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How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: The Complete Guide

How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: The Complete Guide
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Get the best tips and resources on managing your online reputation. Learn how to monitor, react, respond, and improve online customer satisfaction with our guide.
How to Respond to Hotel Reviews: The Complete Guide
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Online reviews have become an important part of the travel industry. Travelers use them to find and compare places to stay, while hotels use them to manage how they are perceived by potential and existing customers.

It’s no secret that reviews can help boost your sales. But did you know they can also cause irreparable damage if something falls through the cracks?

To help you get the most out of customer feedback and maximize customer satisfaction, we'll answer common questions about them, as well as provide examples of how to respond to reviews.

Why online reviews are important for hotels?

Online reviews help people make informed decisions when they're looking for a place to stay. As a matter of fact, travelers rely heavily on reviews when choosing a place to book. 81% of people always or often read reviews before booking a hotel. Simultaneously, positive reviews remain a profitable force for businesses and hotels alike with customers and guests willing to spend 31% more on businesses with excellent feedback. Here’s why online reviews are considered trustworthy nowadays:

Reviews can be a great way to get a feel for a place before it is booked.

People can find out from others whether the staff treated them nicely, whether the room was clean, or if the food was good. It's better than guessing about a place and then being disappointed when they get there. Guests have come to rely on online reviews as much as personal recommendations, with nearly half of guests finding them highly valuable and trustworthy. This is especially easier to do now because everyone has access to the internet and doesn't need to give out sensitive information to do so.

Reviews are an honest way of looking at businesses.

Your future guests can read honest thoughts and opinions from people who aren't trying to use fake reviews as a strategy to attract more customers. A lot of online reviewers nowadays have no qualms about speaking their truths. They'll tell you if they think something is overpriced, if a company sent them the wrong item, or if they don't like the way a business conducts its affairs.

Reviews usually come with visuals.

The simple addition of pictures is what makes reviews so powerful. People can now see what their potential accommodations will look like before they even arrive. It's no longer a matter of just reading a description and deciding whether or not it appeals to them — now they have a real sense of what the surroundings will be like.

With reviews that detail so much information, it's easier than ever to know what to expect before you even arrive at your destination. It also helps potential guests to decide if they want to book a room at a certain hotel or not. The more positive opinions posted by real people, the better your chances of getting more bookings.

Why should you read guest reviews?

The advantages of reviews for hoteliers aren’t few and far between. For starters, reviews can have a direct effect on hotel ratings. Tripadvisor found that hotels that reply to at least 65% of their reviews have an average rating of 4.15. And according to Expedia, guests actually value a hotel’s rating over a hotel’s brand name 72% of the time.

In addition, this also offers hoteliers a chance to view their establishment from the perspective of a customer, allowing them to assess the customer experience objectively. As a result, it provides them useful insight into the interactions between their staff and guests as well as areas of improvement in cleanliness, food and beverage service, and more.

Additionally, your guests' opinions about your hotel can make a big difference in whether they return and the kind of word-of-mouth recommendations they make, so make sure you make the most out of them.

Why you should respond to hotel reviews?

For example, by replying to feedback with thoughtful and motivating statements or thanking guests for their compliments, hotels can demonstrate their commitment to providing a high level of service. When prospective guests observe that personnel are attentive and responsive, they are more likely to trust that their needs will be addressed.

Responses that demonstrate proactivity are also positively received. If managers recognize any problems or grievances and promise improvements, it shows reliability and integrity. This gives team leaders the chance to contact unhappy customers and discuss their matters further, allowing for the opportunity to make their next stay better.

Furthermore, responding to reviews sets the hotel apart from others, as only 36% of properties react to such reviews on booking sites. Answering reviews reveals that management is concerned with guests' experiences and is determined to offer the best service.

To learn more how you can write the best sample reply to hotel guest review, read our our article about AI review reply assistants.

Reply to guest reviews examples: Turning feedback into opportunities

Responding to guest reviews, especially the negative ones, presents a unique opportunity to turn criticism into constructive change. Every review can be a learning experience, helping businesses to understand customers' needs better and improve their services. Here are some examples to illustrate how to respond to negative guest reviews and transform them into valuable opportunities:

  1. Acknowledge their concern: Always start by acknowledging the guest's issue. This shows you value their feedback and are willing to listen. For instance, "Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We're truly sorry that you had a negative experience."
  2. Apologize and sympathize: Apologize, even if the problem was out of your control. Showing empathy can help in remedying the situation. For example, "We understand how disappointing it can be to have a less than satisfactory experience, and for that, we sincerely apologize."
  3. Offer a solution or make amends: If appropriate, offer a solution to the issue raised. This could involve a refund, a complimentary service on their next visit, or simply a promise to do better. For instance, "We’re addressing the issue you've noted and are working hard to improve. We hope to have the opportunity to better serve you in the future."
  4. Take the conversation offline: If the issue is complex, consider taking the conversation offline to discuss the particulars. This prevents airing of too much negativity publicly. For example, "We would appreciate the chance to discuss this matter further with you. Please reach out to our customer service team at your earliest convenience."

