Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Deceptive Hotels - How to avoid them

In the digital age of photography, hotels and resorts can be deceptively inviting. Of course I don't expect them to slap up a photo of their maid service area, but manipulating photo's to make rooms, hallways, lobby's and other area's of their establishment to look much larger than they really are in person, isn't acceptable. A slight modification is no big deal, but when I'm expecting a room to handle four people and it's really only made for two, then we've got an issue. When the Olympic sized pool turns out to be slammed packed when there are five other childen occupying it, then we've got a problem. Don't advertise what you don't have and if your service and accomodations are worth the price your offering, you won't need to stretch the truth.

Here is how the story usually goes...

After a little online searching you come across the perfect hotel.  The right amount of space for all your bags, kids toys and the baby's pack n' play.  To top it off, it's right in your budget! 

Maybe the picture looked something like this...

A few weeks later you arrive to your hotel, excited for a great trip.  You walk in the door and here is what you REALLY get...
*example only- this is a great Seattle lodge
Did you really read the room description closely?  That oversized looking King bed turned out to be a Queen and all that floor space - well it was imaginary, or at least a slight "stretch" of the truth!

I've had this happen to me in the past and unfortunately during the moments when space mattered the most.  We had the entire family packed up for a week, crawling, playing and overall movement space was necessary.

How to Avoid them
I've found the BEST way to avoid this situation is once you've lined up your top picks for a hotel or other accomodation, google the hotel name.  See if other families have posted their vacation photos or if other third party booking agencies show more realistic photos of the property.  I have had this completely change my mind on properties when finding pictures from a new angle.  The one that wasn't touched up, stretched out and overloaded with added lighting.  Do the research and you'll be happy you did!

Travel Tip Tuesday - August 10th, 2010


Gray said...

So very true! I don't trust the photos that hotels post on their own sites. I trust customer photos. Really, some of these hotels should be sued for false advertising.

Slice of Pink said...

This is a great tip! I have had my fair share of disappointments based on photos that stretch the truth. I love the traveler's photos on Trip Advisor, which tend to be a bit more honest.

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