Monday, March 21, 2011

Roarprawn's Hotel Hell

We see that our feisty friend the Brunette over at the popular Roarprawn Blog is not happy about a recent accommodation experience she endured at a Wellington hotel after booking via

In her revealing post she rattles off a shopping list of the hotel's inadequacies including a smelly room, a tap that wouldn't turn off, a moldy bathroom, missing TV remotes, no milk or cups, no minibar and a suspicion that that the bed linen may not have been changed since the last hapless occupant. Ewww!

From a grumpy accommodation operator's viewpoint we respectfully suggest that there were a few smoke signals advertised on Wotif that strongly indicated that this spartan budget hotel was never going to offer an experience fit for a celebrity blogger. We note that the hotel self-rates itself at a "realistic" and lowly 2-star. We also note that examples of tariff on offer include sub-$100 deals and a "Studio Meal Deal" for $119 that gets you a room with free parking, internet and a Fish n chip meal for two!

So is "buyer beware" and "you get what you pay for" a valid argument that qualifies a "horror" accommodation experience?

Frankly this sort of accommodation is embarrassing and there is no excuse for lack of cleanliness, however there will always be a place for budget hotels. We note that for a measly few more bucks, guests can rapidly elevate themselves up the quality ranks by choosing some excellent value alternative accommodation. The real crime is that the disparity in tariff is so small!

Star ratings and tariff are reasonable indicators of quality, however social media takes no prisoners and will deliver the best indicator of quality and experience before you book on most occasions.

It's social media that is now quickly exposing inadequate accommodation along with those worthy properties that are doing it right on Facebook, blogs and guest review sites such as TripAdvisor

Many Online Travel Agents are now publishing guest reviews on their sites and this real-time exposure to the light is ensuring that accommodation providers continually need to lift their game. If they don't - the market will dictate that shoddy accommodation won't be sticking around for too much longer.

For one property, the Brunette has delivered a social media barb that will hurt. 

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