A homeless shelter in Glasgow made its way into the UKs top 100 hotels on TripAdvisor after fake reviews boasted about decor and plush facilities.
The Bellgrove Hotel, near Celtic Park in Glasgow, houses around 150 men, many with drug and alcohol addiction problems. According to the press release, one review, titled Pure Joy, said: “Great hotel, friendly staff and a very warm welcome. Excellent food and room service with a smile. Nothing was any trouble for the staff. Central location near town center ” Another review said, “Hotel did look a bit shabby on the outside however appearances can be deceitful. Luxurious rooms, spa and leisure facilities a real gem.” And another said: “The marble floors and crystal chandeliers were breathtaking! You feel like a king!”
Hotel manager Joe McKee told the UK paper, Daily Mail, “We didn’t even know we were on TripAdvisor. It looks like there’s been about five or six jokers on there who have been posting these reviews. We contacted TripAdvisor and asked them to take them down because it’s misleading. Sometimes we get the odd call from people after a room if they’re coming for a concert. But we just tell them “sorry it’s not what you’re looking for.”
A spokesman for TripAdvisor said, “As this property is a homeless shelter, and therefore doesn’t meet our listing guidelines, the listing itself is being removed from TripAdvisor. With over 60 pieces of content coming in every minute, occasionally a review or business that does not meet TripAdvisor’s guidelines may slip through the cracks, and in these rare cases, our members can report the material to us, helping maintain the high quality content of our site.”
This certainly does bring up questions about the community-based review site. There have often been accusations that hotel staff members post fake reviews and now a homeless shelter has risen to the top 100 UK hotels based on fake reviews. Without some sort of stay verification, the review site has opened itself up to this type of activity – for the better or worse.
Does this make you think twice about trusting TripAdvisor?