How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: The Complete Guide

Learning How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: Why Reviews Matter

Hotel reviews are like gold in the hospitality industry. They’re what potential guests read before deciding to book a room, and they can be the difference between a full house and empty rooms. Let’s dive into why hotel reviews are so important, and why responding to them is crucial for your hotel’s success.

Why Are Hotel Reviews Important to Potential Guests?

Imagine you’re planning a holiday or a business trip. You want to stay in a place that’s clean, friendly, and just right for your needs. How do you choose? You read what other people say about their stay. Reviews give future guests a peek into what to expect. If they read good things, they’re more likely to book. If they read bad things, they’ll probably look elsewhere. Reviews are powerful because they’re honest opinions from people who have already stayed at your hotel.

How Can Hotels Benefit from Reading and Responding to Reviews?

  • Learning from Feedback: By reading reviews, hotels can learn what they’re doing well and what needs to get better. Maybe guests love your breakfast but think the beds are uncomfortable. This feedback is priceless. It tells you exactly what to do to make your hotel better.
  • Showing You Care: When you respond to reviews, you show that you care about your guests’ experiences. You’re saying, “We hear you, and we want to make things right.” This can turn a bad review into a second chance. It can also make happy guests even happier, knowing that the hotel appreciates their feedback.
  • Improving Your Reputation: Responding to reviews can actually improve your hotel’s online reputation. People reading your responses will see that you’re involved and committed to guest satisfaction. This can make them more likely to choose your hotel over others.

Why Is Responding to Online Reviews Important for Hotels?

Responding to online reviews is like having a conversation with your guests after they’ve left. Here’s why it’s so important:

  • Builds Trust: When potential guests see that you respond to reviews, it builds trust. They see that you’re listening and that you care about making your guests’ stays better. This can make them feel more comfortable booking with you.
  • Improves Your Image: Every hotel gets a negative review now and then. How you respond to these reviews can actually improve your image. Apologize, offer to make things right, and show that you’re working on fixing any problems. This shows that you’re committed to excellence.
  • Encourages More Reviews: When guests see that you’re reading and responding to reviews, they’re more likely to leave their own. This can give you even more feedback to work with and more chances to show off your great customer service.

How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: The Good, The Bad, and The Fake

Responding to hotel reviews is a bit like gardening. You need to water the good plants, pull out the weeds, and sometimes deal with pests. Let’s look at how hotels can manage their “garden” of reviews, nurturing the good, addressing the bad, and dealing with the fake.

How Should Hotels Respond to Positive Reviews?

Think of a positive review as a beautiful flower in your garden. You want to thank it for blooming and encourage more to grow. Here’s how:

  • Say Thank You: Always start with a thank you. It’s simple, polite, and shows you appreciate the guest’s feedback.
  • Be Personal: Mention something specific they said, like “We’re so glad you loved our breakfast!” This shows you’re really listening.
  • Invite Them Back: Let them know they’re always welcome. A simple “We can’t wait to see you again!” can turn a happy guest into a loyal one.

How Should Hotels Respond to Negative Reviews?

Negative reviews are the weeds. They’re not pleasant, but if you deal with them right, your garden can still thrive.

  • Stay Calm: Don’t take it personally. Approach the review as a chance to improve.
  • Apologize: Even if you disagree with the review, apologize for their bad experience. It shows you care about your guests’ happiness.
  • Offer to Make It Right: If possible, offer a way to fix the issue. Maybe it’s a refund, a discount on a future stay, or just a promise to do better next time.
  • Take It Offline: For detailed complaints, ask them to contact you directly. This shows you’re serious about resolving issues without airing all the dirty laundry online.

How Should Hotels Respond to Non-Guest Reviews?

Sometimes, people leave reviews for the wrong hotel or about experiences they never had. Here’s what to do:

  • Clarify Politely: If the review clearly doesn’t belong to your hotel, gently point this out. Something like, “It seems there might have been a mix-up, as we don’t have a swimming pool.”
  • Report If Necessary: If the review is clearly fraudulent or mistaken, report it to the review platform. They can investigate and possibly remove it.

How Should Hotels Respond to Fake Reviews?

Fake reviews are the pests in your garden. They’re tricky but not impossible to manage.

  • Stay Professional: Even if you’re frustrated, keep your response polite and professional.
  • State the Facts: If the review makes false claims, calmly correct them without being confrontational.
  • Report Them: If you’re certain a review is fake, report it to the review platform. They have processes to handle these situations.

