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55

Here are some of the main signs I would look out for to decide if a review is fake. (note: updated with some points taken from a study on the matter) Overly hyped. While it is certainly possible that someone had an amazing time, the more hyped the review looks the more likely it is fake. "Fake reviewers tend to overdo “self-referencing”, that is, they ...


36

I look at reviews that are “middle of the road” e.g. 2 or 3 star. I then choose a hotel when the reviews complain about things I don’t care about. E.g. a review saying that “the hotel bar closes at 10 pm and does not have any music” is a positive review for me, even if the reviewer gave the hotel 2 stars because of it. A fake review posted by the hotel ...


23

Here's a story about a study done by researchers who hired freelance writers to write fake positive reviews, asked judges to tell them apart from real ones (they couldn't) and then did a statistical analysis. According to them, typical properties of fake reviews are: A direct mention of the place where somebody stayed Lots of adverbs like 'really' and ...


19

Utilize hotels.com or other "black-out date" wholesalers and discounters. They purchase rooms in bulk at a discounted rate and mark them up for a profit. As occupancy becomes scarce they will hold rooms back for the last minute premium. The room allocations they have will not be available to the hotel front desk or central reservations. Hotel front desks ...


14

In my opinion the best filter for fake reviews is training, by writing some real reviews yourself. I also make a habit of contradicting previous reviews quite explicitly if I disagree. Either way the method is never foolproof. If I went to a hotel with quite some remarkable reviews, only to regret it afterwards, it wouldn't be the first time. Not because ...


11

One of the most infamous ones is the prison in La Paz, Bolivia - the San Pedro prison. This prison was made famous in the book "Marching Powder". (source: Wikipedia) This prison is basically run by the prisoners, and even the guards don't enter the prison. Tourists aren't "meant" to go in, but there's a way, for sure. Obviously, you do this at your own ...


11

I actually think I have the perfect thing for you. I made this site to check for when any booked hotels open up, and send you an email/text when it does: Hotel Room Alerts Full disclosure obviously, I'm obviously the creator of the site. You should add all the hotels that are in that area, and when any of them have an opening, it will notify you right ...


10

One of the most beautiful place to temple lodging is Koyasan which is close to Kyoto. Different temples offer lodging with a traditional meal included. They also offer the opportunity to pray with the monks early in the morning (5 a.m.) and before dinner. In order to reach Koyasan from Kyoto you have to take a train to Osaka (Namba station) and from there ...


10

It is not likely that there is a method that work perfectly, but there are steps that you can take that will help. If I find ANY reviews which are obviously faked I would be very unlikely to stay at the hotel. If they are prepared to lie to create a positive image, or need to do so, they are probably suspect in other areas as well. When there are a range of ...


9

No particularly clever schemes, I'm afraid. Those hotels that have waiting lists will add you if you call or mail them; those that don't, will not. I'd look into alternatives like Airbnb that will often have availability even when hotels are full. Or, if you're feeling like Austin Powers, you can wait until just before you arrive and then try your luck ...


8

Nobody eats during the daytime until the sun goes down (that's a sure thing), This is true, and Morocco is one of the strictest countries in this regard! Unlike Tunisia, Lebanon or Syria for example. So, no shop (included food shops) are opened until then (with hard temperatures...), and every streets are kind of desert in the afternoon, Not ...


7

In China, the EEB (Exit-Entry Bureau) branch of the PSB (Public Security Bureau) works together with local police to keep track of foreigners in the country. When you stay in a hotel, the hotel is required to forward your passport details to the local police. If you stay in a private residence, you are required to register yourself in the household register ...


7

I stayed at first in Idre's Guesthouse. It was basic, reading some of the reviews has refreshed my memory - the kitchen and bathrooms were small, but there was free breakfast and working wifi. Indeed, the hostel did organise tours and immediately asked if I'd like to look at their options, but I couldn't fit it into my schedule, and it wasn't brought up ...


7

No, there is no "Europe-wide rule". HI: Do Age limits exist? Youth Hostels are open to everyone. However age limits may apply for children in some places - check with the Hostel. Young people may be given priority when the hostel is nearly full. Practices will vary from country to country and even hostel to hostel. For example, in Finland ...


