Make the most of reviews
How to search for and book a hotel or guesthouse
Pros and cons
Top tips for using accommodation reviews and ratings
Most accommodation websites now have a rating and review system and these can be super helpful when deciding where to stay. If the site itself doesn't have ratings or only has a few reviews then check out Tripadvisor which has reviews for an astonishing amount of properties. When you're looking through any reviews bear in mind the following points:
How many people have rated it?
All ratings sites should inform you of how many individuals have contributed to the overall rating. 3 people saying something is five stars is a completely different ballgame to 1000 people saying how great it is.
Read the middling reviews
It's easy to say something was brilliant or awful but middling reviews tend to offer a more balanced view with pros and cons.
Don't just look at the star rating
Take time to scan a few reviews to get a flavour of what is bringing the rating down and make your own decision based on what your priorities are.
Look for common themes
What is it that people are complaining about and how important is that to you? Masses of reviews moan about bad wifi and that definitely lowers the overall scores of some otherwise really lovely places. Are people complaining about things that matter to you?
Reviews that allow management to respond are often really telling and will give you an indication about how any future complaint you might need to make will be dealt with.
If you have to book
Sometimes you might not have much choice about where to book because of poor availability or sometimes you might be willing to compromise on rubbish wifi and a crap breakfast because it's in the most perfect location. Just be informed and realistic about what you're signing up to and you might be pleasantly surprised!