Wow! Our Guests do Appreciate us!


We use, which is not a traditional OTA that charges commissions, but a site that offers what the traditional OTAs offer, but for a moderate annual service fee. If you make your reservation via the website of Haagsche Suites, it actually goes via their website. Together with maintaining availability in one place, it helps us tremendously to prevent overbooking. has announced that they will be giving awards for the first time in 6 categories that their own guest reviews monitor:

Best Over all
1. In de Duinen, Callantsoog
2. B&B Fort Amsterdam, Amsterdam
3. Haagsche Suites, Den Haag
4. Misc Eatdrinksleep, Amsterdam
5. Parkhotel Horst, Horst

Beste Service
1. In de Duinen, Callantsoog
2. Misc Eatdrinksleep, Amsterdam
3. Asgard Hotel, Groningen
4. Haagsche Suites
5. B&B Fort Amsterdam

Best Location
1. Hotel Torenzicht, Amsterdam
2. Het Roode Lopen, Ermelo
3. The Dylan Amsterdam
4. Bilderberg Landgoed de Wilmersberg, de Lutte (Twente)
5. B&B Fort Amsterdam

Best value for money
1. B&B la Festa, Amsterdam
2. Holland Hotel liauckama State, Sexbierum (Friesland)
3. Hotel Manna, Nijmegen
4. Holland Hotel ?t Anker, Mierlo (Noord Brabant)
5. Misc Eatdrinksleep

Best comfort
1. Haagsche Suites
2. Texel Suites
3. B&B Fort Amsterdam
4. Misc Eatdrinksleep
5. Dorint Hotel Amsterdam Airport

1. B&B Fort Amsterdam
2. Haagsche Suites
3. B&B van Ostade, Amsterdam
4. Hotel Fita, Amsterdam
5. Herberg de Hondsrug, Eext (Drenthe)

It wasn’t until a fellow twittering hotel ( @CarltonTheHague thank you!) in the Hague congratulated us for the many nominations and reading about it on the Dutch Hospitality News site Horeca Entree who recently also decided to start with a Twitter presence as @HorecaEntree, until it finally registered in my mind.. busy as I was with guests..

Congratulations for all the fellow nominees, especially In de Duinen, Callantsoog and B&B Fort Amsterdam! I know what hard work goes with it!

I would like to thank all our guests for their support and taking the time to fill out the review forms. Also I would like to thank the very nice and always helpful people at for their continuous support and good work. Hm thinking about it, it is about time do establish their own Twitter presence:-)

Hotel Managers have to be Critical and see Everything


A proud hotel manager showed a couple of fellow hoteliers an me the finest rooms of the hotel. I noticed this curtain hanging loose and took this picture. I was utmost amazed that the hotel manager didn’t notice it and didn’t apologize with a: “Oops I’ll have to put maintenance on notice…” which I would have done.

I showed the photo to the hotel manager’s boss later.

The hotelier answered:

“Thank you! Thant is good to know! But you know, when I was younger and was managing housekeeping in a hotel, this is what always happened to me: Once a week I had to do the hotel tour, checking the hotel with my boss. I just had checked everything myself half an hour before I took the boss around and you know what? There would always be at least one light bulb that ceased functioning in the meantime and the boss would always spot it! Sigh”.

That is a wise answer.

My Dear Wife, mrs Happy Hotelier, has the keenest and sharpest eye for details, details and … for details: She nudges me every day: ” Seen that? Repair it! Make it work”. I’m learning every day.

It could have happened to me. Thank you Mrs Happy Hotelier for teaching me to have a keen eye: I wouldn’t have noticed this loose curtain prior to your lessons:-)

This is the main reason I always check our guests in personally.

Life of a hotelier is not easy….

I hope guests reading this could give hoteliers a little bit of leeway in the future…

How Tripadvisor Influences Corporate Travellers


I’m brooding on an article about Tripadvisor for quite some time now. In anticipation I’m putting several snippets here.

TripAdvisor and similar user review websites now influence corporate decisions on hotels to the tune of £500m a year, according to research firm BDRC.

In a BDRC survey of 1,000 business travellers, 28% said they actively seek advice on websites featuring consumer reviews; 46% were influenced in their hotel selection by consumer reviews, while 41% decided to change their original hotel choice after reading about other travellers’ experiences.

The influence of word of mouth recommendations – both on and off line – outweighs the star ratings offered by the AA and RAC and official ratings and advice from travel agents, the survey revealed.

