A few days ago, I had a really interesting conversation on twitter. Of course, I don’t know most people on twitter, nor I claim to be a savvy twitter user, nonetheless it is exciting to see how the collective opinions of hotel guests was the closest to the real experience you and me could have. Not just that, the power of good advice creates relations which exactly what happened, here is how the conversation goes:
LuxuryTravelMom: Good news, ugraded to suite at W Times Square…bad news…it’s dirty…eeewww
raveable: @LuxuryTravelMom I just looked up W Times Square on www.raveable.com – it says dirty rooms too (ranked 186 of 297) #NYC
LuxuryTravelMom: @raveable OMG, your site is right on, nobody has deep cleaned this room in a while, not sure they even know how.
raveable: @LuxuryTravelMom thanks! You will be surprised how many times we see “dirty rooms” shows up – it must be very hard to clean rooms
LuxuryTravelMom: @raveable I have to say, I’ve been spoiled by hotels that get it right, the W could use a new standard of cleanliness….
LuxuryTravelMom: Two great websites to check BEFORE you book your hotel @raveable ..#TravelTuesday
Well, first I am flattered with the compliment from LuxuryTravelMom. Second, our technology at raveable discovered that rooms are dirty matching the experience of a savvy traveler, finally there is no other site that bluntly say what you would say when you step into a dirty room. When I checked other hotel reviews sites that uses single-person opinion, I found no mention that rooms could possibly be dirty. This is understood since a single person might have a better experience. The point is though, one opinion will lose to two opinions. A collective thousands of opinions will beat a single opinion any day and time.
Trying to find a hotel for a romantic gateway with a loved one is somewhat difficult. There is no shortage of websites that targets couples on honeymoon or anniversary. A quick search on Google will yield few millions links. The problem is none of those sites have any useful information other than the location and price. That’s enough information if you are on road trip and would like to spend the night but for a romantic vacation or honeymoon that’s really not enough, hence the frustration. Here is another poof from New York Times article that shows that the worst part about a trip is the effort to sort through pages of hotel and flight results! Do I need to say more!?
As you know, at raveable hotel reviews, we are trying to address these pain points and as you saw on my last post we already started listing hotels with jacuzzi or jetted tubs. Today, I have more good news for romantic travelers seeking romantic hotels, we have uncovered more nuggets of information to help you out. Here is what we have for you:
- The Most Romantic Hotels for a Romantic Vacation
- Hotels with a Fireplace in the Room
- Hotels with Balconies, Terraces or Lanais
- Hotels with a Jacuzzi
- Hotels with Private Plunge Pools or Pool in Hotel Room
It is our hope that our efforts will help couples everywhere have memorable romantic time. Give it a try and let us know.
Photo credit: mrhayata
It occued to us at raveable.com that most travel web sites seems to copy the list of amenities from one another. It also seems that this information is largely outdated and inaccurate in most cases. So we decided to do something about that and provide a bit more useful information that travelers are seeking in their quest to find the perfect hotel:
Hotel Guests Know Better
Most web sites focus on price. That seems to be the industry focus and nothing else gets any attention including hotel features\amenities. For that reason we decided to use hotel reviews to find not only that presenece of a certain feature or amenity in a hotel but also the comment made by the guest about its condition or quality.
As you browse to each hotel page on raveable.com, you will find much more about features and amenities that is totally driven by you, our fellow traveler.
Your feedback welcome.
I absolutely love the fact that travelers are sharing their experiences with fellow travelers through reviews. Reviews are growing rapidly reflecting on the good nature of people and their desire to help others, even strangers, to avoid a costly mistakes and ensure a more enjoyable vacations. With over 50,000 hotels in the United States, there are 10 hotels that receives more reviews than any other:
- Luxor Las Vegas – 4610 hotel reviews
Ranked #114 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino – 4394 hotel reviews
Ranked #20 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Bellagio Las Vegas – 4329 hotel reviews
Ranked #11 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- MGM Grand Hotel & Casino – 3925 hotel reviews
Ranked #42 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Hilton New York – 3711 hotel reviews
Ranked 150 out of 297 best hotels in New York City
- Flamingo Hotel & Casino – 3132 hotel reviews
Ranked #94 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Excalibur Hotel & Casino – 3024 hotel reviews
Ranked #94 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino – 2743 hotel reviews
Ranked #72 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Treasure Island – 2737 hotel reviews
Ranked #28 out of 147 best hotels in Las Vegas
- Hayatt Regency Orange County – 2711 hotel reviews
Ranked 7 out of 10 best hotels in Garden Grove
So the Luxor is the winner with 4610 reviews! That’s a lot of reviews.
