How to Spot a Fake Online Hotel Review

Last updated on June 15th, 2021 at 06:51 am

With the internet and social media, it is harder than ever to distinguish between real and fake. The same thing applies to online hotel reviews. It is a known fact that nowadays, a great deal of reviews are fake, be it that the ones writing it have been paid to do so, or they have been offered discounts or other such benefits to do so.

How can one distinguish between a real and a fake review? If you want to find the answer to this question and many more then keep on reading this article.

A Business Within a Business

The first thing you need to know about fake online hotel reviews is that they are a business of their own. There is the hospitality industry where money is exchanged for goods such as accommodation and services and there is the online review industry where money is exchanged for goods such as positive reviews of the hotel. 

And while the hospitality industry can survive on its own, the same thing cannot be said about the online review industry, which is dependent on the former one. Because of that, you can talk about a business within a business. And while the first one is highly regulated, the same cannot be said about the last one. Because of that, people have looked into ways in which they can tell apart a fake review from a real one.

Beware of the Language

It might sound obvious, but the first thing you want to look out for is the language used in the review. Extreme language, be it positive or negative, is a big red flag. This extreme language is chosen because the reviewer wants to get his or her message across at all costs, thus overly exaggerating the good or the bad. Adverbs such as “very, incredibly, really” are markers for such exaggerated language. 

Too many verbs, adjectives, adverbs, exclamation marks, details? Probably yes, since a lot of the time, a real reviewer is more concerned with describing the hotel itself rather than painting a narrative about how their stay at this hotel was a dream come true. The same goes for using caps lock, whose effect is the same as using exaggerated language.

Reviewing the Reviewer 

Budget Travel in Greece

The next thing you want to check is the profile of the reviewer. If you notice that the respective person writes articles just for a specific hotel or chain of hotels, chances are that the reviewer is fake. Make sure to look for any details in his bio that could give away the fact that he or she is affiliated with the hotel.

The Length

Another indicator is the length of the review. In most cases a review that is too short and generic or one that is too long and detailed is fake. The short reviews imply a lack of disinterest, or a wish to finish as soon as possible and get the money you have been promised while the complex one implies that the person writing it has something to gain from this action.


The last thing you want to consider is the vagueness of the content. If there is no particular detail about the hotel it means that it is probably fake since the person writing it has never been to the hotel before. Look for details within a review, compare them with details from a different review and the photos attached.

Only then will you be able to tell what is fake from what is true.All in all, spotting a fake online hotel review is difficult even for the trained and experienced ones so if you want to find out more about this topic then head to Best Location Hotels for more details about this topic.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!

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