Gateway Lodge


Guests Keep Fit and Help the Environment
 An eco-friendly Bed & Breakfast in England has come up with a novel energy-saving initiative.        The 'Standing Hat' room at Cottage Lodge in the village of Brockenhurst has a bicycle-powered TV so guests can watch their favorite shows and keep fit at the same time.


 The room also has low-energy lighting, solar panels, a wood-burning stove for hot water, and a    low-flow toilet and shower to reduce water use. The hotel says environmentally-friends paints and low-impact building materials were used throughout the property, while the room's bed, bedside table, dressing table, wardrobe and mirror were crafted by a local tree surgeon from a single beech tree which fell in the village.


 The hotel's owner Christina Simons has spent nearly eight years turning the B&B into a green  retreat, but explained how the 360-year-old property has recycling in its heritage. "The building dates back to 1650, and was actually constructed from a reclaimed ship," she said. "I focused on three things when constructing the room: reducing waste, minimizing pollution and using resources with the lowest impact possible. I also wanted to show that being green can also be exciting and fun, and guests love cycling on the bike," she added.


The hotel has won several prizes for its eco-friendly initiatives, including awards from Visit Britain and the AA.

Courtesy of Hospitality & Travel Newsletter (Adirondack Towels & Scrubs)

Websites Cracking Down on Fake Hotel Reviews
A lot of atairline-adtention is being paid to fake reviews posted on travel websites these days.
As a result, those websites are scrambling to crack down on fake reviews ahead of this
er's busy travel season.


Much of the brouhaha began in February when the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said TripAdvisor's statements that their 50 million reviews are trustworthy and posted by 'real travelers' are misleading. ASA said some reviews on the website could easily have been submitted by people who were not real travelers or, in some cases, even submitted by hotel staff.


In response, TripAdvisor says they use "frequently evolving and highly sophisticated filters to scan reviews for biased material, monitoring a wide range of attributes associated with electronic correspondence. Suspicious activity is then flagged for further inspection by our team of dedicated agents who use a variety of additional confidential investigative methods designed to identify potential fraud."


Still, ASA has banned TripAdvisor from claiming its reviews are truthful, and other travel sites have taken notice., for example, says,

 "Only guests who have actually booked their hotel room through us can offer guest reviews on our site. We send guests a survey for their feedback on the property they booked after their hotel stay is completed."


Other sites are likely to follow's lead in finding ways to verify postings. In the meantime, experts have offered tips on how to identify fake reviews. Read the following review and see if you can spot the flaws:


"My husband and I stayed at the City Center Chicago Hotel for our anniversary. This place is really fantastic! We knew as soon as we arrived we made the right choice! The rooms are BEAUTIFUL and the staff very attentive and wonderful!! The area around the hotel is great, since I love to shop. I couldn't ask for more!! We will denitely be back to Chicago and will be sure to stay at the City Center Chicago!"


Here are some indications that the above review might be fake:


1) Too many verbs, adverbs and pronouns. Experts have found that genuine reviewers reference the actual hotel, whereas the fakers talked up external experiences and travel companions. Unlike someone who had something real to report about the hotel, this person goes on an unrelated tangent because he didn't have an impetus for writing the review.


2) Too many exclamation points. Nobody has that much enthusiasm for a hotel, at least not seven exclamation points and an all-cap adjective's worth. Adverbs like "very" and "really" are also warning signs.


3) Too many mentions of the hotel. This is called overcompensation. Like obvious subliminal marketing, fake reviewers think they are doing a better job if they mention the name of the hotel over and over again.


4) Reviews too long or too short. Be wary of short, vague, off the cuff reviews that have no real content. Many people writing fake reviews doesn't want to spend too much time on them, so they post things like, "Great place for students! Great staff! Very friendly." Others go overboard and post 15 or more paragraphs to describe their stay. Again, real travelers are rarely that crazy about a hotel.

Courtesy of Hospitality & Travel Newsletter (Adirondack Towels & Scrubs)