Few interesting things to note here:
- The hotels that made the list are fairly large with a lot of rooms. An interesting calculation here is what is the average reviews per room but I will leave that for a later post.
- 8 out of the 10 hotels are in Las Vegas. Generally speaking, we found that hotel guests tend to write reviews for leisure trips more than any other.
- More reviews does not mean better ranking.
Having all these reviews is a great thing… definitely better than not having any data to base you decision on. But it is getting to be a problem of its own and that’s why we built Raveable.com: To help you make sense of that!
Photo courtesy PhotoXpress.com
We’ve been hard at work in a site-wide refresh to reflect on the feedback we got since our launch early May 2009. We are not done yet and I would love to get your input on the site and any thoughts on how to improve. Also you are welcome to blog about us if you think your readers will find the site useful.
The new update drives the user experience closer to our goal of saving travelers time and making the process of researching hotel quick and easy. We believe, from personal experience, that the process of finding a hotel for the next trip is frustrating and time consuming. Hotel reviews are a great source of information but they are scattered in many sites beside there are thousands of them. Travelers feel obligated to skim through hundreds of lengthy reviews with inconsistent recommendations from one review to another before they make up their mind. Raveable indexes all reviews from top tier hotel reviews sites and analyzes them for what’s good and what’s bad. To give you an example, here is our new scorecard for Bellagio Las Vegas based on 4329 reviews from 6 sources. You can also check the Best Hotel in Las Vegas collection to see the hotel ranking across the city (updated monthly).
The analysis on the scorecard is supported by hundreds of review excerpts that you can browse and check for yourself.
You be the judge. I welcome your feedback and thoughts…
We have been hard at work at adding and improving our at-a-glance features since our launch.
When we started Raveable we wanted to make it easy to differentiate between good hotels and just ok hotels and excellent hotels vs the good ones. The original design solves this problem in part by providing a series of rankings by hotel, by hotel class and by hotel feature.
If you’re looking for the best hotel in Myrtle Beach the current design makes it easy to quickly identify 3-4 properties you should consider. For example (image below):
- The room is ranked #23 while the service is ranked #51 out of 122. This is helpful when you want to compare individual features across properties.
- The colored boxes represent a rating or score for individual features. This shields users from naturally trusting a property ranked #1 but with below average quality. In practice this is helpful in small towns or resort destinations with only a few properties.
These features allow users to analyze hotels with a higher level of precision than ever before. This level of precision created unintended challenges we wanted to overcome in a new design.
- We re-learned that people don’t analyze web pages they surf them. (Don’t make me think)
- The over-use of bright color makes the other information on the page seem unimportant.
- Too much information and differing amounts of emphasis left people confused about how to interpret the numbers and colors.
Tony Wright co-founded a company that has an app for employee time tracking software . He was an early advocate for solving the problem by removing the amount of information we display to the user. One of our advisors also found our colored numbers to be difficult to grasp and thought we should remove them. Our one on one user conversations and analytics data supported this conclusion.
The great challenge in web design is striking the right balance. We have adopted a less is more approach to the page design by removing the rankings and colors that made our initial design more difficult to grasp. We think it helps to balance usability and information analysis.
The new design for our hotel scorecard goes live a week or so. Let us know what you think of the current design, or share your recommendations for what would make the site more useful.
Surprise hotels in New York City actually have fewer complaints about noise than beach front towns like Santa Monica and Monterey. The the cities below had the highest percentage of complaints about noise based on comments found inside of online hotel reviews.
Pack your ear plugs – The top 7 noisiest U.S. cities.
7. Honolulu, Hawaii: So much for the island getaway – 5.4% of hotel reviews in Honolulu contained complaints about room noise.
6. Miami Beach, FL- Apparently the South Beach night life was a bit too much for over 5.8% of travelers.
5. New York City -NYC – The big apple was #1 in terms of the total number of complaints about room noise. However, on a per review basis 5.9% of all hotel reviews contained complaints about noise.
4. San Francisco, CA –Move over NYC, San Fran is the noisiest big city for travelers. Over 6.4% of reviews about hotels in San Francisco contain complaints about room noise. Let the coastal rivalry begin.
3. Anaheim, CA – 6.5% apparently “quiet as a mouse” doesn’t apply to the home of Disney Land.
1. Santa Monica, CA –7.79% of reviews contained complaints about noise making it the noisiest city in the U.S. for leisure travelers.
It appears that being in a hotel near a beach or the ocean is a bigger threat to peace and quiet than being in a hotel in a major city. I suppose one explanation could be that skyscrapers can rise above the noise while the smaller hotels located on the beach don’t have that privilege.