February 17, 2024

Hoteliers' Guide to Responsive Guest Reviews

February 17, 2024
Company updates

Hoteliers' Guide to Responsive Guest Reviews

Raul Tomescu
CEO & Founder


Nowadays, we are facing many factors that influence the hospitality industry in ways we wouldn't think, including guest feedback. In many cases the decision is based on the reviews of other guests, but what can you do in this case? In the following article, I will show you how you, as an accommodation provider, should handle your guests' feedback, even if it is neutral, positive or negative.

The Power of Guest Reviews in the Hospitality Industry

Which accommodation should I stay in? Why should I stay here? These are the first questions that pop into guests' minds once they have decided their destination. Guest feedback can have a big influence on decision-making, so you should focus on getting mostly positive feedback. But how can this benefit you?

By focusing on guest feedback and improving the guest experience, you can:

✅ Prove that you care about the positive experience and well-being of your guests,

✅ You can get more reviews that contribute to data collection,

✅ Help your potential guests to get an overall picture of your accommodation,

✅ Increase the number of returning guests,

✅ Outperform your competitors.

Illustration of a holiday home.

Why Is It Important to Respond to Your Guests' Reviews?

Now that you know the benefits of focusing on your guests' feedback, let's look at why it's important to respond to them. By responding to your guests' feedback, you can increase the reliability of your accommodation and even the number of your guests. Many studies have shown that 9 out of 10 guests read feedback from other guests before deciding which accommodation to stay in.

If you respond to guest feedback, you can increase your ratings/feedback by up to 22%. Furthermore, on a scale of 1 to 5, you can increase the number of star ratings by 0.24 stars.

Responding to Guest Feedback: Do It Right!

If you are responding to feedback from your guests, it's important that you focus on how you do this. Below, I've collected some of the factors you should focus on when responding:

✅ Always respond on time,

✅ Give personal answers as much as possible,

✅ Always be polite and professional in your reply,

✅ Always answer in the language of your guest,

✅ It is very important to be unique,

✅ Always thank them for their feedback in your response,

✅ In your answer, mention that you would be happy to see your guest again next time.

Response to Neutral Guest Feedback: Do's and Don'ts

Feedback from your guests can be neutral as well as positive or negative. This feedback is often unclear, so it is recommended that you ask questions in your response such as:

📝 How could you improve the guest experience?

📝 What does the average guest experience mean to them?

In your response, make sure to cover all the areas that the guest mentioned.


Review 1/5

I had a recent stay at Hotel, and it was generally comfortable with friendly staff and a clean room. While there were minor issues like inconsistent Wi-Fi and occasional noise from neighboring rooms, they didn't significantly detract from the overall positive experience.

Hotel’s response:

We appreciate your feedback and apologize for any inconveniences during your stay.

As you can see in the example above, it is recommended to avoid standard answers in such cases. Furthermore, in your answer, it is recommended to avoid formulating simple questions without explaining them.

Responding to guest reviews.


Review 5/5

After much research, we decided to stay here. The reviews were excellent. We have already written to reserve, we are very excited to see the hotel.

Hotel’s response:

Dear X, thank you for your feedback, so far we have not received any feedback from our guests before their arrival. We hope that everything will be up to expectations. We look forward to seeing you! All the best!

The example above is an excellent example of how to respond to neutral feedback. It is recommended that you mention your excellent customer service in your response and always mention the team. Also, always invite your guests back.

Response to Positive Reviews: Do's and Don'ts

Positive feedback is the best way for your guests to express their thanks for their experience with your accommodation. Below are two examples of how you should and should not respond to these positive feedbacks.


Review 5/5

We had an absolutely delightful stay at your hotel! The impeccable service, comfortable accommodations, and friendly staff made our experience truly memorable. Thank you for exceeding our expectations.

Hotel’s response:

We offer only comfortable accommodation for our guests.

In the example above, you can see how not to respond to feedback. Always thank your guests in your response, and it is recommended that you start with this. Also, do not use standard phrases. Most importantly, you should respond to positive feedback in the same way as negative feedback.

How do you ask for a 5-star review? You can also ask your guests to leave a positive feedback on your site if they were satisfied, which can even increase the number of 5-star ratings.

✅ Do's

Review 5/5

We loved our stay! The cozy room and friendly staff made our experience wonderful. Thank you for a great time!

Hotel’s response:

We're thrilled to hear you enjoyed your stay with us! It was our pleasure to provide you with a cozy room and friendly service. We look forward to welcoming you back for another great experience in the future!

In the example above, you can see what a good response to positive feedback looks like. If you can, it's a good idea to mention your team and show that you value and care about your guests' feedback and experience.

Response to Negative Reviews: Do's and Don'ts

Don't be afraid of negative feedback either. The longer you've been in the market, the more likely you are to experience it. Negative feedback is something to focus on, as you have the opportunity to turn a dissatisfied guest into a returning and satisfied guest.

❌ Don'ts:

Review 2/5

Unfortunately, our recent stay at your hotel fell short of our expectations. The room was not as clean as we had hoped, and the staff seemed indifferent to our concerns.

