tripadvisor takes the cake.

Without them, where would we be? If you are unfamiliar with TripAdvisor and you travel at all, you’re seriously missing out. TA is the only reviewer website that I truly frequent. Not only do they rate the hotels based on your votes, but they also rank them based on their competition in the city. For instance the Marriott City Center is #8 while the W Hotel is #14. You get the picture.

And speaking of pictures, my favorite part: not only does TA show you the beautifully staged, often doctored images the hotel wants you to see, they also offer “candid user photos.” Basically, exactly what you will see when you walk in the door. Rusted bathtubs, fresh flowers, aging linens– you name it, you’ll see it. But how lovely is it to know what you’re walking into before you book?

Definitely take some time to explore TripAdvisor and see how it could work for you. To get a good feel for the hotel rating system, I encourage you to look up hotels and places you have already visited and read the reviews. Do you agree with them? Always take reviews with a grain of salt. Clearly, everyone has different viewpoints, so consider who the reviewer is. How old are they? Were they traveling on business or leisure? Are they just old and crotchety?    All are scenarios that account for a review. Overall, you should be able to get a good feel for the location, cost, maintenance and service you will encounter.

And always, always, spend the few minutes to write a review—especially if you love or detest a place. Not only because it’s a nice thing to do, but also because you would want to know before you spend your hard earned money!

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