds TripAdvisor

Some in the travel industry, namely Professional Travel Guide and Star Service Online, among others, advise consumers and travel agents, respectively, to disregard consumer-written hotel reviews like those on TripAdvisor and other review sites.

These reviews, the argument goes, are unreliable, fraudulent and dangerous.

But, these companies should know that the hotel industry itself pays very close attention to TripAdvisor, for better or worse.

Heather Turner tweeted the other day about Hotel Teatro, a boutique property in Denver, which leverages TripAdvisor to its advantage.

HotelMarketingStrategies quotes Hotel Teatro General Manager David Craig on how the property uses TripAdvisor reviews.

"We also spend the first portion of every staff meeting reading our newest TripAdvisor reviews aloud to the group," Craig is quoted as saying. "This establishes a forum for recognizing favorable performance and for developing solutions where we have areas of opportunity."

And Craig advises repeat guests, who corresponded with the hotel about their pleasurable experiences: "Thank you for taking the time to relay the details of your experience at Hotel Teatro. I am so glad that you had a wonderful visit. If you’d like to share your experience with others, I encourage you to do so at"

No word if Craig advises any unhappy guests to do likewise.

However, Hotel Teatro's strategy of paying close attention to what is being said about the property on TripAdvisor, and doubtless in other social media outlets, has helped the hotel achieve its TripAdvisor Popularity Index Rating of #2 out of 148 hotels covered by TripAdvisor in Denver.

Hey, TripAdvisor is very far from perfect.

But, smart companies and astute travelers would be wise to take its reviews into account instead of pretending they don't exist or have no merit.


Andrea said...

I always check reviews on Tripadvisor before I book a hotel. I don't really see how it can be dangerous. When searching for a hotel, I'll do a bit of research, narrow it down to 2 or 3 hotels and then check for reviews. Works for me.

Dennis Schaal said...

Andrea: Works for me, too. I never believe EVERYTHING I read on TripAdvisor, on a news website and not even on a blog:) TripAdvisor has some great information. You just need to get a well-rounded view and check multiple sources.

Ming said...

I also never believe everything I read on TripAdvisor as well, I always go to multiple sites and check out other reviews as well. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and just because someone gave it a 2 star, doesn't mean I would, or care. Someone gave this hotel a 1 star because the front desk didn't speak English (this was in China), and I thought communication isn't the biggest concern for me at a hotel, so I booked it anyway and turned out nice :)

Jason Reese said...

I agree completely. There is a lot of negativity nowadays regarding false reviews, and TripAdvisor seems to get the brunt of the argument. Just as 1-star reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt though, a glowing 5-star review is also pretty easy to dismiss. Hotels Managers taking the time to read users comments and respond to each sends a very different and powerful message though. There is more value than not with Tripadvisor, and I too always check them before booking an unknown hotel.