Hotel’s response:

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us.

The example above shows how not to react if you receive negative feedback. It is recommended that you always offer other solutions to problems and make them feel that you welcome them back. In your response you can also ask them exactly what it was that they didn't like, if there is something you don't understand. Also show sympathy, but don't overdo it either.

✅ Do's

Review 1/5

We were disappointed with our recent stay at your hotel. The room had a musty smell, and the service was slow, making our overall experience less than satisfactory.

Hotel’s response:

We appreciate your feedback and are truly sorry to hear about your less-than-satisfactory experience. We apologize for the issues with the room odor and service delays. Rest assured, we are addressing these concerns internally to enhance our guest experience. We value your input and hope to have the opportunity to welcome you back for a much-improved stay in the future.

Above is an excellent example of how to respond well to a negative review.

Monitoring and Analyzing Guest Reviews: Tools and Techniques

Monitoring and analyzing guest reviews is crucial for hotels and businesses in the hospitality industry to understand guest sentiments, identify areas for improvement, and maintain a positive reputation. Here are some tools and techniques that can be employed for effective review management:

✅ Review Monitoring Tools

Set up Google Alerts for the hotel's name to receive notifications whenever it is mentioned online. Utilize tools like Hootsuite or Mention to keep track of mentions on various social media platforms.

✅ Review Aggregator Platforms

Regularly check review aggregator websites (TripAdvisor, Yelp and Others) to consolidate and analyze guest feedback. These platforms often provide insights into specific aspects of the guest experience.

✅ Guest Feedback Surveys

Send post-stay surveys to guests via email, asking for detailed feedback on their experience. Tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms can be useful for creating and analyzing surveys.

Guest survey creation - illustration.

✅ Sentiment Analysis Tools

Implement sentiment analysis tools that use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to analyze reviews and categorize sentiments as positive, negative, or neutral. This helps in quantifying overall guest satisfaction.

✅ Internal Feedback Channels

Encourage guests to provide feedback directly through email, phone calls, or on-site suggestion boxes. This allows for more detailed and private communication.

✅ Data Analytics Platforms

Track website interactions (Google Analytics) to understand user behavior and identify potential issues that guests might mention in their reviews.

✅ Competitor Analysis

Keep an eye on the reviews of competitors to identify industry trends, benchmark against other establishments, and learn from their strengths and weaknesses.

✅ Regular Staff Training

Train staff to pay attention to guest feedback and encourage them to address issues promptly. A well-trained team can turn negative experiences into positive ones.

✅ Actionable Insights and Improvement

Categorization and Trend Analysis: Categorize reviews based on common themes or issues. Analyze trends to prioritize areas for improvement that will have the most significant impact on guest satisfaction.

✅ Response Management

Timely Responses: Respond promptly to guest reviews, both positive and negative, showing appreciation for positive feedback and addressing concerns in a professional and empathetic manner for negative reviews.

Implementing Guest Feedback: Turning Suggestions into Action

The truth is that simply responding to these reviews is not enough. It is recommended that you use as much information as possible and use it to your advantage. Analysing feedback is just as important in the hospitality industry if you want to improve. Make sure you put enough focus on this. Nowadays, there are a number of platforms that allow you to manage your feedback in one place, which can make things easier for you, such as TrustYou.

Creating the Perfect Response: 5 Final Tips

  1. 👏 Recognize the experience - Show empathy and validate the guest experience.
  2. 🙏 Apologise sincerely - Express sincere apologies for negative experiences.
  3. 🚀 Outline feasible solutions - Detail concrete steps to address and resolve the issues highlighted.
  4. 🌟 Express gratitude - Thank guests for their valuable feedback.
  5. 🎉 Extend an invitation - Invite guests to return for a positive experience.


Overall, in the hospitality industry, it is very much worth listening to feedback. Nowadays, it's becoming easier to analyse feedback, which can help you improve your guests' experience and increase the number of guests you have. Of course, how you respond to this feedback is important, which is why the article above can be useful for you. Be unique in the hospitality industry.

Frequently Asked Questions

❓ Why are guest reviews crucial in the hospitality industry?

Guest reviews play a pivotal role in decision-making for travelers. They contribute to your accommodation's reputation, influence potential guests, and can help you outshine competitors.

❓ How does responding to guest reviews impact my accommodation?

Responding to guest reviews boosts your accommodation's reliability and can lead to a 12% increase in ratings. Engaging with feedback enhances your online presence and fosters a positive relationship with guests.

❓ How do you ask a guest for a review?

You can also ask your guests to leave a review via email, social media or your own website.

❓ How can I effectively respond to negative reviews?

Acknowledge the issues, apologize sincerely, offer alternative solutions, and express a commitment to improvement. Always thank the guest for their feedback and invite them to return for a better experience.

❓ What are the key factors to consider when responding to guest feedback?

Ensure timely, personal, and polite responses. Respond in the guest's language, offer unique replies, express gratitude, and extend an invitation for a return visit.

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