How to Read Hotel Reviews and Ratings

With so many hotels available, deciding where to stay can be a difficult task. Hotel reviews can be a valuable aid in determining whether a hotel is a good choice. They talk about how guests felt during their stay, not just how the hotel describes its amenities.

But how do you analyze all the reviews and find out what people are really saying?

Here’s how to read hotel reviews and what to look for to help you choose.

Hotel Ratings

The higher the rating, the better, right? So take a look at the rating points and rank the options so that the best ones come out on top.

I usually stick to 7.0 or 70% as an absolute bottom line. Sometimes I even stick to 8.0 or 80% or higher if there are a lot of options.

A higher rating means that previous guests generally liked the hotel and enjoyed it with little or no problems. If you stick to these hotels, you are more likely to be satisfied with your stay.

An important indicator is the number of reviews of the hotel on the booking site. The higher the number of reviews, the more accurate the perception of the hotel.

This does not mean that a hotel with a small number of reviews is bad, but a high rating carries more weight if the hotel has been reviewed by a large number of people, not just three or four guests.

This also does not mean that you have to read all 300 reviews of a hotel. The first page should be enough.


What people say in hotel reviews

Read both the positive and negative things mentioned in the reviews and pay attention to the aspects that might bother you.

If you are easily distracted by noise, a hotel with many complaints about loud street noise may not be suitable for you. If you are sensitive to hard beds and there are few complaints about them, you may want to choose others.

If there are complaints that the TV is too small and you don’t watch TV on vacation, don’t take that into consideration when making your decision.

Some booking sites have filters for rating hotels. These allow you to filter by trip type (families, couples, solo travelers, etc.) or by reviews that mention certain topics. With these filters, you can see the reviews that suit you.

Ignore the extremes. If 30 people rave about a hotel and someone says it was terrible for some reason, it was probably a coincidence. Don’t let one negative review outweigh an entire series of positive reviews.


Hotel expectations

People have certain expectations that are not always met, but that doesn’t mean it’s the hotel’s fault. Think about where you are traveling to and adjust your expectations accordingly.

Looking for hotels in a poor country? Don’t expect the same standard as at home.

Traveling to a European city with ancient architecture? Don’t expect spacious rooms and elevators.

Read between the lines. If travelers don’t take these aspects into consideration, they often end up disappointed and give bad reviews.


Do not become overwhelmed by the hotel reviews

You can spend hours reading hotel reviews. At some point it starts raining and you can no longer remember which hotel complained about the noise and which complained about the free breakfast.

If you can’t remember which hotel is which, you can start over.

As you browse the different hotels, open each one in a separate browser tab. If you read too many bad reviews about a particular hotel, leave it and close the account.

Soon, you will have only a few to choose from. You can then look at the others and choose.

A good place to find and read hotel reviews is TripAdvisor.


Choosing a hotel is an important part of the planning process. After all, a hotel is where you plan to sleep for the night and you want to feel safe and comfortable there. But choosing a hotel doesn’t have to be complicated.

Avoid getting buried in hotel reviews. Read the hotel reviews objectively and consider what is important to you.

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