Betterspace 10 Reasons For Negative Hotel Reviews And What You Can Do About It

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Negative ratings are still an important issue for the hotel industry. After all, ratings on Google, TripAdvisor and co. are one of the most important indicators for future guests of your hotel. For 93 percent of all travelers, hotel ratings and reviews are decisive when deciding on the hotel for the next summer or winter holiday. Moreover, 50 percent of all guests do not book a hotel without having read guest reviews in advance. So, ratings are not only important for your hotel’s existence, they can also be existential.

We went and looked for the ten most frequent reasons for poor hotel ratings in all online rating portals. Of course, we found what we were looking for. The list of deficiencies is long, but, nevertheless, some front-runners clearly showed on the negative scale. In the following, you can find our top ten reasons for poor ratings for hotels in ascending order.

10th Place: Payment Options In Hotels

Even though only six percent of those surveyed cited this point as a reason for negative hotel ratings, the importance of this reason should not be underestimated. Repeatedly, guests complain about the fact that they can only pay at the hotel with certain credit cards or that the devices are not working. The latter triggers a cumbersome chain of events, which costs both the guests and the staff a lot of time and nerves.

Dear hoteliers, it does not have to be that way. Do not hide the payment options in your hotel, but communicate them openly, whether at the reception desk, on your website or in the guest directory in your hotel room. This not only spares nerves, but also bad reviews. Maybe you should upgrade and look for mobile payment methods.

9th Place: Size Of The Hotel Rooms And Noise In The Hotel

The hotel room was too small, the hotel room was not spacious enough or it was too loud in the hotel to find some sleep – that were the reasons why 17 percent of the guests rated the hotels poorly afterwards. Most of the time you as the hotelier do not know about it, because your guests did not express themselves during their stay. This shows, however, how important it is to keep asking your guests during their stay whether everything is alright and how satisfied they are. Do not be afraid of it. The Quick-Feedback feature of the digital guest directory can help you there, for example.

If your guest complains about music that is too loud because of an event at the hotel, simply gift him a voucher for the wellness area. This relaxes the guest and he will be satisfied again, and thanks to your commitment the possibility that he leaves a positive hotel rating on the internet is increased. If a guests thinks a room is too small, you can not make it bigger with a wink, but maybe you can give him a free upgrade, because a bigger room is empty. You surely find a way to turn this guest into a happy guest of your hotel and make sure that he will come back soon.

Happy hotel guest on the bed in a hotel room
Happy hotel guest on the bed in a hotel room

8th Place: Sleep Quality In Hotel Rooms

For almost 24 percent of the guests, a lack of sleep quality was a decisive factor for the poor hotel rating. The main reason for the negative feedback were worn out mattresses. Of course, this can not just be remedied that easily.

In order to improve the sleep quality of your hotel guests, you should change and clean your mattresses regularly. Also, the offer of mattresses with different degrees of firmness and an adjustable slatted frame satisfy your guest’s needs, but you surely know that already. Also, here we can give the advice: talk to your guests. An employee, who casually asks the guests at breakfast whether he has slept well can work wonders, and so does an extra strong coffee.

7th Place: Check-In And Check-Out At Hotels

Long queues at the reception desk cause frustration among your guests. This is often reflected in poor hotel ratings. Try to make the check-in and check-out process as smooth as possible. Thanks to modern hotel apps, that is no longer a problem. Many hotel apps and lobby displays offer the possibility of mobile check-in and check-out.

Your guests can already conveniently check-in at your hotel with a hotel app at the airport or on the train. This relieves your employees and increases your guests’ satisfaction enormously. In addition, it shows your guests that you are keeping up with the times. With an app for your hotel, you can make your guests’ stay as comfortable as possible.

Hotel guest checking-in in the lobby with a smartphone
Hotel guest checking-in in the lobby with a smartphone

6th Place: Hotel Equipment And Rooms

The furnishing of hotels and hotel rooms are criticized in almost 27 percent of the negative or mediocre hotel ratings evaluated. This corresponds to every fourth hotel visitor. Old-fashioned interior, inadequate information about the hotel and its surroundings or no modern entertainment offer are frequently cited problems.

