Where is the best collection of motel reviews on the web?
May 31, 2008 10:33 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning a road trip. Cheap motels vary wildly in quality, so it's helpful if they've been reviewed by other visitors. Where's the best site to find reliable reviews? I've checked Yahoo Travel and Tripadvisor, but I get suspicious when I see a string of five-star reviews that seem to have been written by the same person.
posted by pernoctalian to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I always trust tripadvisor - I take the aggregate for reviews and pay less attention if only one person has stayed there.
posted by arnicae at 10:37 AM on May 31, 2008

Yeah, tripadvisor is tough to beat in this category. Have you tried travelpost?
posted by mattbucher at 10:40 AM on May 31, 2008

3rd'ing TripAdvisor. At least it's posts are moderated. They try to prevent posts by motels/hotels themselves. Some misleading comments do slip through the cracks though, sometimes by people apparently confused about where they stayed, or with extremely different level of standards.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 11:20 AM on May 31, 2008

4thing Tripadvisor -- I used it to find a reasonable motel for a recent trip and was very pleased with the results.
posted by Koko at 11:38 AM on May 31, 2008

I'll 5th Tripadvisor! I always look at hotels on there before I go and the reviews have not let me down yet.
posted by triggerfinger at 12:06 PM on May 31, 2008

One thing I've learned from TripAdvisor is that a moderate rating isn't necessarily accurate. Many negative reviews seem to be from people with unrealistic expectations ("The Cut-Rate Inn did not have room service!!!"), or who let minor inconveniences overwhelm their rating ("My room was missing a wash cloth. 1 star."). I glance through the negative reviews to see if the problems people report are the types of problems that are going to bother me.
posted by plastic_animals at 12:15 PM on May 31, 2008

I stay in cheap motels a lot when I travel and I use a combination of TripAdvisor and those little motel coupon books you get at rest stops. The prices are often lower in the coupon books and TA will let you know if the place is a scary dive. More to the point, unless you're traveling at really high season or going someplace like Disneyland that's really super busy, you're unlikely to be somewhere where you absolutely need to have reservations. I find that TA gives me a good ballpark idea of where the hotels are, which ones to stay the hell away from, and relative costs of hotels in the area. I also second what plastic_animals said, I am not a stickler for cleanliness, but I hate noise, so if the negative reviews all say "noisy, right on highway, they vacuum 24/7!" I'd be more likely to stay away then if they were like "sink is dirty, ewww!"
posted by jessamyn at 12:51 PM on May 31, 2008

If you will have web access and know where, approximately, you want to stay then try Hotwire. Although Hotwire doesn't tell you the name of the hotel until after you book, you can choose based on a 1-5 star rating system (Hotwire gives examples of the chains that correspond to each level). You can often find surprisingly inexpensive deals; recently I chose "4 star - Annapolis" for $69 and it turned out to be a very nice Westin. If you're in the mood, the luck of the draw is kind of fun and it's an easy way to introduce yourself to different chains.
posted by carmicha at 6:48 PM on May 31, 2008

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