The editors of the Good Hotel Guide (GHG) 2011, which is published today, have slammed TripAdvisor for being "brazen and shameless" in printing malicious and collusive reviews without checking their authenticity.
Adam Raphael said that he and Desmond Bulmer, his fellow editor of the GHG, have been besieged by hoteliers complaining about what they perceive as "fraudulent" reviews on TripAdvisor.
"Millions of consumers are also beginning to realise that they have been gulled by bogus reviewers," he said. "Many hotels are now massaging their TripAdvisor profile by inspiring reviews which pretend to be independent, but which, in reality, are written by friends, relations and public relations companies."
The comments from the GHG follows the decision by online reputation management company Kwikchex, supported by hundreds of hoteliers, to take legal action against TripAdvisor for unfair and false reviews on its website.
Meanwhile, Raphael said that the GHG reviews are compiled by carefully filtered reader reports. "We never consider a review from an anonymous source," he said. "After tracking our readers' views for more than 30 years, we know where they are coming from, and the quality of their judgement."
Despite increased competition from online review sites, Raphael said that the GHG has defied the trend for declining sales of printed guidebooks, with its sales remaining steady for the past two years at nearly 10,000 copies per year.
"We place a great deal of importance on our print edition as readers tell us they like to keep a copy in their car or by the side of their bed," he explained. "Hotels do not pay to be included in the print edition, which is the quality gateway for our other platforms, including our website and smartphone apps, which do command a fee."
Ten of the best hotels in the GFG 2011 have been given César awards. They are:
Number Sixteen - London Hotel of the Year
Whitehouse, Chillington - Devon Hotel of the Year
Restaurant 36 on the Quay, Emsworth, Hampshire - Restaurant-with-Rooms of the Year
Thistlehaugh Farm, Longhorsley, Northumberland - Farm Guest House of the Year
Swinton Park, Marsham, North Yorkshire - Family Hotel of the Year
Old Bank, Oxford - City Hotel of the Year
Millgate House, Richmond, North Yorkshire - B&B of the Year
Killiecrankie House, Killiecrankie, Perth and Kinross - Scottish Hotel of the Year
Tŷ Mawr, Brechfa, Carmarthenshire - Welsh Country Hotel of the Year
Mount Vernon, New Quay, Co. Clare - Irish Heritage House of the Year
The GFG 2011 is now available, priced at £20. It can be obtained for £18, including P&P, from firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 020 7602 4182.
By Janet Harmer
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