Hoteliers are being 'blackmailed' by hotel guests who use the threat of writing a bad review on Tripadvisor to get refunds and upgrades, according to a new report.
The Times newspaper says it has seen complaints from more than 80 hotel and B&B owners claiming that guests have been unjustifiably using the travel site as a 'weapon' against them.
Examples include one hotelier who said a room had been damaged by a guest. When confronted, the guest threatened to write a bad review on the travel site.
Another hotel owner said a guest asked for almost £1,000 in compensation after suffering food poisoning. When the hotel refused to pay (pointing out that no other guest had been taken ill), the customer posted a negative review.
A spokesperson for Tripadvisor said: "We take allegations of blackmail or threatening behaviour by guests against property owners very seriously. Not only is it strictly against our guidelines, but it may also be illegal."
Tripadvisor recently launched a new customer support phone line for hotels to report reviews that it believes are untruthful.
Hotels with amazing extras
Hoteliers claim they're being 'blackmailed' by Tripadvisor reviewers
This stylish hotel chain offers its guests literally anything they want (as long as it's legal!) with its Whatever/Whenever service. You can request basics like a pair of running shoes at 2am or something more extravagent, like a one-of-a-kind wedding cake to arrive by helicopter, and they'll deliver! From the moment you book your stay to after you've checked out you can include a unique moment into your stay with this super-cool service. Past Whatever/Whenevers that have been granted include a German business guest having a member of staff work with him for hours to translate a presentation and a guest who was unable to find somewhere in Mexico City to watch an important basketball match have W call a cable company and set up a private in-room broadcast for him! Visit starwoodhotels.com
VIP guests booked into suites at this Spanish hotel will have an Aura Manager get to know them before they've even arrived so they can have a personalised experience. Their job is to know what your needs are before you request them. A cross between a DJ, stylist, concierge and personal confidant, the Aura Manager will personally contact you when you book your stay to find out your needs or surprise you if that's what you'd prefer. They can also select music for you to enjoy on an iPod, arrange visits to private designer sales and recommend the hottest hangouts around the city. If you're not booked into a suite, you'll still feel the presence of an Aura Manager as they change the lighting and music of the hotel to match the mood of the time of day and activity in the hotel. Visit memadrid.com
Arrive in style at this Six Senses hotel in Oman as you paraglide into check-in! From 293 metres above sea level you'll be flown in to the resort by a professional paraglide instructor who will take you around the edge of the Hajar mountain range before you make your entrance. If you prefer, you can enjoy the thrilling experience during your stay after you've actually checked in! Book your stay at Six Senses Zighy Bay with Quintessentially Travel
At this luxury Mexican spa resort overlooking the Pacific Ocean you can indulge in a private dinner on the beach where a table will be laid out for you and a fire pit lit when the sun goes down before you enjoy dinner with the crashing waves of the ocean in front of you. You'll then be treated to more romance with private star gazing on the beach as the hotel's in-house astronomer shows you the Auriga constellation, the Capella Star and other constellations and planets - a great way to end the night with a cocktail in your hand! Book your stay at Capella Pedregal with Quintessentially Travel
Dubai's Jumeirah Zabeel Saray hotel is located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah and boasts the biggest spa in the Middle East - the Talisman Ottoman Spa. Here you can enjoy a treatment in one of 40 treatment rooms, relax in steam rooms, saunas, floating baths and adventure spas - there's even a snow room! Three Turkish hammams crafted in the finest marble are at the centre of the spa and if all this wasn't special enough, there's a VIP treatment area if you want to feel like you've got somewhere just to yourself! Visit jumeirah.com
This hotel in St Barths is as exclusive as the Caribbean island itself, and its Villa Rockstar shows all its wow factor as one amazing beach house that music enthusiasts will really love. The 14,000 square-foot villa has a fully equipped recording studio, which includes the 1973 Neve Music Recording Console that John Lennon used to record the song Imagine. Eden Rock also has a partnership with Ocean Way Recording Studios of Hollywood and world-renowned sound engineer Allen Sides to give you the chance to record your own souvenir soundtrack. And that's in addition to the villa's four master suites spread over three floors, a butler service, cinema room, gym, swimming pool and lush Caribbean garden! Visit edenrockhotel.com
Explore around the Maldives' Rangali Island with Conrad resort's fun Nemo submarine. The three-seater submarine allows you to go underwater and discover the amazing coral reef without even getting wet! Expect to see brightly coloured fish, sting rays, reef sharks and turtles while in the comfort of the submarine. Glass pods stick out of the top giving you 360-degree views and the submarine is painted like a clown fish to resemble Nemo from the Disney film, so the kids will love it too. Visit conradhotels.com
If movies on demand is old news to you, how about enjoying the latest film at the cinema without even stepping out of the hotel? London's Soho Hotel has two luxury screening rooms that fit up to 45 people in each and provide the latest sound and projection technology. Screening Room One is fitted with Xpand Active 3D technology and Screening Room Two has stylish and comfortable leather seating with cow-print fabric. Visit firmdale.com
This exclusive resort in Brasil has a bathroom that's fit for a king in its Special Villa Esmeralda. It doesn't just have the usual toilet, sink and shower, no. Ponta Dos Ganchos has made going to the bathroom an experience by adding a sauna, an infinity-edge lap pool, daybeds, a mini gym and whirlpool bathtub with a built-in stereo system - plus the amazing view! Who needs to leave the hotel bathroom when it's got all this? Visit http://www.pontadosganchos.com.br/
Forget hotel gift shops. Hudson in New York delivers luxury essentials and souvenirs to its guests via a cool vending machine. From everyday travel essentials to lavish buys, you can make some interesting purchases with the push of a button. Some of the items include a Paul Smith toothbrush, a personal portrait shoot with renowned photographer Ben Watts, a copy of Catcher in the Rye and a black sequin mini skirt by Haute Hippie. Now that's what we call a vending machine! Visit hudsonhotel.com