Firstly let me say I don't have a problem with Tripadvisor and use it a lot but I do question some of the reviewers!
I regularly check it when booking a holiday just to confirm that the hotel is ok. The problem is you'll find a hotel with many amazing reviews but you'll discover the odd one or two at odds and they worry you. Well they did when I first started using TA I then started looking at somewhere I've stayed and really like.
Let's take the Belfry at Yarcombe. I've stayed there a few times over the years and I will be again next year. So you can take it that there is much to commend it. Good food, good service. There are things that aren't perfect. One sitting for dinner is one, I understand the need for this (just a husband and wife team) and the fact that food and service is excellent means I forgive it. Yes I gave it a ***** review and it isn't perfect but my rating is value for money proposition. However one recent reviewer wasn't so impressed
Now I appreciate that everyone has different experiences but in the review I read
"All 6 rooms are quoted at the same rate per night - so it was a question of 'luck' if you did have one of the larger prettier rooms." - uh now I know that's wrong as I always book the cheapest room if I can! Hey rooms are for sleeping in and frankly I'd rather spend the money on the important things in life. Like a good bottle of wine!
"Breakfast also finished at 8.30 am !!!!!!" - again I know this is untrue as I breakfasted at 8:30.
I am surprised by the number of people who have their holiday RUINED because the wifi wasn't very good! Ok it should work but for goodness sake * for dodgy wifi? Things go wrong!And yes I know wifi is handy for looking stuff up but for goodness sake (although Trish seems slightly obsessed when there are internet issues! stands back and awaits brick brats)
I tend to ignore the * reviews they are usually written by people who have a grudge or are frankly mad! Please note the word usually! I once wrote a * review for a restuarant that served me frozen Lasagne which was not even defrosted!
I read a review of the hotel I stayed at in Venice that looked reasonable BUT the reviewer lost it when she complained about a long walk from the Rialto boat stop. it isn't long!
I'm not really a demanding guest. I don't need huge rooms, I don't demand great views. As long as it clean, the water in the shower is hot, the aircon works I'm fine! I don't go on holiday to sit in my room. I appreciate that many historic buildings are likely to have idiosyncracies and that rooms will be small!
I'm told (National Trust scones) that one NT property got a one star review becuase it rained!!
So Tripadvisor? Yes it has it uses if a place attracts lots of bad reviews then avoid it but ignore the ones where everyone expect for one person hates!