What Strategies Should a Hotel Implement When Responding to Reviews?

  • Respond Promptly: Try to respond to reviews as quickly as possible. It shows you’re attentive and care about guest feedback.
  • Be Consistent: Whether a review is good or bad, your tone and approach should be consistent. This builds a reliable image of your hotel.
  • Use Feedback Constructively: Use negative reviews as a chance to improve. If guests keep mentioning the same issue, it’s time to take action.
  • Train Your Team: Make sure your staff knows how to handle reviews, especially the negative ones. A well-trained team can turn a bad review into a positive guest experience down the line.
  • Encourage Reviews: Don’t be shy about asking guests to leave a review. The more reviews you have, the more chances to show off your excellent service and respond constructively to any criticism.

Managing Hotel Reviews: Prioritization and Platforms

Managing hotel reviews is a bit like taking care of a community bulletin board. It’s where people pin their thoughts, experiences, and opinions for everyone to see. This section of our guide will help you understand why responding to guest reviews should be a top priority, whether hotels should respond to every single review, and where these reviews can be posted online.

Should Guest Review Responses Be a High Priority for Hotels?

Yes, absolutely! Responding to guest reviews should be at the top of your to-do list. Here’s why:

  • It Shows You Care: When you reply to a review, it shows that you value your guests and their opinions. This can make guests feel special and appreciated.
  • It’s Good for Your Image: A hotel that responds to reviews (both good and bad) looks better to people reading those reviews. It shows you’re active in managing your guest experiences and committed to improvement.
  • It Can Boost Bookings: Positive interactions on review platforms can influence potential guests. If they see you’re responsive and attentive, they might be more likely to book a stay.

Should Hotels Respond to Every Review?

In an ideal world, yes. But we know that’s not always possible, especially for larger hotels with hundreds of reviews. Here’s a simple approach:

  • Prioritize: Start with the most critical reviews, especially those that point out issues that can be fixed. Negative reviews should be addressed quickly to show that you’re proactive about resolving problems.
  • Don’t Ignore the Positives: Positive reviews deserve a thank you. These guests took the time to share their good experiences, so a quick note of appreciation can go a long way.
  • Set Realistic Goals: Depending on your hotel’s size and staff, set a realistic goal for responding to reviews. Maybe you can’t reply to every single one, but perhaps you can manage to respond to 75% of them.

Where Can Hotel Guests Leave Online Reviews?

There are many places online where guests can share their hotel experiences. Here are some of the most popular spots:

  • TripAdvisor: This is one of the biggest travel websites in the world, where millions of travelers leave reviews about hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
  • Google Reviews: When someone searches for your hotel on Google, they’ll see your Google My Business listing and any reviews people have left.
  • Booking Sites: Websites like, Expedia, and allow guests to leave reviews after their stay. These reviews are seen by people booking hotels through these platforms.
  • Social Media: Platforms like Facebook also have review sections where guests can share their experiences and rate your hotel.

Understanding where your guests are leaving reviews helps you monitor your online reputation and respond accordingly. It’s like knowing where your bulletin board is most popular and making sure you’re keeping an eye on what’s being pinned there.


1. Why are hotel reviews important?
Reviews tell us what guests think about their stay. They help other people decide if they want to stay at our hotel. Good reviews can make more people want to book a room.

2. Should we say thank you to good reviews?
Yes, always say thank you. It shows we are happy they had a good time and makes them feel good about their review.

3. What do we do about bad reviews?
First, say sorry they had a bad experience. Then, see if we can fix the problem. It shows we care and want to make things better.

4. Do we need to answer every review?
Try to answer as many as you can, especially the bad ones. If you have a lot of reviews, start with the most important ones.

5. How quickly should we reply to reviews?
As fast as you can. Try to answer within a day or two. This shows we are paying attention and care about what guests say.

6. Can we remove a fake review?
We can’t remove it ourselves, but we can tell the website about it. They will check and might take it down if it’s really fake.

7. What if someone didn’t stay but left a review?
Politely explain that their review might be for a different hotel and suggest they check again. If the review is clearly a mistake, report it to the website.

8. How do we get more people to leave reviews?
Ask them nicely. You can do this in person when they leave, or send them an email thanking them for their stay and asking for a review.

9. What if we get a really unfair review?
Respond calmly and professionally. Offer to fix any real problems. This shows others reading the review that we are fair and want to make things right.

10. Why is it important to train staff on responding to reviews?
So they know the best way to reply. Good responses make our hotel look good and can turn unhappy guests into happy ones.