When it comes to customer review ratings, the feelings are mixed - both from readers and hoteliers; on the one hand, the review sites are helpful and engaging, giving potential guests a glimpse at what a customer experienced at a property.
On the other hand, review sites have come under the gun as fake and peppered with positive feedback from inside the hotel, creating a not-so-honest perspective of the property and guest experience.
So where's the happy medium?
If you're InterContinental Hotel Group, the happy zone is your own internal review site.
IGH this week announced the global launch of Guest Reviews and Ratings for seven of its hotel brand websites. The unique, in-house reviews and rating programs is meant to allow customers to write reviews and post feedback for other guests to see, without going through more traditional sites like TripAdvisor.
IHG says they'll verify all reviewers against a database of actual bookings, ensuring that all reviews on a hotel brand's website are "real reviews from real guests."
"We know that reviews play an important role in a guest's decision when booking a hotel" Michael Menis, IHG's vice president of Web and Interactive Marketing, said in a statement. "With more than 70% of our guests reading reviews before making a booking decision, we think it is extremely important that these reviews are authentic from verified guests of the hotel so that our customers can make an accurate and informed decision."
But that's not where the IHG news ends.
When it comes to the products and services industry, the last quarter of every year is always a heavy hitter. Companies aim to round off the year with a bang, close the books with a profit and head into a new year with a surplus.
InterContinental Hotels Group is turning Q4 into the quarter of change, and setting up the company for some big 2014 highlights.
Just last week, InterContinental announced it will open its first EVEN Hotel property in New York City in 2014. The EVEN Hotels made news earlier this year as the first hotel brand dedicated solely to the health-conscious traveler, placing emphasis on four key aspects: exercise, eat, work and rest.
All EVEN hotels will had guest rooms designed for in-room workouts, a state of the art fitness center, on-site guest service to offer personalized advice fitness instruction for workouts, a Marketplace with nutritionally designed menus, and a "social space" in the bar and lobby.
The New York City EVEN Hotel will feature 230 guestrooms, dedicated meeting areas, and indoor and outdoor exercise and eating spaces for an impressive 87,000 square feet in total space.
Looks like IHG is on ready to ring in the new year on a high note.This is an exclusive feature, reprints of this article in any shape or form without prior written approval from 4Hoteliers.com is not permitted. Melanie Nayer is a hotel reviewer and expert on luxury travel around the world. She has covered all aspects of hotels including corporate restructures, re-branding initiatives, historical aspects and the best of the best in luxury hotels around the world.
Melanie writes a weekly exclusive column for 4Hoteliers.com