How Hotels Should Respond to Online Reviews

Posted by Taylor Kennedy in Branding |

When it comes to booking a hotel, online_reviewsmore and more guests are basing their decisions on online reviews. According to a 2014 study by TripAdvisor and PhoCusWright, 77 percent of travelers reference reviews before choosing a hotel. It’s important that hoteliers respond to all reviews the correct way.

Following are tips on how hotels should respond to positive and negative reviews:

Do what’s right and what’s necessary. For positive reviews, simply thank the guest by name. There is no need to go beyond that with a gift certificate, discount, etc.

For negative reviews, show empathy, apologize if required and share ways the hotel will implement improvements moving forward. Also, ask the reviewer to contact you if restitution or a discount is required. Finally, above all else, do not get into an online battle with the guest.

Here’s an example addressing unclean rooms:

Dear Julie,

Thanks for taking the time to give your feedback. I am terribly sorry to hear the rooms weren’t up to the standard you’ve come to expect from our hotel. I have addressed this issue with our housekeeping staff to ensure this will not happen in the future. If you’d like to talk in detail, please contact me at

Be timely with responses. We recommend responding to reviews within 24 hours. This shows guests that the hotel takes feedback seriously and avoids the broken window theory. Set up notifications on TripAdvisor, Facebook, Yelp and to help improve your response time. Both hotel management and the front desk staff should receive these notifications, as they are two main points of contacts between guests.

Have the management do the responding. Managers and assistant managers responding to reviews gives travelers confidence that they are booking at a hotel that will take care of their needs. We know you’re busy running a hotel, but allott 30 min. each day (e.g. 15 min. in the morning, 15 min. at the end of your shift) to respond to reviews, as staying abreast will help keep your hotel from damaging its online reputation.


Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media offers hotels, B&Bs and resorts services related to media relations, community relations, branding, group sales, SEO/SEM and social media management. Please contact Brian Lee, brian [at] or 608-622-7767.



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