There are very simple solutions to the problem of inadequate hotel or room furnishing: digital guest folders and interactive lobby displays. This not only keeps your guests well informed, but also offers your guests a new and unique experience. In addition, you highlight your progressive image and can increase your turnover at the same time. Bad reviews due to inadequate equipment do really not need to be the case, because nowadays there are many inexpensive and digital solutions for your hotel.

5th Place: General Condition Of Hotels

The general condition of hotels as a reason for negative hotel ratings is often mentioned. After all, 28 percent of dissatisfied guests describe shabby rooms, decrepit facades or the inadequate infrastructure in the vicinity, to name just a few examples. Often mentioned are also backlogs of renovation. Someone who wants to have guests, must keep up with the times and consider the desires of its guests.

The first impression can be deceiving, but mostly it is decisive for the entire stay of your guests. Sometimes small painting works or the replacement of worn out chairs can already help here..

4th Place: Selection Of Dishes In The Restaurant And At The Buffet

The lack of choice of food and drinks in the hotel restaurant was criticized in the online ratings by almost 30 percent. Surely it is difficult to satisfy all the wishes of your guests. In most cases, however, the evaluation of the guest structure can be used to identify which foods and beverages are preferred and what is expected. Determine with the help of your service staff and questionnaires what your guests really want and what they value. To offer everything from anchovy cream to zebra steak is usually not demanded by the guests.

A little tip: Also make sure that you offer alternatives and choices for food allergy sufferers, vegetarians and vegans.

Hotel Roomservice-Leistungen
Hotel Roomservice-Leistungen

3rd Place: Insufficient Or No WLAN At All

Inadequate WLAN or no WLAN in the hotel is with almost 47 percent one of the most frequently described reasons for poor hotel ratings. Germany is lagging behind other countries in Europe and the world in terms of the expansion of Internet lines, especially in the hotel industry. And for most of us today, free access to the Internet is indispensable and absolutely necessary, unless your guests are there for “digital detox”.

If you want to avoid bad hotel reviews, then your WLAN in the hotel must work perfectly, be accessible from all rooms and should not cost 20 Euro per week. There are many providers for mature hot-spot solutions in hotels, who can advise you. Use this knowledge and do not wait any longer. The effects of bad ratings of hotels are widely known.

2nd Place: Cleanliness In The Hotel Or Hotel Room

The lack of cleanliness in hotels and hotel rooms also frequently leads to poor ratings for hotels. 51 percent of the negative criticisms evaluated complained about the cleanliness of the hotel. Hair in the basin, unwanted guests on the floor tiles, dusty tables and dirty cutlery are only a small selection of comments that we found in the course of the survey. Especially in hotels there is often time pressure and the maids and the cleaning staff have to perform miracles within a very short time.

Give your staff the time they need and regularly check the cleaning services provided. Talk to your employees and make them aware of how important their work is. Without motivated and sufficiently trained employees as well as regular inspections, it is very difficult to achieve an improvement here.

Typical hotel reception
Typical hotel reception

1st Place: Unfriendly Hotel Staff

The number one mentioned problem mentioned in hotel ratings on online portals was unfriendly staff – with more than 54 percent. That is every second employee! Some guests had really catastrophic experiences with the hotel staff. Receptionists who did not even say “hello” were still one of the harmless incidents. The described situations trigger questions and old debates. Basically, there are two reasons why your staff is annoyed and unfriendly. First, your employees are inherently unpleasant contemporaries, which we exclude at this point, otherwise you surely would not have hired them. Secondly, your staff is overworked and overloaded.

At a time, when staff shortages and poor working conditions are omnipresent in the hotel industry, you should intervene quickly. The staff shortage is due to the devastating working conditions. Use digital solutions to relieve your employees and try to motivate and support them. There are a number of solutions that can help you to do this. Digital solutions, such as intelligent room control and smart guest directories, can help to optimize processes, reduce the expenditure of time for your staff and offer an enormous savings potential.

This survey is based on a sample of 500 online reviews of hotel guests on the best-known rating portals for hotels. Multiple responses were taken into account in the evaluation.