Last night, I decided to do a little shopping for our next trip. There are several places I want to visit. Some places are more urgent than others are. For example, I really want to get to Berlin before we leave Germany. Other places are more “bucket list” type spots.
One place I was really considering visiting was a B&B in the Champagne region in France. I had found the B&B the last time we lived here, but we never got around to visiting. Years later, I see they’re still in business and they have more reviews than ever. Most of the reviews are glowing, though they did get a few that were less than stellar.
I do pay close attention to comments left by previous guests, but I pay even closer attention to the responses left by the hosts. I believe that anyone in the hospitality business should realize that sometimes people aren’t going to like what’s offered. Sometimes they will leave negative comments. No one can please everyone all the time, so it is what it is. However, when a host’s comments are snarky or overly offended, I tend to want to steer clear of that property. Such was the case with the B&B I mentioned earlier in this post, a place that currently has an overall score of 8.2 on Booking.com.
Have a look at this comment left by a guest.
A review from 2012…
As someone who has been mistaken for pregnant before, I could definitely feel this lady’s pain. It’s just one of those things better left unmentioned. I can’t blame her for being upset. Maybe some would accuse her of being overly sensitive. Maybe I might even give the owner the benefit of the doubt. But then I read his response.
Clearly, her review pissed him off and he felt the need to retaliate by referring to her as “sensitive” and vaguely accusing her of stretching the truth.
I have to admit, reading the “sensitive lady’s” review made me decide not to book this particular B&B. When I go on trips, the last thing I want to deal with is offensive remarks from a host. I see similarly snarky remarks the owner left on other lowly rated reviews that make me think he may be a bit of a jerk.
I made a similar decision not to book a highly acclaimed property in Amsterdam because of comments left by the proprietors. Here’s an example.
And the manager’s response is below.
There are actually a number of snarky comments like this one on Trip Advisor for this particular hotel. The manager seems kind of “colorful”.
I can totally understand why people in the hospitality business want to defend their product. However, being in the hospitality business means actually being hospitable. Sometimes that means biting your tongue. I distinctly remember reading reviews of this hotel and wondering if I should book it just to see if the manager would get “snotty” with me. Then I realized that Amsterdam has lots of hotels to choose from and why would I book one in search of a really bad time?
Granted, sometimes people do complain about stupid shit. But when a hotel proprietor gets caught with their pants down, it’s probably best not to get too snippy about the guests who catch them. We once stayed at a B&B in Key West, Florida. It was not a bad place. For awhile after our stay, I read the reviews left by other guests. One guy, a man from Australia, took pictures of the mattress in the room where he stayed. It appeared that someone had peed on it. He posted the picture on TripAdvisor and one of the proprietors came back very defensively instead of apologetically. Basically, he claimed he was too poor to either have the mattress cleaned or replaced. That may very well be the case, but the guest’s complaint was entirely valid. I see now, it’s been removed from the reviews.
It’s not as easy to find reviews of self-catering places. I do pay close attention to what people say on Booking.com when I use that site to reserve a place. I am even more careful to pay close attention to any management responses. Fortunately, when I have left negative reviews, most of the responses have been professional. I am not too hard to please anyway, though, even though I do enjoy writing the odd vent now and again. It’s probably best to keep things civil by all means.