Brochure speak

It really is a calling if you think about it – the people who write for travel brochures.  It’s easy to gush about 5 star cruising and small exclusive boutique hotels but what about those 2 star hotels?  How do you describe a 2 star hotel and still put a positive spin on it?

Just stand on your tippy toes on this stool and over the top of the chimneys you can just catch a glimpse of the sea ….. honestly!

Comments such as a “pleasant surprise” or “right in the centre of bars and entertainment” can be found.  How about that “five minutes to the beach” or “partial ocean view”.  Yes there is a lovely partial ocean view if you stand on a chair and stick your head out of the window so you can see to the end of the alley.  Also beware of rooms that might be described as “cozy”…. shudder.  Conjures up images of old candlewick bedspreads.  “Quaint” and “comfortable” are also found dotting around descriptions of 2 star hotels.

I think this is why Tripadvisor has done so well.  It cuts through the lyrical prose of the travel brochure and cuts to the quick with descriptions such as “wouldn’t wish this on a dog” or “Worse than Afghanistan…. have been in the army for 18 years”

If you have time on your hands you can find reading Tripadvisor quite amusing – here’s an extract from a review of a hotel in Brussels…

“The location leaves a lot to be desired, unless you happen to be a free-lance exotic dancer. Nestled in a district of sex shops and strip clubs, the area attracts the sort of people that you would cross the street to avoid. As you enter the hotel, you are greeted by decor that is almost medival – and a strange old man who is always angry; and ironically smoking a cigar next to the ‘no smoking’ sign.
Next, you enter the lift – I have seen suicide attempts that adhere to more health and safety measures. Seriously – take the stairs. It rather optimistically has a four person maximum capacity – God help you if one of your companions happens to be fat… ”

That one really made me laugh…..

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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