Hi californian - Sorry to deter from your original post, but I'm curious as to why you're directed to Hotel Reviews at sign-in. Where are you previously before clicking over to Insiders? Thank you!
It has been a major complaint that when we click on Activity, it includes hotel reviews and then we much click on exclude reviews to get rid of them. I had suggested that reviews just not be shown and if we want to see reviews, we could click on Reviews. This suggestion has not been done.
Anyway without looking at particular hotels just observing the stars and it shows a lot of negative ones.
Some people I am sure had legitimate lousy stays. On the other hand I believe that there are lots of people in this world who are simply never satisfied. Or, they get mad over things that the property has nothing to do with like the fact a road near the hotel had snow on it or there aren't a large number of restaurants nearby when the property is in a rural location, or they serve Heinz ketchup instead of Hunt's. My trick for reading negative reviews is this: if as I read I see the grammar is horrendous, there are misspelled words everywhere, or there is no clear, logical format to the review or the whole thing is written in CAPS!!!!, then I simply ignore it.
I am in agreement with what you are saying. Some of the reviews I have posted have been excellent then the next person to comment has a 1 star rating and in reading it I wonder if they stayed in the same hotel that I just stayed in and enjoyed. I have also been in line to register and listened to the way some guests talk to the staff....it is a disgrace, as if their status of gold or platinum has put them in a category that allows them to be rude. I have never had a person be rude or uninterested at checkin but I have also never had to state that I am platinum and I need or deserve to have an upgrade or special treatment. We have always been greeted courteously, with a smile and a thankyou for choosing Marriott hotels. We have never asked for an upgrade but have had a wide range given to us about 80% of the time. The people working in the hotels are just that....they are people who have a job like you and me, they have good days and bad, they have things going on in their lives that we as guests are not always aware of. I also find that a genuine greeting and common courtesy go a long way in this world. Love the Marriott Reward program and have utilized it to the fullest and will continue to do so. As for the reviews being negative I think that it is true that some people will never be fully satisfied.
I'm with you all the way here. I've never used my status to swing anything on reception, though I did once quote my MR# and "Platinum" on an email to the JW Grosvenor House before a stay with my family asking for a suite upgrade, which was granted... I'm a long time member of TripAdvisor and submitted reviews on about 100 hotels, over half of them Marriott. I think I've scored one as a 2*, it wasn't a Marriott.
So so what am I looking for in a hotel? Well obviously it varies with the price/market. $200 won't get you much on Manhattan, but will do you very well in Minneapolis, despite the price you can't expect the same experience at the FFI Manhattan as at the Marriott Minneapolis. Even so, speedy checkin, clean, quiet room, comfy bed, hygenic, well-maintained en-suite, comfortable well staffed bar, hot room-service food... Marriott routinely manages all of this and hence scores very well, and that's the reason I stay at Marriott's probably 75% of my stays.
Like you I'm very happy with the MR scheme, I generally get about 80% upgrades, maybe 10% of which are suites, love the points that's enabled me to stay at some fabulous places around the world, Dubai, Egypt, Monaco, Moscow, Paris and more humdrum places where due to dates the hotel cash rates are high. Then there's the free concierge lounges, always welcome, some pretty uninspiring, but at least there, Toronto Airport, Leicester, others astonishingly good, St Pancras, Moscow, Leeds and Copenhagen come to mind here.
So, yes, I do read some of the reviews here in wonderment at what appears to suddenly ruin a 5* stay and reduce it to 1*...
Why would this be a precursor to ignore a review? Caps can be someone's way to stress they were really upset and broken spelling in English may mean that the reviewer is not a native English speaker.
I try to look at reviews in the context of several reviews. If there are several reviews that are similar then it is easier to draw a conclusion in either direction.
I am a lifetime platinum and have stayed at Marriott's on 5 continents. There are some stellar Marriott's that have lower costs and there are some very expensive "normal" rooms (not suites etc.) Marriott's that are very poor service and cleanliness.
I agree with barrpat that pictures and specific details hold more wait then someone ranting but as I mentioned, take the reviews in context when reviewing.....
I think that there is a tendency to review a hotel only when one has a negative experience. I try to catch myself from doing this, but must admit that when I do have a bad experience I will always review that hotel. If it is a so-so experience then I will probably not do a review. Most of the time the hotels we stay at are repeats and are known qualities.
I do not have a source but this is a good point to bring up. Hotels know that if someone has a bad experience (statistically) they will tell 10 people of their bad experience while a person who has a good experience is likely to only tell 1-2 if that.......
I try also to give good reviews and bad reviews but it is much easier to give a bad review because of frustrations. When I give a good review, I will write a letter to the management team or call the rewards line so that it filters down. It really helps people who work at Marriott's (or anywhere) when kudos filter from the top down.
In response to both your posts, the use of all caps does not mean the review isn't legitimate but there are better ways to express yourself than screaming through the entire review. Secondly I do agree that negative reviews and experiences are shared much more than positive ones. Same holds true for restaurants. I have over 150 tripadvisor reviews to my name and the vast majority are 4 and 5 stars. The only ones that are not 4/5 are 3s and were in fact very average. I never give poor reviews to be honest, there are already enough people out there with nothing good to say so I choose to praise good experiences and ignore bad ones.
I don't think I've ever given any Marriott property a single, or dual star. I'm most impressed with Marriott quality, service, friendliness, etc. I've previously used Hyatt, Holiday Inn, Best Western, Hilton, Wyndham, and a few others, but intentionally choose a Marriott property when traveling now.