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How to respond to online guest reviews

How to respond to online guest reviews

Reading hotel reviews is becoming one of primary factors when booking accommodation online. Tripadvisor reports that 80% of travelers read at least 6-12 reviews prior to booking. By responding to reviews, both positive and negative, you demonstrate to clients that you care about their feedback and take it into account. This does increase bookings.

65% of Tripadvisor users agree that they are more likely to book a hotel that responds to traveler reviews. 85% of guests say that a thoughtful response to a bad review will improve their impression of a hotel.

Not only does your response leave a positive impression on prospective guests, it also encourages loyalty with satisfied guests and turns them into your property promoters. Professional and personalized responses to negative ones will cool down the heated situation or help to clear out the misunderstanding. They will also let potential guests know your side of the story.


  • Reply to negative and delighted reviews. Say quick "thank you" to neutral ones;
  • Address the reviewer by name, when known, and let them know your name and title;
  • Start with “Thank you”, even if a review is negative;
  • Apologize if a guest had a poor experience;
  • Be sincere.


  • Be defensive;
  • Make false promises;
  • Offer complementary services in response to negative reviews;
  • Include hotel name in response to a negative review. It might show up in search engines;
  • Sound template-like.

Responding to positive reviews

Ask grateful guests to like you on Facebook and sign up to newsletter
Ask grateful guests to like you on Facebook and sign up to newsletter.

Show your personality

Make your response more personal to show that you appreciate your guests, and it was worth spending time on writing a glowing review for your hotel. Let it sound conversational: potential clients will see that there is a real person behind a comment.

"Everything was wonderful. The staff is extremely responsive, the room is spotless. Receptionists woke us up for an early flight. The apple pie specialty was a cherry on top of this all!"

"I am thrilled that you enjoyed our specialty! Since we have put it on the menu, the staff visits by the kitchen more and more often. Come to stay at our hotel again, and we will keep a slice of pie just for you!"

Highlight the positives

Reiterate specific compliments that reviewers make about your hotel. Positive reviews themselves build hotel’s reputation, but reinforcing certain benefits brings even more attention to your property.

"The hotel is lovely. Staff is polite, the service is excellent. We booked the guided tour around the town at the desk and absolutely enjoyed it. The guide that the hotel hired was amusing and extremely professional."

"Thank you for choosing our hotel and for taking the time to write a review! We are so glad to hear you enjoyed the stay, as well as the guided tour. Our hotel aims to provide a truly unique experience, and we work hard to exceed your expectations. We are looking forward to welcoming you back to our hotel!"

Responding to negative reviews

Avoid offering compensation online. It attracts those who complain for discounts
Avoid offering compensation online. It attracts those who complain for discounts.

Promise to share feedback with the team

Guests that had a bad hotel experience are likely to want an apology and a resolution of a problem. Show them that you admit the fault and understand their frustration.

Mentioning that you will share the feedback with your staff can ease guests’ anger. The fact, that you take steps to solve the issue, will show that you care about your clients.

"Place was super dirty. The first room smelled bad, and only when I complaint they gave me another room. I definitely will not go back."

"Thank you for writing to us about your stay. However, we are sorry to hear that you did not have a positive experience. We are gutted to learn that you found the room dirty. We take cleanliness seriously and will instruct our housekeepers to be more attentive in the future. We hope you will give us another chance to serve you better."

Tell about changes you are going to implement

If you say that you are making changes because of the feedback, it will ease guests’ disappointment. Moreover, future guests will see the changes you make to improve your hotel.

"Location is perfect. But the furniture is beat up, lights were not working."

"Thank you for choosing our hotel and writing this review. We are glad you found the location convenient. We truly apologize that you did not like the furniture condition. We are assessing the situation and have plans to refurbish the rooms in 2021. We hope you will come back and join us to see the new look."

Show your side of the story

There are times when clients cannot understand certain aspects of hotel’s operation. Justify yourself, but try not to seem defensive or irritated. Invite guests to contact you directly to rectify the situation. The fact that you are interested in going through the issue personally will make guests feel better.

"I wanted to enjoy my stay there, but I couldn’t. The hotel was a disappointment from the moment we arrived. One of the elevators in the lobby wasn’t working, so we had to wait forever to get upstairs with all our luggage. And there weren’t enough towels in the room."

"I want to thank you for your feedback. While I wish you had a better experience, it is a feedback that we learn from. At the time, one of the elevators was out of service for routine maintenance. I am sorry for the inconvenience it caused. Such service is a necessity that should have had better explained. We would love to put this right and discuss your concerns over the phone. Please call when you have a moment."

Do not question the authenticity of the review

Even if you think that the review was not written by one of your guests, but by former employees or competitors, do not show this in your response. Potential customers might think that you just do not take the problem seriously. Profoundly apologize and explain why this could not happen.

"Stayed there for 4 nights and got bitten by bed bugs. Very disappointed!"

"Thank you for providing us with feedback from your stay. I am very sorry to hear that you were unhappy with your experience here. With regard to your concern, this is the first incident with bed bugs that I have ever heard of at this property. However, we take proactive steps to ensure there are not any pests. We hire a professional pest control service to inspect rooms every week and would be informed if there were any...I hope the above helped to address your concerns. Feel free to contact me any time, if you have any questions."

Offering an appropriate response to reviews is a key to managing your reputation effectively. Keep in mind, that negative reviews require quicker response than positive ones. If time is limited, negative ones should be prioritized. Reply to them within hours. Do not miss a single review to spoil your hotel’s image with TravelLine Reputation. It will collect the reviews from the most popular review websites all in one place for your convenience.

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