You do not have to read very far on the internet to find negative reviews on just about everything! Part of it is that people are likely more prone to write and comment on the negative than to take the extra effort to publicly announce the positive. Also, it is a good way to help your fellow traveler know what they are getting. Hotels have been getting tired of the negative hotel reviews that people leave and some have threatened to charge people for them (and may even get protection from some kind of reviews). But, what actually is cause for a negative hotel review?
Is This Cause for a Negative Hotel Review?
I will admit up front – there are many times that I stay at hotels that I am actually searching for something that may be deemed negative because my tendency is to just go with the positive on what I am getting (and I want to make note of things that many people might consider negative)! When it comes to hotels, I select a hotel based on what I know about it/amenities/location and when those things are met, I am a pretty happy
camper hotel occupant.
But what exactly is cause for a negative hotel review? I mean, I have stayed at some hotels that were just atrocious – pools of dried blood on the sheets, a lot of hair in the bathtub, cigarette butts in the toilet and around the room, the door to my room left open everyday by hotel staff (when I left a Do Not Disturb flag on it), just to name a few! Obviously, those are things that call for a negative hotel review.
Then there are other things that are single incidents that you know are fixable. Do you use these to make for a negative hotel review or do you rate by something else (which I talk about below)? Here are two examples that happened in two of my recent hotel stays (different hotels, brands, and cities).
The first hotel is a Radisson Blu, the upper level of the Club Carlson brands. The room was excellent and comfortable though minimalist in the design (not a negative in my book).
But, here was the problem with it. I had had a long day and while I was reading in bed, I fell asleep. I woke up around 1am and went to turn the lights off (trying to grope for the switches so I did not have to really open my eyes!). I could not turn the main light off! I tried every switch and nothing worked. There was one switch near the door that should have been that switch but it did not work for anything in the room. My next step was to pull the room key card out of the slot on the wall which would make the electric shut off – but the light stayed on.
So, I called down to the desk to ask about it and was told it was the switch near the door. That made me relieved that I was not completely stupid as I had already tried that one! I told them that and they said they would send an engineer from the staff up to check on it. I declined because I knew it would take a bit, I would have to change, and it could end up with my having to switch rooms. I just piled the pillows to block the light from my eyes as best as I could and went back to sleep.
Worthy of a Negative Hotel Review?
My answer on this one is NO because it was a simple electrical problem – most likely. I am sure not every room is like that. I will certainly mention the issue when I finally write the post but just so that people know about it in case they have a similar situation there. The reason I won’t rate it negative is the response of the staff. They were very polite about it, offered to get someone up there right away, and pressed a little to make sure I did not want that. They made the effort – the decision to sleep with the light on the rest of the night was mine. So, I will still give this hotel a positive overall review because it was something small that could have been fixed and they were only too eager to do that.
The next night, I was at a different hotel. This hotel was a very highly rated hotel in a great location. The room itself was large and plenty of useful furniture (though really weird colors – to me). The problem in this hotel was the water. If the room has a nice bathtub, I like to use it. It is kind of a nightly hotel ritual of mine. In this case, it was an early morning bath. I turned the water on, felt it to make sure I liked the temperature and left it to get my coffee.
After a while, I came back and shut it off. I put my feet in – and could not believe the extreme heat! I quickly got out and it felt like I could feel the blisters already rising on my feet. I checked the cold water faucet – boiling hot. I checked the hot water faucet – boiling hotl I checked the sink with the same result. Now, I have had no hot water before but never had no cold water. This was serious enough that it was dangerous. Even the hot water was much hotter than it should be.
I decided to leave it for a bit and let it cool down to wash up since I was not about to take a shower in that kind of heat. After waiting an hour, the water was still extremely hot to the touch (the water already in the tub). Before I left the room, I tried the faucets one more time and the water was back to normal.
When I checked out, I made sure I let them know about the problem and how dangerous it was. They apologized and that was it.
Worth of a Negative Hotel Review?
Now, this is a little bit different. No, I still would not rate the hotel negative but would take a bit off for their response. If this had been in the US, I would have expected the manager to come out to make sure I was alright when I started talking about dangerously hot water that burned my feet (because of fear of legal action or something). But, this was not the US and it was little more than a somewhat automatic apology from the desk clerk.
Did I expect points? Absolutely not but I did expect some type of questions about it and what I had tried to see if it could help them fix it from happening again. Or, maybe just a note to send to their maintenance about the issue. Still, it was a pleasant stay so I will simply make mention of it and my disappointment of the response but not put it in the negative hotel review category.
What Do I Think Rates a Negative Hotel Review In Situations Like These?
In these, and similar, situations, I rely mostly on the response of the hotel. These incidents are typically one-off and more of maintenance issues than hotel issues overall. I understand things can happen. But, for me, it is all in how the hotel responds and handles the situation. Did they try to fix it? Did it sound like it was a boilerplate response to complaints? Did they show concern for the customer and the situation? Did they make a note of it? All of these things can show me if the hotel itself is used to these kinds of incidents or if they are really just special circumstances.
What would you consider is cause enough to make a negative hotel review – either on a blog or on TripAdvisor? Do you agree with how I rate situations like this in that light?