I think I've discovered how to use TripAdvisor for hotels.
I'm at the Hilton Boston Dedham tonight. It's very close to my appointment for tomorrow morning. (I'll be talkin' deals on FOX25 Boston sometime around 7 am ET, woohoo!)
I must say, this Hilton is absolute crap. It's old. It smells funny. And there's more.
I checked in to the hotel, entered the room, went to the bed, moved a pillow, and this is what I saw: buffalo wing sauce. Fresh buffalo wing sauce. Mmm ... except that it wasn't mine. I pulled the sheets, wondering if I'd find a welcome platter of steaming hot buffalo wings in the bed. Nope, but I did find dirt. Black dirt. At least, I hope it was dirt. It was certainly dirty.
So, I called the front desk and asked -- as nicely as I could -- for a new room. Why, he asked? The bed was dirty, I said. No apology, he gave.
But hey, maybe this new room will be a diamond in the rough, right? I get to the next room, I check the bed. I find a BIG FAT TOENAIL CLIPPING on the top of the bed. Yuck!
Now, why does all of this make me feel like I've unlocked a TripAdvisor secret level? After all, most of TripAdvisor's ratings were positive. TripAdvisor even gives this hotel 4 stars (of 5) for cleanliness.
I think that TripAdvisor's secret is, if the hotel's rating is lower than 4 stars (of 5), then the hotel sucks. I've stayed in dozens of the hotels rated on TripAdvisor, and this rule seems to be the golden rule. Reviewers gave this nasty Hilton a 3.5 rating out of five.
Of the other Dedham hotels, The Residence Inn, which was booked, rates 4 stars. It's booked solid, and I couldn't get in. Hmm, I wonder if they serve buffalo wings?
p.s. Darn you Paris Hilton, it's impossible to Google for anything containing "Hilton". Thank God for SafeSearch!