By promptly and professionally responding to negative feedback, businesses can demonstrate their commitment to customer satisfaction, potentially winning back unhappy customers and gaining the respect of potential customers who see their proactive approach.

How to respond to positive hotel reviews?

Your guests are savvy, and they've seen their fair share of canned responses. To make the most of the free marketing that comes with hotel replies, follow these tips to deliver genuine answers.

  • Address the reviewer by their name or online moniker.
  • Thank the reviewer for taking the time out of their day to write a review.
  • Use "we" statements in response to positive reviews to show that the hotel is working together to provide a good experience for customers. For example, you could say: "We are very pleased to hear that you had a wonderful stay with us."

It is not essential to answer every favorable review, yet it is essential to make sure that any responses to positive reviews are genuine, heartfelt, and accurately represent the guest's experience. To read more hotel positive review response examples, click here.

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How to respond to negative hotel reviews?

A negative review can be extremely damaging to your business. The most effective way to respond to it is by acknowledging the guest’s comments and taking ownership of any issues that occurred. Being defensive or argumentative will only cause more damage than good. Check out our detailed guide on DOS and DON’TS when responding to reviews here.

An empirical study conducted by the ITB and University of Worms in Germany found that 35% of Internet users would shy away from booking a hotel if they encountered more negative reviews than positive ones. Factors such as these highlight why customer feedback is so important for hotels to consider when developing their digital presence.

That being said, encourage the guest to contact you directly to discuss their stay further as this will demonstrate that you are willing to work with them to improve the situation, as well as build a positive relationship. A follow-up phone call or personal conversation with a guest who had a poor experience can be very effective in transforming them into a loyal customer.

To read more hotel negative review response examples, click here.

How do you respond to a hotel review example?

You can use templates when responding to hotel reviews. The common misconception about template responses is that they are used for almost all kinds of hotel reviews, but this shouldn’t be the case. When using a template, make sure to personalize it and edit its crucial parts to fit the content of the review.

To learn more about using templates on hotel reviews, read our article here.

Responding to negative hotel reviews examples

In this example, the reviewer posted negative feedback which generally leads to a faulty reservation. The response shifted the negative tone into a positive one by starting with gratitude towards the feedback. The review then focused on the attempt to reconnect with the guest to provide better services, specifically on making a comfortable and convenient experience.

example-negative-hotel-review-response
Example of a negative hotel review response.

Responding to positive hotel reviews examples

In this example, the reviewer mentioned a couple of positive notes about their stay. The best response for this is to highlight each service mentioned and invite the guest to revisit your hotel.

example-positive-hotel-review-response
Example of a positive hotel review response.

Sample respond to guest comment: handling reviews like a pro

Positive reviews are always welcome, but they also require a carefully crafted response. Remember to thank the guest for their kind words and time taken to share their experience. You may also highlight the aspects they enjoyed and extend an invitation for them to visit again.

Sample response to positive guest review:

Dear [Guest's Name],

Thank you for your wonderful review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your stay at our hotel, particularly our [specific detail mentioned in review]. We work extensively to provide our guests with a memorable experience and your feedback encourages us to continue doing so.

Thank you again for choosing us and we hope to welcome you back in the future.

Warm Regards,
[Your Name]

Negative reviews, on the other hand, need a more strategic approach. It's crucial to start by acknowledging the guest's concerns, show empathy, and assure them that their feedback is important to you. Always offer a solution or corrective measure to solve the problem and try to take the conversation offline to discuss further.

Sample response to negative guest review:

Dear [Guest's Name],

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback. We are truly sorry to hear that your stay did not meet your expectations, especially concerning [specific issue mentioned in review]. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. We take your comments seriously, and have addressed the issue with our team to ensure this does not happen again in the future.

We would appreciate the opportunity to speak with you directly to further discuss your experience. Please reach out to us at [contact information].Thank you again for your feedback, and we hope to have the chance to welcome you back for a more positive experience.

Best Regards,
[Your Name]

Remember, responding to reviews is an opportunity to show your professionalism and commitment to customer satisfaction. Handle them like a pro, and you'll build a positive image for your hotel.

Is it important to respond to reviews?

Given that our time is limited, responding to each and every review is not always feasible. However, ignoring them completely is not the best option either. Remember that to make the most of customer feedback, we should focus on providing thoughtful, constructive responses, rather than simply acknowledging compliments from guests.

If you find yourself busy or simply don't have the time to respond to every negative review, you can use MARA's AI Review Reply Assistant to automatically generate a response to every review in seconds.

This AI Review Reply Assistant analyzes the text of your reviews and generates personalized responses based on their content. You can then approve or edit the responses before sending them out.

You can also use this tool to respond to negative reviews with positive comments or suggestions for improvement. This can help you to turn one-star reviews into four - or five-star ones.

Where do hotel guests leave online reviews?

With the rise of social media, it's easy to find websites and accounts that allow visitors to share their experiences with others. It's smart to create a profile for your property on the most popular review sites so that you can get as many feedbacks as possible. These online platforms include TripAdvisor, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Google, Facebook, Trivago, Yelp, Orbitz, and Hotwire.com.

