This one is going to be for the other gentlemen out there reading our page. Have there been any of you out there who had a weekend full of romance planned and you got your girl all worked up and excited until you pull up to the hotel that looked so promising on the website? Pictures can be deceiving and I don’t think it needs to be said that hotel companies (Red Roof Inn included) will only put pictures on their website that look pristine and like they came out of a magazine.
Unfortunately the pictures on the website aren’t always as they appear and can lead to a dull weekend which should have been a way to spark a relationship back up.
Back to Reviews!
I feel like we have come back to this subject quite a few times but it really is important and can save a vacation. Whenever I have been leery of a hotel I wanted to book, I would go straight to the review pages and see what some customers had to say. Time and time again I have found people explaining that the pictures really aren’t what they seem. Sure, the lobby might have been kept up, but the pictures of beds and bathrooms that were so happily displayed on their website were taken 30 years ago.
Here is real life example of this sort of circumstance that somewhat ties into what I mentioned a few days ago. While I was moving around the country with my wife at the time, we finally found a house but wanted a few things done around the house. To give them credit, St Charles Roofing INC was a company that we hired for a few projects and asked straight up about the pictures found on their website. They were immediately upfront and honest about them and told us that they weren’t taken directly by them but we were more than welcome to come and check out some of the things they had pictured in person which showed their honesty.
If you see some pictures on a hotel’s website that might not be up to date, don’t be afraid to call up and find out directly from them! Any reputable company won’t try to hide behind pictures taken decades ago and should welcome you to do so.
So remember when we talked about reviews being your number 1 resource for hotels and getting a general idea on what you are getting into? Well this is where you come in and give back to all of the other potential vacationers who are looking for a place to stay!
Now I am not asking that you take the time to create a whole website like I have done, but taking the time to give an honest review of the place you have stayed really goes a long way.
Honesty is Always Best
I can’t tell you how often I have seen reviews on various websites (cough, yelp, cough) where people have left a negative review in horrible but articulate detail, and then that turns out to be the only review that person has ever left. I don’t know what it is, but people tend to have a need to leave bad reviews for bad experiences but leave the good experiences unnoticed.
If you have stayed at a hotel and they really made a great impression on you, then help that business out by leaving an honest and helpful review for others! On the other hand, if you have stayed at a hotel and the experience was abysmal then you have every right to leave a negative review but I really want to encourage everyone to be honest with this. Don’t leave attacks when they aren’t warranted and don’t only leave reviews for your negative experiences!
Although we touched on this topic a little bit earlier in regards to making a good first impression, we believe that this one is important so we are going to go into more detail.
You Should Feel At Home!
Who else out there wants a hotel that gives them a “homey” feel while they are staying there? There is something about a room making you feel like you are right at home that can make your stay a memorable and comfortable one.
Before my family and I moved into our new home, we had lots of work done to our previous house in hopes of adding value and making some money off of our sale. Just like hotels, we wanted our home to look inviting and welcoming whenever any potential buyers were coming by so we made sure that our roof and siding was more than up to standard and made our house look brand new from the outside. As a thank you for the great work that they did we want to give a shout out to our new friends over at Tulsa Roofers – install new roofs; they definitely made sure that our first impressions counted!
So take this logic when you are looking at a hotel from the outside for the first time. Does it look like they have been taking care of the building? Do you think the rooms are going to be in similar condition? Chances are very more than likely yes, yes they will so it is important that a hotel company takes the time to keep their building in shape and up to current standards. If a company won’t take the time to make their building look presentable from the outside, you can bet that the same will apply to the inside!
Red Roof Inn and other comparable hotel companies almost always have maintenance crews working on the outside of the building whenever I have stayed there and this tells me one thing; they actually care and take the time to try and invite others to stay with them!
Picture for a moment that you are in the market for a new home and are going to a bunch of open houses to look at your options. Would you want to look any further in the house if the porch was completely run down and in horrible condition?
What does that tell you about the condition throughout the rest of the house?
Chances are that the conditions around the rest of said house is in comparable shape and would be safe to assume so.
The Same Applies to Hotels!
What I have noticed about the Red Roof Inn and other comparable hotel companies is that the lobby is always kept in tip top shape and always makes you feel welcomed when you first walk in. If you haven’t found any reviews on your choice then the lobby’s condition is the next best way to get a feel for the place.
Now unfortunately, chances are you already have the room booked by the time you get to check out the lobby but if you were fortunate enough not to book by the time you see the lobby then you can assume that the room you will be staying in will be in comparable shape as the lobby.
Whenever I have stayed at The Red Roof Inn or other reputable places, the hotel lobby is always kept in immaculate condition and the people working up front are always smiling and welcoming me with open arms.
If the employees look like they don’t want to be there then you will most likely feel the same in your room.
I am sure that there are many of you out there who can relate to my spring break story that I mentioned with my last one, but for those of you who haven’t been burned yet then this one is for you!
Reviews Are Your Friends!
After our vacation was over and I entered back into the real world I decided to go back to the website that I found that awful hotel on and re- look at everything once again having seen and experienced the hotel myself. The first thing that I immediately noticed on their web page was that there were no reviews or testimonials from guests that have stayed there. Now that I had stayed at that hotel this was no longer a mystery. Who would want a bunch of people coming on their page to just trash them and let everyone else know what a nightmare it is? Yeah, no one.
Any reputable hotel that is worth staying at will almost always have reviews or testimonials right on their page from happy guests. If you have a product or service that you are trying to sell to others, wouldn’t you want other people who have tried your product to let others know how their experience went?
Well, anyone who is proud of the products they are offering would certainly want others to be talking about them and this same idea applies to hotels across the country! Trip advisor can be one of your best friends when choosing a hotel and is usually loaded with real life experiences from people who have actually stayed there. If you can’t find any reviews from happy customers, it is most likely time to move on to your next option.
Is there anyone else out there who has had their vacations ruined by booking the wrong hotel? I learned that mistake the hard way many years ago when I was booking a hotel for my high school spring break where six of my friends and I were staying at Panama City Beach in Florida, somewhat close to where the Red Roof Inn in Ocala is located.
I won’t mention the name of the hotel on here because this was many years ago, but the moment we pulled into the parking lot and saw the burnt out lights on their sign in addition to being the only hotel in the entire town with their “vacancy” light turned on I knew I had made a horrible choice. Granted, we were all a mere 18 years old just trying to have a good time so we were able to find the humor in the whole situation.
Now that I am all grown up and not trying to stay in a frat house whenever I go on vacation, I take the necessary precautions when choosing a hotel and don’t immediately trust the pictures on the website like I used to do. With the internet being so readily available and at our finger tips whenever we want, it amazes me how many people neglect to use it to their advantage to try and get some real information on the hotels they are trying to book.
I am going to go over some of the horror stories I have experienced and heard from others when booking a terrible hotel for their vacation and what to keep on eye on for yourself!