Do we believe TripAdvisor?

It’s a good question.  A lot of people swear by TripAdvisor and a recent bad review of a hotel brought up some interesting comments on the internet.  But let’s first look at the bad review and what happened to the person who posted it.

Tony Jenkinson and his wife spent a night at the Broadway Hotel in Blackpool.  They were so unhappy with the hotel that he posted on TripAdvisor that the hotel was a “rotten, stinking hovel”.  The hotel retaliated by charging their credit card with £100 for posting the review.  Gives you pause for thought….!  How many times have you posted a bad review of a hotel or restaurant.

What is significant also is that Mr Jenkinson is obviously familiar with TripAdvisor but seemingly didn’t check the site before booking into the hotel otherwise he would have seen that it was ranked 858th out of 894 hotels in Blackpool – and at only £36 a night – well the old saying “you get what you pay for” comes to mind.

So what gives the hotel the right to charge this “fine”?  Apparently it is in the small print which Mr Jenkinson’s wife signed off on when they checked in.  Wow – it is worth while to check the small print before you sign.

An interesting aside – this incident prompted some online comments on Travel Mole and the one below really stood out.

  • dodgy trip advisor

    you can pay someone in India to give you a 1000 “separate & independent” +ve (positive) reviews on trip advisor. Similarly you can pay them to give a 1000 -ve(negative) reviews to your opposition. Anyone who even reads this crap is obviously very naive & stupid.

    By Michael Anderson, Wednesday, November 19, 2014

So how reliable is TripAdvisor?  It’s handy but its not the Bible.  Remember that the person unhappiest with their vacation is going to be the one most motivated to write a review on Trip Advisor.  So balance out the comments, good and bad, search out other websites – and if all else fails – talk to a professional.  You’ll be happy you did.

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.


  1. I know of a hotel in Mexico which is owned by an American that has raving reviews on TA but they are posted by family!! Even the nice photos are of family. Sometimes it is hard to weed out the bad from the good.


  2. I slammed a hotel on Isla Taboga, Panama as one of our worst experiences anywhere. We are seasoned travelers and to that point, had contributed something like 130 reviews to TripAdvisor. Shortly after my review was posted, a glowing review appeared from a contributor with ONE review to his/her credit – and from the home town of the owner.
    I do use TA as a guide and weight reviews more heavily from those who have some travel experience as opposed to those who don’t or may have been otherwise influenced.


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