When the time comes to plan a trip, one of the most important aspects of the planning process is to read hotel reviews (to make sure that you’re not spending your money on a dingy hole-in-the-wall).
Reviews help travelers all over the world to make better hotel room purchasing decisions. And honestly, great reviews have been helping travelers for years now with the process of finding the best accommodations and lodgings for their budgets.
With that being said, there’s also an unspoken rule about hotel stays.
As an avid traveler yourself, you’re truly ‘duty bound’ by this ‘unspoken traveler’s law’ to contribute to the positive momentum by leaving your own hotel reviews whenever you stay at a new establishment.
A lot of people wonder if hotel reviews can even be trusted.
Well—as a traveler yourself, you can directly help to contribute to the solution to this in a positive way.
And this leaves us with an important question.
How do you write a constructive hotel review that’ll actually help other travelers and contribute in a positive way to the ‘traveling’ way of life?
That’s a great question.
Let’s talk about it.
1. Be Specific
At the end of the day, the more ‘specific’ you can get with your hotel reviews, the better.
Instead of describing a hotel as being ‘great,’ describe it with greater, more specific detail:
“The rooms were spacious and the bed was comfortable. I felt like the maid service left a bit to be desired because they didn’t replace all of the dirty towels. However, they did make the bed well and changed the trash—so that was a positive.”
2. Be Fair
Sometimes, a negative experience at a hotel can inspire us to leave a scathing, scorched-earth review as vindication for the value it detracted from our travel adventures.
However—sometimes, even amidst the ‘negative,’ there’s at least a bit of ‘positive’ to be found.
For example—you may not have been thrilled with the overall state or ‘feel’ of the room. But maybe room service went above and beyond. Or, at your request, they gifted you access to free wifi or delivered breakfast on the house for your trouble.
Make sure to include the positives along with the negatives.
This will be more helpful to travelers. Plus it’s just traveler’s code to give credit where credit is due—right?
3. Be Constructive
Instead of just leaving a record of negative experiences and complaining about those experiences, it might actually be helpful to the hotel (and thus, to future guests) for the hotel to learn exactly what your issues were.
For example—maybe you felt like the service at the desk was truly horrific.
Maybe you had to wait for 30 minutes just to talk to someone!
Instead of just saying:
“This hotel sucks.”
Try to be more constructive. You may very well be a part of inspiring a policy change that’ll fix the problem.
“I had to wait for over 30 minutes to speak to someone at the front desk. This was a shame, because if the hotel were to fix this issue, it would be such a nice place to stay in that part of the city. I hope they fix it and do better!”
4. Be Timely
It’s always better to write your hotel review as soon as possible after your stay. Days later is always best. Weeks, or even a month or two later is still helpful.
But once it’s been six months to a year, odds are good that a lot will have changed—and it’s highly likely that your review won’t be near as immediately relevant or helpful as it would have been right after your stay.
“Stayed at this hotel back in ‘78. The gas station across the street was full service back then, and the walls were beautifully decorated in full-on leaded paint! Not sure if the carpets are still lime-green shag, but it was really cool back in the day. Loved the disco ball hanging in the lobby!”
At the end of the day, it’s also important to try to leave your reviews on a positive note—even if you didn’t have the ‘greatest’ experience.
Well, it always pays to be a more positive person in this world.
You know what they say—you catch more flies with honey.
And when it comes to inspiring true, real, transformational change as a traveler, an honest, constructive review with a positive slant is sure to turn more heads (and inspire more change) than a blazing, harsh critique that doesn’t contain even a hint of hope or positive redemption.