7

Yup, Okinawa has lots of cheap lodgings, it's where all the Japanese hippies, surfers and dropouts go to hang out. ゲストハウス (gesutohausu, "guesthouse") and 安宿 (yasuyado, "cheap inn") are the usual terms. ¥1000/night is largely a Naha thing though, it's not going to be easy to find that elsewhere in Okinawa. Here's a handy listing of (close to?) all ...


7

Riders' houses are super-budget dorms, often run on a non-commercial hobbyist or community-supported basis, and not uncommonly entirely free. As the name says, the primary audience is bikers, both motorized and pedal-powered, but anybody is welcome. However, as they've often located in places that are hard to impossible to reach by public transport ...


6

The most cost effective will be a youth hostel. You can find them just by doing a research on Google or on travel website such as Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. The outskirts of the city will be less expensive than the center of London but check on TFL for the travel card price before taking a "far away from the center" place to stay !


6

If you are interested in meeting people I would definitely suggest CouchSurfing. As an Iranian I can assure you they'd love to provide host, specially to foreigners . You can find many CouchSurfers in big cities. Here is just a sample search for Tehran. Unfortunately, in Iran there are not (yet) many good hostels as you can find in Europe. And you ...


6

Yes, but ... Further searching has led me to a few discoveries. In a previous question about Macau, Ankur tells us about one hostel, Augusters Lodge there that had to close down. Then I found an article on About.com, Top Three Macau Hostels by Rory Boland. It's obviously not up-to-date as it lists the aforementioned former hostel, but also two more: San ...


6

Most hotels require all guests staying in the room to be registered, and will charge extra if more than the set number of guests is registered for the room. So you could register your sister and (I presume her) husband, however you could likely need to pay extra for the 3 guests - even though there will not be 3 guests there at the same time. Alternatively ...


5

The standard online Chinese travel agents (elong, ctrip) seem to be able to make bookings in Dandong, starting from Y160 (USD 26) or so for two. I realize you can get cheaper dives in many places, but doesn't that answer the question adequately? The government probably wants a bit better control in a sensitive border area.


5

South America is BIG! A generic answer is difficult to give. I have traveled in both Chile and Brazil without any reservations. Having either a hamock and/or tent was sufficient. I tend to travel unprepared by default. That is the fun of traveling in my opinion. But I take the risk that I will have some frustrating days, looking for accommodation. ...


5

The Malmaison Hotel in Oxford is converted from the old prison, and still retains much of the prison features. The wings look as they did, you still enter many of the rooms through cell doors, the main difference is that the rooms now take up multiple cells! (They're very very nice rooms...) If you're a fan of the TV show Lewis, there was an episode set ...


5

The answer is "sure", though it may be somewhat far from civilization. There is an NBC News Report allowing you stay in Jail for the night and there is a similar one listed in Missouri. If you choose to book it you can go to Jail Tours


5

This is definitely possible. I grew up in the Alps and I can think of at least a dozen places like that. The problem is that most of them are privately owned and it might not be so easy to get access to one. There is a website about renting such huts in Switzerland, but unfortunately the listings are only in German. Note that even if some of the house is ...


5

This turns out to be surprisingly nuanced. In short, while officially discouraged, short-term rentals are legal, or at least not illegal, in Singapore. The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Singapore government body responsible for private housing, makes it quite clear that: Private residential properties or their rooms within the premises ...


5

Here's a technique that's risky - but can work. Wear a suit, carry a "professional" looking suitcase. Go up to the front desk and try to check in. Inevitably, they won't have a record of your booking. Claim that your company's travel desk made the booking - you've flown all the way over from wherever for a big conference with Name of major local employer. ...


4

Having backpacked in Europe this past summer, I'd advise you to book ahead (even if it's just one day in advance) or simply have a couple of options in your mind with specific directions to those places rather than just showing up in a city. In my experience, not all tourist offices were easy to find and/or spoke English well, and unless you're very ...



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