(Closed) Nervous about Bad Reviews

posted 6 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
6998 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

people usually only post reviews when they have bad things to say about the place- take them with a grain of salt. I would check out different places for reviews instead of relying only on trip advisor – Another option might be to inquire about the resort through a travel agent and see what they have to say about it. i had never used a travel agent until our honeymoon and i was really impressed with their knowledge and felt comfortable with the resorts they recommended.

My husband and I did a trip to the bahamas before we were married and stayed at a place that had ok reveiews on trip advisor, not bad, but not great either and there were some things on there that made me nervous- i booked anyway and was happy with the resort – people are alwayws going to find things to complain about.

Just do your research (lots of it!) before booking.

there might be some bee’s here that have stayed there that might be able to give better input on that particular resort.

Post # 4
3264 posts
Sugar bee

I wouldn’t even bother reading the reviews or readin them with a huge grain of salt.

The reviews are often wrttien by people who have very unrealistic of both the location and the activities.  I think people see in movies what a resort is like and don’t realise that they are the ones that are $2500 a night with a personal chef and personal butler, and that the ones that most “common” people go on are the $100-$200 a night variety.

A very common complaint on the reviews is that the room was musty, but that is what happens in hunmid, hot, temperatures.  Or that the food was bland at the buffet.  But buffets are almost always bland and made to suit everyone’s tastes, not just one persons.  Or that customer service levels in developing countries aren’t the same as that at home.  It’s called Carribean time for a reason.

I don’t even really read them anymore.  People will never be happy. 

On the flip side of that though are people who go and love everything about everyone and everything at the resort.  I tend to group some of those people into the “I have never been anywhere before, so every flower is the brightest flower in the world” group. 

I look only for glarring problems.  Like construction has closed down all the pools and there were riots on the beach variety.  Other then that, you can have a good time every where.  It’s what you make of it.

Post # 5
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I agree with both PP.  Unfortunately most people write reviews when they are disappointed, not when they are happy.  We are going to Sandals in St Lucia and I saw many poor reviews; however, the more I looked into it many of the negative reviews came from people who were disappointed in this hotel versus the other many they have been to.  For me I am very laid back and very easy to please.  I would just keep researching, but only take the reviews with a grain of salt 🙂

Post # 6
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I agree with PP. Reviews are useful for getting an overall sense of the place. You can look for big problems that are mentioned in many different reviews (construction, closures, false advertising, etc). Otherwise, I usually notice that most bad reviews have unrealistic expectations and tend to ignore them.

Post # 6
1798 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2011


Post # 7
5296 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 1993

I’m going against the grain here, but I took reviews into my research heavily. The place we eventually chose had overwhelmingly positive reviews. I read much of the same as you on Sandals resorts, although I would still like to go to one of their St. Lucia resorts in the future. 

I looked for common themes in the poor reviews – did several people mention poor food, atmosphere, dirty rooms, etc. – or was it just several cases of sour grapes? 

Trip advisor was very helpful and ended up being pretty true to what we experienced.

Post # 8
487 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I just looked online and there are a couple thousand reviews for the location and it looked like they had 4.5 stars.  That sounds pretty good.  I agree that if you start to see a trend, you should be concerned.  Also, I don’t read reviews older than a year and a half.  You never know if they’ve changed management or what other things have changed in that time.

Post # 9
4804 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

If there is a high percentage of good reviews to bad reviews, I would probably not put too much weight on the bad reviews.  It’s all about the percentages and how many reviews there actually are in total.

Just remember that everyone has different tastes; I’m sure if someone who lives in a big, new beautiful house came to stay in my tiny little apartment that’s 20 years old, they would think it was a dump 🙂

Post # 10
6327 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

I base my choices at least partly on reviews. Yes, you get a few from people who will complain about anything (equally, you get some from people who aren’t well travelled and will rave about everything), but you also get a lot of balanced and informative reviews. The way I use reviews is as follows:

What is the average rating (I stay away from places with less than 4/5 unless it’s a cheap, short getaway and I’m fine with basic accommodation)? What is the average rating from reviews in the last 6-12 months? (eg a place might have had awful reviews 2 years ago because it was in desperate need of a refurb, and have since undergone extensive work and now be getting really good reviews; but the older reviews will still be taken into account in TA’s average rating)

What are the reviews like for the time of year I’m travelling? Eg we go in June, which for the Caribbean is mid-season, so if I want an idea of how busy the pools/beach/restaurants are, I look for reviews from this time of year; not much point in looking at ones from low season or high season.

What factors are common between all reviews? If 80% of reviews state that the buffet food was cold/cool, then chances are it will be.

Do the common negatives bother me personally? Eg I sometimes see people complaining that the beach is crowded/red flagged, but I don’t mind as we’re not beach people; but if lots of people are saying the pools are poorly maintained, this would bother me.

Finally: what is the reviewer like? Do they have similar tastes/travel experience to you? Eg if someone is used to staying in 3-4* hotels, then they might be blown away by a 5*, whereas someone who has been to many 5* resorts might not be as impressed.

I also look for detail: I’m not at all interested in generic, 4 line reviews, and I like to see statements backed up with examples. Eg if someone says ‘the food was terrible’, and leaves it at that, I tend to ignore it. Whereas if someone says ‘the food was terrible; they never cooked our steak how we ordered it, we had chicken that was raw in the middle, the buffet food was cold’ etc, then I’ll pay more attention.

One thing I have learnt is not to write off bad reviews just because I have my heart set on somewhere. I’ve done this in the past, and written certain reviewers off as overly fussy, only to find we’ve encountered the same problems. So now I take bad reviews on board and accept that I might encounter those things. Eg we’ve booked a ‘5*’ in the DR for next year, and reading between the lines, I think we’ll have a few issues (limited range of drinks; possibly some service issues; the food will likely be 3-4* standard; etc) because I’ve read the reviews and know what we like and what things will bother us. But we’ve got a good deal and I’m prepared to go and have a good time, knowing to expect 4* rather than 5* accommodation/food/etc.

Post # 11
573 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I personally wouldn’t worry too much. I went to the USVI this year with my SO and the place we stayed had some good, some ok and some really bad reviews. It depended what website I looked at. I decided that most people are going to be more likely to post a review with a negative comment and went without worrying. I had to keep telling myself that otherwise I would overanalyze and freak out. I also stopped reading reviews. I ended up loving the place we stayed at and agreed with the positive reviews more.

Post # 12
444 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

I agree with the others. Also, I ignore reviews that are overly positive/negative… resort owners can easily write their own reviews, and badmouth competitors.

Post # 13
1488 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I found a few bad reviews for our honeymoon while doing a google search, but I am not really worried about it. People only post when they have a negative experience, and many people tend to embellish a little. No matter what it is in life, someone or something will always get at least one bad review.

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