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Resort Reviews - Content & Opinions

While we all appreciate sites that are supplied for reviews for us all to read and help decide where to go (obviously such as Debbie’s), how much attention do you REALLY put into the contents of those reviews?

Again obviously, the hosts of review sites can’t be responsible for the accuracy of the reports and we must all keep in mind they are just a person’s opinion.

That being said, when I read a series of reviews on a certain resort (let’s say for arguement’s there’s 20 recent reviews), I’ll ignore the top 5 ratings and the bottom 5 as well, and I’ll consider the middle 10 to be the “meat” of the actual status, cleanliness, service level, food quantity / quality, etc, yadda yadda of how things really are there.

We all read reviews by what could be classed as perpetual whiners who would only be happy in a top-notch world-rated resort with cruise style food for $300 a person. On the opposite of the scale, some people would be happy anywhere as long as it has a bed, a pool and a beach and some food.

Anyone else do this type of filtering or do you take ALL into account?

I’m like you.
When people complain about the weather, other guests, children, flight delays etc., you must remember that these things change every day and your trip might not have any of the same details on your trip. That does not mean I discount their experiences, but rather I will not have the same experiences. BUT -small rooms are still small rooms and a half hour walk to the buffet from bldg 5 is still a half hour walk to the buffet from bldg 5.
Pick and choose from their report the items that will affect your trip. eg. I don’t scuba dive so if the diving sucks, big deal.
I do snorkel so if someone complains about all the coral, great.
Reviews by others are based on their trip experiences. Hopefully yours will be different, good or bad.

I am like Bigjohn. I look at all of the reviews and decide what will personally affect me on my vacation.

I do scuba dive so if it is a dive trip and the diving is no good then I don’t go to that area or that resort.

I am pretty easy to please on vacation. I like a clean room, a clean resort and really don’t care about sea food etc… so as long as I can find something to eat I will be happy.

I have talked to many people that also disregard the great reviews as well as the crappy reviews and take the information from the middle reviews.

I love to read all of the review no matter if they are good, bad or indifferent just to see where I should head to check out the sites and where to either stay away from or be cautious while visiting those areas.

Freedom Ryder 8-)…

8-)I always take the reviews with a grain of salt. You can glean some good info even from lousy reviews. I must admit I am a glass half full kind of guy because I’m just happy to be in the sunshine and drinking rum on the beach!

Some people’s wonderful (or lousy) vacation may have little to do with the hotel where they are staying, yet that sometimes clouds their ‘review’. I pay attention to who is posting the review to assess whether the information may be relevant to what I am looking for or not. For example, a few reviews by 19 year olds who rate a 3 star hotel as 5 stars, and are gushing over the free booze and beach tells me that is probably a place that I want to stay away from! ;D On the other hand, it may be right up someone else’s alley.

While every now & then, someone will run into a surly waiter or an indifferent front-desk clerk, when someone comments that every staff member was rude ???… well, to me that is probably more a reflection on the poster than the staff. I give Cuban staff no reason to treat me with anything less than excellent service, which is exactly what I get almost 100% of the time. :wink:

Went to Cuba for the very first time this year, and started to read reviews after we booked. All I could think about was you get what you get. :wink:
But, in all honesty, the reviews that raved about the resort we went to, and ones that just continually complained, I almost knew what to expect when we got there.

Again…it is just someones opinion.

Now, I have been researching other resorts in Cuba since I have returned. Would like to have a heads up re:beach locaction, how many pools, 24hr AI etc. for my next trip.

If I happen to read that out of 20 reviews say 18 folks are reporting bugs or the likes in and around the food etc, chances are I don’t want that.
If 20 other reviews from a different place and again 18 say the food is so-so or bad even but it has all the other amenties I am looking for, I will overlook the so-so food part. Really doesn’t concern me.

I am looking fo specific things I want in my vacation. If one of those specifics isn’t listed, chances are it’s probably not the place for me.
I too like reading the reviews. The good and the bad. It does give you a little bit more insight as to whether a specific place is right for you.

I go with the grain-of-salt attitude too.

My number one criteria is DA BEACH :sunglasses: , so considering that we’re up to our armpits in snow, ice, windshield wiper fluid, I am open-minded to the hilt! :smiley:

Yes, I do read the reviews to get the general feel of the resort. If I keep reading “cockroach-infested” or “mucho tourista” or “tsunami”, fo’get aboutit! ;D

The mind (one’s appreciation) is like a parachute: it only works when open!

