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Become a top reviewer on TripAdvisor

I joined TripAdvisor in 2016 I believe. I created a profile and started reviewing. I have ranked up to Level 6 Contributor since than. And I always wonder what that really means.

The points they give me for every review and photo I upload have no value and the badges are for fun only. Yet there is a competitive streak in it all. Seeing that I am only 1 review away from my next badge makes me wonder how to get it, what to review to earn that stupid invalid badge.

I have 78 helpful votes so far, that means people give thumbs up on the review you have written, and the art of reviewing is catching up with me.

Because there is an art to writing a good review and being honest without breaking a place down to the max. For there is always such thing as a personal opinion and I find it hard not to let that ring through in my opinions.

I have earned the anger from some owners when given a bad review. But I guess that is the risk of owning a place that is up for review: You have to be able to manage criticism. Some handle that very bad, I remember 1 cook from a restaurant on Siquijor demanding to rewrite the review, hunting me down over social media and pestering me about what I wrote. I ended up rewriting the review, stating that only positive reviews were allowed otherwise they will hunt you down until you take it down and rewrite it.
That alone says enough about a place I guess.

I once rewrote a review saying that this place only accepts positive reviews

Sometimes I get offered a 2nd chance to visit a place and change my mind. I seldom do that. It is the first impression that counts. I do visit places after a few months, to see if they made any changes to the recommendations I’ve made. if they do I will re-review them again.

I always tell them honestly that I am a top reviewer on TripAdvisor and I will be brutally honest in my reviews. And I make the recommendations accordingly face to face, for as much as possible.

As a former business owner, I know what a bad review can do. But when you serve out bread with worms in it or ice cream that is so badly prepared it is difficult to swallow it, you do not deserve a good review. You need to check the food that is served out. And when my rooms are occupied by too many bugs, I will mention that in the review, same with hairs in the sink and in the bed. (Believe me, it happens!)

Clean beach Playa del Carmen, 31 july 2019

I remember a hotel I was given a room where obviously someone had slept in my bed

The rather expensive hotel in a barangay on Negros Island once gave me a room where there was a used bar of sAnd the bed was used. Someone had slept there. Probably the staff, but it is beyond gross to run a hotel like that and charge 50 dollars for such a room without blinking an eye.

How do you become an expert reviewer on TripAdvisor?

  1. You have to travel or visit places a lot
  2. Preferably you add pictures to your review
  3. You have to review a visited place within 6 months after visiting
  4. You have to know what you are talking about so you can answer the standard questions
  5. You have to be helpful in your reviews
  6. You get there as soon as you reach 10,000 points.

How do you write a good review for TripAdvisor?

Every helpful vote builds your trustworthiness on TripAdvisor. believe me, there is a lot of rubbish and outdated material on the site. Knowing that you review a lot and that you are accurate and helping others to prepare better for their stay is also satisfaction you get from spending time writing reviews.

You have to know that every review you write and every photo you upload will be reviewed. That means probably as much as “crawled by a bot” on buzz words. Once the review contains certain words a person will review it after they have asked you is you really want to publish the review.

Every person varies in their experiences, which is a noisy place for me might be heaven for you. So you have to try to be objective, like one of the reviews I wrote about a hotel with a Karaoke bar on the roof that kept me awake till 2 at night. I do not only complain about being awake, but I also say why. Same with the hotel combined with a 24/7 gas station that had no good window isolation and I might as well have spent my night between the pumps.

You share your experience and state facts that might be interesting to know for other visitors

You share all facts, convenient and inconvenient. And you mingle it in a story on your stay in the facility or location.

You can be funny, sarcastic but you have to be honest, always. TripAdvisor is a great place to get back to business owners that have treated you badly, but you should never be tempted to do that, it is not the right place to fight a personal battle.

When writing a review try to think outside your own comfort zone. Many people do not want to stay in a hotel room that has no safe. I don’t care so much for a safe, Actually, I never use it, for I am always afraid it will not open. But it is nice for others to know that there is one or none.

Same with amenities. Not everyone gets crazy over hotel soap. I do, I love it when it comes in cute little bottles and preferably reusable bottles, or eco-friendly. But if there are no amenities at all it is definitely worth mentioning it.

And then there is this awkward area of ‘feeling safe’ I once stayed in a hotel where other reviewers stated they did not feel safe because of the dim lighting in the corridors. I did not experience that same feeling, actually, it was quite funny seeing the hotel owner turning in the lightbulb that he got from his pocket so we could find our way in the dark hallway. I did mention it as an anecdote. It is for others to decide if they feel safe after he removes it again when going down leaving you to stumble down in pitch-black darkness.

Make bite-sized paragraphs in your review that covers the same topic. Like 1 paragraph about the great bathroom, the next one about the beds and so on and so on.

Same when you review day trips or touristic locations, write about waiting time, the best time to go, ticket prices and experiences like: difficult to reach, easy access, additional fees, are there food and drinks available?

visa for Malaysia

What to wear might be a good addition when reviewing day trip

Sometimes you go to a place on flip flops only realizing on arrival you better had worn sandals. Or you leave your bathing suit at home getting soaking wet during the visit. Or you keep dreaming of water and a snack for there is nothing available.

Use the spell checker. I try to do that, and I try to reread my reviews always, but being as dyslectic as a chicken, I overlook typo’s so easy. But I try my best.

End the review with whether or not you will revisit the location. Especially restaurants and hotels. That is a strong indicator that you had a good time there. People love to read that, it works rather reassuring.

Be honest, always, if you do not have much to say, don’t say much, if you have positives to say mention them, but do not overdo it. Many resort owners pay reviewers. I always combine those reviews with an article on this website, so I can rectify and balance the review. But I also tell hotel owners that my review will be honest, free upgrade or meal or not.

Once I refused an upgrade to write a review.  I did not like the hotel owner and his attitude towards the whole concept of reviewing. He bluntly asked me to lie for him for business was not looking good due to a lot of bad reviews.

You get what you deserve, and that is what TripAdvisor should be all about

When we visit places we should get what we deserve from the moment we book until the minute we leave.  And we review accordingly the service received.

Business owners should be aware of that and live up to the expectations they create on their websites and booking sites and we guests should not expect less.

No need to complain about the lack of a hot shower when it was stated not to be included, but the other way around? And when complaining at the front desk about it and hearing: the water heater has been broken for years…… then you deserve nothing else but a mention of false information on the booking site.

When is a good time to write a review?

The moment you leave, I believe the best time to write a review is the sooner the better. For information outdated very fast. When my review is about a stay or visit that took place a while ago, I write that I hope the place has improved after I left. For like I said I try to be honest with the front desk, manager or person in charge of my experience.

Waiting time when traveling is a good time to dot down some points about the place. And when you stay there to make sure you take photos of things you want to show. I forgot to do that when I booked a molded cottage with a leaking roof and hardly any furniture, I was in such a rush to find myself a better place that I totally forgot to document the horrors in my ‘ cozy and comfortable holiday rental’.


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