It is important to check these websites on a regular basis in order to make sure that all of the details associated with the property and the contact information are identical and up to date across all of the platforms.

How do you respond to a Google review?

When responding to a Google review, ensure you have claimed your Google My Business listing and verified your profile. It’s best to ensure your profile has updated business information, as guests tend to immediately contact businesses or book their accommodations after reading reviews.

Read our complete guide to learn more about responding to Google reviews.

How do you respond to a Booking review?

Upon logging in to your Booking.com Partner hub, you will be redirected to your dashboard, which will reflect all your listed properties. You can sort the reviews by Property Name, Date of Booking, Booking IDs, and Review Score.

Here’s our complete guide to responding to Booking.com reviews.

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How do you respond to a Tripadvisor review?

Before responding to Tripadvisor reviews, ensure you have claimed your listing, optimized your profile, and updated your price list across your booking platforms. Remember that Tripadvisor’s algorithm rates listings according to Quality, Quantity, and Recency. Aside from responding to reviews, you should also prioritize collecting new reviews to boost your visibility on the website.

Here’s our complete guide to responding to Tripadvisor reviews.

How do you respond to an Airbnb review?

To increase your Airbnb visibility, being prompt in responding to guest reviews is essential. Airbnb only allows a property manager to respond to submitted reviews within 30 days. After the timeframe, Airbnb will no longer allow you to respond to the review.

Read our complete guide to learn more about responding to Airbnb reviews.

How do you handle guest reviews?

To improve the efficiency of your hotel's response to reviews, we recommend implementing the following best practices:

  • Decide which department (operations, sales, or guest services manager) will be in charge of responding to reviews and whether you will alternate the tasks.
  • Set up a hotel email account and link it to all your online hotel profiles, so you can receive real-time rating alerts.
  • Use a consistent and professional voice when responding to reviews and highlight the positive features and benefits your hotel has to offer to influence reviews.
  • Establish a policy for offering partial refunds, giveaways, certificates, or other surprises to dissatisfied guests. Words go a long way, but actions speak so much louder.
  • Make sure to respond to all negative reviews as soon as possible (ideally within 24-48 hours). Consistency is key.

Respond to Hotel Reviews with an AI Review Reply Assistant

Responding to online reviews can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be with our AI Review Assistant of MARA. This intuitive tool is designed to ease your Online Reputation Management process, making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Review Inbox:

One of the key features of this tool is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And you can even configure review response automation: Why not allowing MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

Answer to your hotel reviews in 2 clicks

Review Analytics:

To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific issues like "water in the pool is too cold" or "lack of vegan breakfast option”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

Understand your guest feedback in minutes with detailed AI insights.

The most personal response AI:

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity.

In conclusion, managing online reviews need not be an overwhelming task. With the appropriate software, not only can you streamline the process, but you can also personalize your responses, and derive valuable insights from the reviews. So, why hesitate to give our AI Review Assistant, MARA, a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

Takeaway

Reviews are a critical part of running a successful hotel, and understanding how to respond to them is key. Keeping up with reviews can be time-consuming, but there are tools like MARA AI Review Reply Assistant that can help make the process easier. By responding thoughtfully and professionally to both positive and negative reviews, you'll show guests that you value their feedback and help build a solid reputation for your hotel.

Ultimately, responding to reviews is an opportunity to engage with customers and build relationships that will help your hotel business thrive. So take the time to do it right!

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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you respond to a good hotel review?

When responding to a good hotel review, it’s best to highlight the positive feedback mentioned in the review. Aside from this, you can also use the good hotel review across your social media platforms as social proof to boost your online credibility.

How do you respond to an online hotel review?

When responding to an online hotel review, remember that you’re also talking to potential guests. Because of this, it’s best to add a strong call to action to visit your hotel to entice new guests. Furthermore, it’s you must show gratitude towards the feedback to encourage other guests to also leave reviews.

How to reply to guest reviews examples?

When replying to guest reviews, remember to take the opportunity to highlight your services. For the simple review “Our stay was great!” you may reply with “Thank you for your kind words about your stay! We're delighted to hear that you had such a wonderful time here at our hotel. We strive to provide the best experience possible and are thrilled to know that we succeeded.”

How do you say thank you for a review?

Showing gratitude is essential in replying to guest reviews, as it encourages other guests to leave reviews, too. To do this effectively, make sure to reinforce the positive notes the guest has mentioned and add a call to action to revisit your property.

How to respond to bad hotel reviews?

Responding to bad hotel reviews requires a delicate balance of humility and professionalism. Begin by acknowledging the guest's complaint and expressing sincere regret for their negative experience. If appropriate, provide some context or explanation, but be careful not to invalidate their experience. Follow this by stating what action you've taken to avoid such an issue in the future. Then, invite the guest to discuss their experience further offline. This shows both the guest and other potential customers that you are willing to rectify the situation. Lastly, conclude on a positive note by expressing hope for the chance to serve them better in the future. Time is of the essence - so respond promptly and keep responses concise and focused.

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