How Hotels Try To Fake You Out To Get You To Make A Reservation (And How You Can Combat It)

Hotels are in the business of getting people to stay at their properties overnight. One way for them to do this is to present themselves in a way that makes them look as appealing as possible. Unfortunately, that sometimes means making themselves look not a whole lot like their respective realities. is a hotel review and booking website that does things a little differently than Tripadvisor and They’ve been around for about a decade and don’t amass reviews from former hotel guests who may or may not be telling the truth. Instead, they have a staff of full-time professional reviewers who stay in these hotels incognito. These reviewers also personally photograph the hotels, in order to show what they really look like, instead of using the stylized promo shots that are sent to them.

The differences between the reviewers’ photos and the promo shots have sometimes been so ridiculous that Oyster has periodically posted “Photo Fakeouts,” to show its readers the differences between the two. Here are a few of those photos, as well as ways to you not be faked out when looking for a hotel.

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The Worst Hotels In The World, According to TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel site and millions of people rely on it as a resource for reviews on travel destinations, hotels, restaurants, etc. Of course, you  sometimes have to take the reviews people have written with a grain of salt. But when SO MANY people say a place is horrible, you can’t help but think maybe you should stay far, far away from it. Here are what may be the worst of the worst, complete with photos and recent reviews…

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Can You Trust TripAdvisor?

Running since February 2000, TripAdvisor is well known for comparing prices from 200+ booking sites to help you find the lowest price on the right hotel for you. However, they also tout themselves as the world’s largest travel site, with over 500 million unbiased traveler reviews of hotels, flights, restaurants, vacation rentals, and things to do. But can you trust all those reviews? Read on…

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RESTAURANT REVIEW: Peter Luger Steak House, Brooklyn, NY

Peter Luger Steak House, in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, is a New York institution. The location dates back to 1887, fifteen years before the opening of the nearby Williamsburg Bridge. Originally named  “Carl Luger’s Café, Billiards and Bowling Alley,” Peter owned the establishment while his nephew Carl ran the kitchen. Peter Luger died in 1941 and the restaurant subsequently declined until it closed in 1950 and was put up for auction. The winning bid was from one of the restaurant’s loyal patrons, Sol Forman, who was disappointed he had to find a new location to have lunch with clients after dining at Peter Luger for the previous 25 years.

The restaurant has been managed by the Forman family ever since. Peter Luger Steak House has been named “Best Steakhouse in New York” by the Zagat survey for the last 30 years and has a Michelin star.

Even though Sharon and I both grew up in the New York area, we never managed to eat at Peter Luger before we moved to Florida. Mainly because this wasn’t the type of place we’d try to visit back then. We decided to rectify that on a quick weekend trip when we had no other plans.

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