This April will be my 8th trip to Cuba. If I paid attention to all the negative reviews I would still be sitting in my back yard waiting for the snow to melt and the Nova Scotia fog to lift to see the sunshine. I have never been at a resort yet that if I had a problem with my room etc. could not be rectified. As magrugada stated it is all in the attitude, you get back what you give. There will always be whiners no matter were you go.

I read reviews looking for things that are important to us: size of resort, shade on the beach, general age and type of clientele, towel wars, etc.

As others have mentionned, I pretty much ignore the extreme best and worst.

:slight_smile: Perhaps you missed this thread? :-*


I just read a few reviews on another forum. One of them complains about Cuban chefs (the chef at this resort is Jamaican), and another says there is no food available after the buffet closes at 9:30 (there are snacks available later in the evening outside the buffet, and there are also snacks in the fridge at the lobby bar).

You certainly can’t believe everything you read!

[quote=@shirleyujest] :slight_smile: Perhaps you missed this thread? :-*


Yes I did miss that, and it’s fairly recent too.

Shame on me!!! :-X

As for a few of the comments above in this thread:

I do read them all but will filter out what I believe is the verbal diarrhea of a whiner, or as someone said, the words of a 19 year old thrilled to see all that booze, food, beach, etc. You also have to be able to recognize when someone is peeved off at someone / something at the resort and exaggerates everything, or the opposite and everything’s wonderful.

Many people complain about the food and how bland it is. Personally (and I cook most of what I create in the kitchen heavily laden with spices) I enjoy going there and actually tasting what you’re eating, be it pork, chicken, fish, whatever.

That being said, food for me is far from the top of my priorities of where I go. While I don’t want the vacation spoiled by poor food / service. Last spring we went to Club Amigo Santa Lucia and the food and buffet service was the worst we’ve had in Cuba. I’d still go back to that resort because I loved the place so much.

I love reading bad reviews on places I’ve been though, especially when the reviewer was there close to, or in one case, the same week as we were.

I enjoy reading reviews. As previously stated, you can find out the factual information you need…physical layout of resort, features of the location, etc. and also get some sense of the ambiance. You can also assess what type of guests you are likely to encounter, e.g. if the overwhelming majority of reviews are written by whiny jerks, you might want to avoid the place. OTOH, if the reviewers are articulate, cultured individuals, you might assume you will be surrounded by a higher class of client (or perhaps supercilious, self important, p****s!) ::slight_smile: :wink:

I’m with eeeefarm.
I love the reviews because they save me a load of time figuring out where everything is when we get there.
If the reviews generally say there is a two hour wait to get to the room, we have our beach stuff in the carry-on and we’re gone for a couple of hours.
When there is general agreement about the “Seafood A La Carte being a “little off”” we stay away from it.
And when there are great hints about leaving a tip in the fridge for the refill guy, we got wonderful results.
I’m surprised Debbie doesn’t charge us a membership fee.
OOps! Did I say that?

I’m surprised Debbie doesn’t charge us a membership fee.
OOps! Did I say that?[/quote]


One thing I’ve noticed lately is some negative reviews by people returning to a resort that they loved the first time. Sometimes they talked their friends into coming back with them and find it doesn’t live up their previous experience, or has “gone downhill”.

I find this kind of fascinating - maybe it’s just human nature, and seeing a place through another set of eyes makes you more criticial? Or perhaps you just can’t repeat a magical experience, there will always be little changes, different staff and guests.

I don’t usually return to resorts even if I’ve been happy, I prefer to keep my happy memories and try new places.

Just returned from Playa Caleta in Varadero, brought friends this time, and they were pleasantly surprised… according to online reviews, the hotel was the one from hell… but once they saw how clean it was, the proximity to everything, they love it. Of course, some of the hotel is showing age, but it is competitively priced!

I use reviews to help me decide if a place is “stay away at all costs”, but for the most part have found that there are good and bad in all of them. Overall, I have found that those who are perpetually happy with their stay tend not to take the time to do a review, but the complainers can’t wait to tell the world “how lousy” their “rip off” vacation was.

I take all negative reviews with a grain of salt as I have generally found that some people are just never satisfied.

There are useful lessons though - like -

The bus ride from the airport is 2 hours long (go to bathroom before leaving)
Check-in is slow (go to bar, have drink, rest, relax, return after crowd has been dealt with)
Even though it is a late flight, check out is early (find out if there is a courtesy room)
Never any clean beach towels (pack one)
Dining room is crowded and long line-ups (watch for patterns - adjust eating schedule accordingly)