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There are plenty of places to find hotel ratings, and now most people do their searching for these on the Internet. It used to be more common to look up the way hotels were ranked in special travel guides published by companies like Mobil, Michelin, or AAA (American Automobile Association). When folks planned to travel, they might head down to their local AAA office, and if they were members, they could pick up books on areas to which they planned to travel, and find out which hotels and motels were most favored by AAA. Each facility was, and still is, ranked by number of diamonds, and higher diamond properties are considered higher quality.
Other rating organizations may use stars, smiley faces or numbers as hotel ratings, and usually the highest number of these represents a hotel or motel that has more amenities and is better in quality. It can get confusing when people begin to compare the same hotel over several rating services. They won’t always rank the same with each rating organization.
Some of the main online hotel ratings companies include the following; Expedia, Hotwire, Travelocity, PriceLine, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Sidestep, TravelPost, and TravelWeb. There are other companies to search too. Most of these companies make their profits by booking hotels, so ratings have to be taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, if the companies book customers into unsatisfactory hotels, customers are unlikely to use their service again. There is thus some incentive to give accurate hotel ratings.
A few of these companies even offer satisfaction guarantees, which can be helpful to consumers looking for ratings of a specific type or for certain amenities. If a hotel boasts wireless Internet service, for instance, and really doesn’t have it, some hotel ratings companies will book customers elsewhere, or offer them money back. It remains in the interest of these companies to make sure customers are satisfied with any hotels they use.
Those searching for hotels shouldn’t just evaluate hotel ratings with large booking and hotel discount companies. Another way to assess hotel quality is by evaluating customer reviews of various vacation places through companies like TripAdvisor. On this site, and others like it, people who have actually stayed in the hotels or motels review them for the benefit of other customers.
These independent review sites may give more of a picture of what staying at a particular place is really like, and might help prevent people from staying in various hotels or motels that aren’t of good quality. Once again, such ratings can be biased, and a single poor rating doesn’t necessarily mean a hotel is poor, but lots of ratings suggesting lack of amenities, little attention to cleaning or other faults may well be a good sign that customers should look elsewhere for a hotel with more favorable reviews.
There are two dozen websites, at least, that list hotel ratings. The problem is when the hotel management leaves its own reviews as a pleased and satisfied customer. This can skew the results, but a savvy traveler can usually tell when it's the management talking. They have only good things to say and they never mention anything that went even a little haywire.
Sometimes, the most instructive reviews are the negative ones, but always look at the dates to see how recent they are, and look at the issues they raise. Some people get torqued out of shape over nothing and you may end up thinking, "That's a Microtel. You were, perhaps, expecting The Plaza?" So you have to keep your standards at a reasonable level.
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