We love the reviews! REALLY!
But at the same time they frighten us!
The thing is: We do exactly what we have done since we opened – maybe just a little better because of the experience we gain everyday. At the same time our guests expects more and more due to all the positive recommendations on TripAdvisor.
Once we had guests coming directly from Dwarika’s – the most exclusive and expensive five star hotel in town. They came only because they had to stay at the #1 hotels in Kathmandu. We can’t (and won’t) compete with that. They should have stayed away!
So please keep your expectations at a realistic level
When you read the reviews on Tripadvisor we suggest you to do what we do, when we travel:
- We always read the bad reviews.
Most of the time they say more about a place than the good ones. And often it’s the bad reviews that make us choose a hotel. The thing is: What some travelers don’t like may be the the things we love!
- We look at the reviewers nationality.
Travelers are as diverse as the cultures they come from.
When we traveled in South Korea in 2013 we combined it with research and stayed only in top 10 ranking hotels in Tings’ category. After we had stayed in 4 or 5 of the places with high ranking – and were disappointed with all of them – we re-read reviews and found out that the few negative ones were written by Westerners who represents 5 % of all travelers. All the others were from different Asian countries, with very different cultures than our, and completely different expectations than we had. With that in mind we looked for the next hotel – with much better luck.
- A lot of travelers never write reviews!
The biggest problem with comparability on sites like TripAdvisor are the reviews/reviewers. It’s not all travelers who write reviews. Thomas never do it – Annette often does it, but not all the time. So the ratings do not show the average impressions of people staying at a place, but of people writing reviews. Further more you’ll have to stay in several hotels in each city to really compare the places. Very few travelers do. So when we’re looking for a place to stay, we don’t look at the ranking, which to us is too random. We consider the ratings more relevant – they are an expression of how those of the guests who like to write reviews feels about the place. So somehow we find it more important to look for ‘Travellers Choice’ than for top ranking.
- TripAdvisor and similar sites are useless if you’re looking for ambiance
If you – like we – love cozy places with ambience, the ratings alone on TripAdvisor and similar sites are not of much use. Mostly the ratings are based upon factual parameters such as cleanness, location, price etc. only. We have stayed in 5 star international luxury hotels – with high ratings and ranking – which we hated because they were cold and charmless, lacking personality. So we look at the pictures and read some of the comments to judge. If some people complain and say that the place is not as glamorous as they expected and that you would get better value from one of the international chain hotels down the road, we might think: “yes, this is the place for us”.
Don’t misunderstand us – we always use TripAdvisor when we travel!
But it’s not our ‘Bible’ – we use it with the bullets above in mind.
The same with the reviews we get for Tings. We read them and consider all the information we get from them. Sometime we post them on this blog with our comments. If you are curious read them here.
And sometimes we change and/or improve things when we agree with the reviewer’s comment.
At Tings we have travelers from all over the world and most of them like our place. But some have other expectations. Like the ones that comment on our ‘boring’ breakfast. A big surprise to us because most of our guests mention our ‘fantastic home baked bread’ in their reviews. When we re-read the reviews with the bullets in mind we found the problem: The negative comments on our breakfast came from Asian guests who prefers to have noodles or rice for breakfast!
So now we are preparing to include a more Asian style items in the breakfast for the guests who don’t fancy the the ‘boring’ European bread 🙂
Tings is a casual place. Like a big family with a lot of friends living in a big house
Nothing more – nothing less!
If you come with an open heart and open mind – it will make everything much easier.
Annette & Thomas
What does these statistics say about the ambiance we want to create at Tings?