Via Catersearch

An Unhappy Guest used to tell 3 Others – Now he tells 3 Million Others

Guest review management is becoming more and more important than advertising or direct marketing.
clipped from
The role of user-generated reviews is exploding. TripAdvisor(TM) attracts nearly 30 million monthly visitors and 88% of these visitors are influenced by content they read. Word-of-mouth adds a layer of credibility and is more effective than other more formal forms of promotion.
Market Metrix research has demonstrated that beyond the additional revenue that repeat customers provide, their word-of-mouth communications translate into significant profits for the hotel. In one example the positive word-of-mouth from a happy customer was worth $1,559 in profit for an upscale hotel.
Who reads hotel reviews?
Luxury guests (25%) and Timeshare guests (23%) were more likely to read a review before purchase, perhaps due to the variability among these properties.


What Benefits for Small Hotels, Inns or B&B’s offer Tripadvisor Guest Reviews?

The sheer numbers
I’ve not paid a lot attention to my own hotel’s guest reviews until recently.

First of all not many guests write in the good old paper guest book. Maybe 1 out of 10 to 1 out of 8 is my guess. Less guests are inclined to put their findings on an internet site. So by nature the small hotel / B&B has a disadvantage.

Would lovers of small hotels and B&B’s turn to large sites for reviews?
Although I am not hesitant to chalk my findings in a blog, I do not often file guest reviews on sites like Tripadvisor, Booking or similar sites. I do understand that many people are naturally reluctant to become personal on the world wide web. So although Tripadvisor has collected many reviews over the years, such reviews are far from complete. Especially for the small hotels and B&B’s who fail to get many reviews by the low number of their guests.

It is my feeling that even if you are inclined to look up guest reviews, the frequent visitors and fans of small hotels and B&B’s are not so likely to use Tripadvisor, as they know the small hotels and B&B’s are not easily findable on mega sites like Tripadvisor.

The possible abuse by hotels
Although Strictly Forbidden, it is clear from various comments over the internet that Tripadvisor reviews are from time to time manipulated by hotels or parties closely relating to hotels. Recently it has become public knowledge that Tripadvisor sometimes puts red flags by reviews that appear too advantageous or disadvantageous to be true.
The Asociated Press had an article on Tripadvisor putting warning signs at guest reviews.

Tripadvisor monitoring of reviews
It does seem that Tripadvisor monitors reviews before they are published. As per my recent attention I had asked a couple of guests if they would like to write a tripadvisor review about my hotel. They did so, but several reported back that apparently they couldn’t get their reviews published despite reclamations to the Tripadvisor helpdesk. Thanks to the kind help via their twitteraccount they were able to dig the reviews up from their servers’ vaults. It turns out that there is a time lag between someone filing a review and Tripadvisor publishing it.

The ownership and alliances of Tripadvisor
Expedia owns Tripadvisor and Tripadvisor collaborates with a number of OTA’s. That’s one of the reasons reviews at Tripadvisor pull people away from your small hotel site and induces them to book your small hotel via one of the OTA’s. But then you face another problem as small hotel/B&B: If you do not have a central repository with your room inventory from which the OTA’s can book you, you’ll be at loss. OTA’s want numbers as well. They induce you to give them as much of your inventory as possible, or refuse you. If you give them each your total availability without a central inventory of available rooms you will find yourself busy the whole day disc jockeying several OTA sites to open and close room availability. An other solution is you minimize the number of rooms you put available to one or another OTA, but then you are not advertising yourself, as most OTA’s don’t show your accommodation if there is no availability. It doesn’t seem to help if you are in the Tripadvisor B&B section, because there are hardly accommodations there. Maybe their experience in the new field of vacation rentals (appartments and villas) will help to cure the problems the small hotel owners are facing.

Mixed Feelings
From the above it follows that I have mixed feelings about Tripadvisor, even if every marketing guru will loudly claim that you have to have guest reviews. In principle it can help to make a small hotel findable. However it also can make a small hotel feel extremely small viz a viz the large chains of hotels.

An afterthought
Oh yes and when the lost reviews were up finally, we rose from position 14 to position 3 in The Hague. That triggers another observation: The Tripadvisor algorithm sees to it that older reviews are less influential than the newer ones. That works to both sides: A new highly acclaimed accommodation can get number one position with just one glorious review. I have had the honor myself in the past. The longer Tripadvisor publishes reviews of your establishment, the heavier your glorious past becomes:-)

You may have seen this post change over time…That is because it happened again: I pressed the publish button too early (-: