2012 Traveler Rants & Raves: One Million Online Comments Show What Guests Love About Your Hotel & What They Complain About

Whether they love it or loathe it, your guests are taking their feedback online in increasing numbers. This year alone, millions of hotel reviews have been posted on the internet across review sites and social media platforms. Who listens to all these reviews? We do.

So what are guests’ biggest rants and raves? We looked at one million comments around the world to find out what guests love and what they complain about as it relates to their hotel experiences. More often than not, it is one in the same. Service, food, breakfast, cleanliness (or lack thereof), room size and pricing made appearances on both the top 10 complaints and compliments.

Here’s a look at the top 20 rants and raves from over 200 sites around the world across 23 languages:

1. Unprofessional/incompetent service   (11785 mentions)
2. Small room   (8669 mentions)
3. Expensive/overpriced   (8390 mentions)
4. Tasteless, bad breakfast   (8243 mentions)
5. Bad food   (5956 mentions)
6. Dirty room   (5439 mentions)
7. Unfriendly service   (5123 mentions)
8. Bad bathroom   (4600 mentions)
9. Bad service   (4266 mentions)
10. Loud, noisy room   (4123 mentions)
11. Tasteless food   (3924 mentions)
12. Bad bed   (3861 mentions)
13. Small bathroom   (3649 mentions)
14. Hard to find, isolated location   (3074 mentions)
15. Not available, scarce internet   (2958 mentions)
16. Old room   (2821 mentions)
17. Bad location   (2594 mentions)
18. Dirty bathroom   (2411 mentions)
19. Expensive, overpriced breakfast   (2395 mentions)
20. Bad parking   (2181 mentions)

1. Friendly, professional, efficient service   (103440 mentions)
2. Great, well-situated location   (98668 mentions)
3. Good room   (40191 mentions)
4. Great food   (42868 mentions)
5. Great breakfast   (41356 mentions)
6. Clean room/hotel   (27513 mentions)
7. Large room   (23867 mentions)
8. Good, affordable price   (23292 mentions)
9. Good bed   (11369 mentions)
10. Nice view   (9147 mentions)
11. Good Pool   (8178 mentions)
12. Good bathroom   (7067 mentions)
13. Easy, available parking   (6939 mentions)
14. New room   (6144 mentions)
15. Free internet   (5956 mentions)
16. Good sauna/wellness   (4919 mentions)
17. Quiet room   (4681 mentions)
18. New hotel   (4641 mentions)
19. Free parking   (4027 mentions)
20. Efficient reception   (3973 mentions)

Key Takeaways for Hoteliers

Raves outnumber the rants:The number of positive comments far outnumbers the negative. Great service, for example, has nearly nine times the number of comments than unprofessional or incompetent service. Across all reviews, we find this to be true. About 81% of the reviews we analyze are positive.

Win guests with service: Want to win over your guests? Improve your service. The biggest turnoff for guests was unsatisfactory service, appearing on the top rant list three times, in a variety of forms: unprofessional/incompetent service (number one spot), unfriendly service (seventh place), and bad service (ninth place).

A good meal makes a difference: Appearing on both the rants and the raves list twice, guests love a good meal. Breakfast, specifically, and food, in general, are memorable and talked about. Deliver on the culinary front and you are sure to impress guests.

Internet no longer an issue? While there seems to be lots of talk surrounding hotel Internet (free vs. charging for it), that did not make the top 10 rant or rave. Is this no longer a big deal for guests? We wouldn’t go this far. Internet is still important, but paying for it might not be the “deal breaker” that it has often been singled out as.


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