Hotel Recommendations Stress
Hotel Recommendations Stress
Kpalime, Togo West Africa
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
I have been having a good laugh at myself, I also think about how naïve I have been over the years about hotels. HoboTraveler.com is not a guide that recommends hotels and restaurants; it is more or less a site that helps guide on how to travel.
Hobohideout.com will recommend rooms.
Hoboguide.com will recommend rooms.
This whole recommendation thing has come full circle; my brain is finally becoming the master of the idea.
I am a master at real estate. I am a master at search engine optimization on the internet and architectural design. I am not a master at writing.
I am mastering the art of room recommendations, without taking the easy route and recommending something I do not believe is the good choice.
The guidebooks do a very good job within the limitations that they have. They write on paper, and they cannot edit always as the internet can, it is a guide that need to last about 6 years on the shelf and passed down to friends. This is not a webpage; a webpage can be edited on the fly, however not as easy as I am explaining.
Most Hotel sites go for the expensive, nobody will ever complain about hotels to recommend, they paid too much, and it would be an admission they made a stupid choice if they complain. Therefore, they will not complain. Funny how this is, the price will keep the reputation good, because nobody will admit; I paid 300 dollars per night and hated the place.
Like admitting, I lost 10,000 on the stock market, like saying to your friend, I a make bad investments, because I am stupid.
Well, the good of the internet is also the bad. If I recommend a hotel without thinking, a reader can go there, spend a lot of money, and then write me hate mail, as if I forced them to go. I am reachable.
I had a man go to a Hotel in Quito, Ecuador; he has traveled a lot in Thailand. He wrote later saying the hotel was exactly what I said, He was thinking there was writing between the lines and it was some type of boom boom Thailand hotel, it was just a great family hotel, not the same now, they have remodeled, the manager is not managing, the mother has taken over and the whole neighborhood has been invaded… aagh the world changes.
The mastery of a trade is when you reach a point whereby you can choose the proper words to explain it, with real estate; I can explain the value of property and explain why it will resell easy.
With an internet page, I can explain what makes the search engines happy; this is a very complicated set of variables.
How to recommend hotels is also a problem, the guidebooks must recommend a hotel that stays in business, or they will be sending people to hotels and they will get angry. The also have to deal with the insanely naïve, who need to have nothing change, because they cannot change the paper of the guide. Here in Africa, they need to recommend the hotel with car parking, I believe this because as best I can tell the buyers of guidebooks have cars here in Africa.
Fun stuff learning how to master a trade, how to know you are getting good at it, I am getting comfortable with this recommendation thing, therefore I know I am getting better.
I will sit and tell a person to buy a 500,000-dollar piece of commercial real estate and not flinch.
I can tell a person their website is junk with no problem.
Telling a person to stay in a hotel in Africa still is making me nervous; however, I am learning the variables. It is fun to think, what is the essential ingredients that makes a good value for a person, and then explain them in easy to understand words.
This is the problem, the bundle of joys is not easy, and the bundle of what makes a person happy is not easy. For sure, the majority of travelers are drinking in Africa and banging away if they are French, this is not me, on the other hand I do understand drinking more than most and have master the trade of drinking, I am an expert, in remission… hehehe (I am a recovering alcoholic.)
Ok, back to business, fun and games, because we have a webpage, I can recommend a hotel that could go out of business, could radically change and still stay safe. The guidebooks get wish washy and do not help me when I get to a hotel and because it is in the guidebook, the hotel has greatly increased the price and the hotel if full of gap girls.
(Note the best hotel is normally the new one, just started and trying to get business.)
I am safe in saying gap girls; they are not in Africa… hehehe
Pick on the group that is not reading, there must be something there in the mastery of writing.
I am doing conditional recommendations of Hotels or Rooms, if the main management staff is the same, and the price is this, I am giving a recommendation. I then suppose as I learn how to so this, we need to supply a way to make comments, and then hope to stop the othere hotels from lying and getting on the site and saying the hotel has changed. Hotels lie at a tremendous level, there is very little truth in advertising when you leave the USA.
Do not worry I make joke, (Note, I know that is bad English. I am talking African or Asia English.) I am not stressed on the recommendation thing, my mastery of dysfunctional thinking has me 100 percent convinced you are responsible for your decisions and better yet, I am 100 percent responsible for my decisions. When a person really goes after a guidebook hotel recommendation, I know they are dysfunctional and take no responsibility for their own decisions.
I for some reason write in riddles naturally, sort of annoying to myself, probably could be dysfunctional inherent behavior, very curious thing to do.Hotel Recommendations Stress
I think a conditional recommendation for hotel/hostels is perfectly fine. You could simply have a disclaimer.
If something has changed like the management, then that person assumes all risk. If they b****, then just point to the disclaimer. If you get more complaints than otherwise about the particular hotel/hostel then you might consider dumping the recommendation.
Your right, maybe best avoided on the blog, and better on the other sites. Also, input from a network of trusted travelers would be better than having open comments for a hotel/hostel in MHO.
Andy, a compendium of up-to-date accurate hotel reviews is a fantastic project if you can manage it. It's an interesting idea about publishing photos of hotel owners or managers, but it can lead to problems, even recommending somebody can result in the opposite effect. And sometimes the man or woman in the photo wouldn't be there, and the place could be just as good, or it might be in a state of disarray. Our researcher on the Rough Guide to West Africa was in Kpalimé just a few weeks ago, and she didn't include the Mandela in her update, but it sounds like we should.
You're right about how many tourists visiting Africa are in their own vehicles. And that's why we have to consider their needs (safe parking and the ability to go out of town) when researching the guidebooks. But we shouldn't ever be ignoring the CFA3000 a night travellers too – after all that's how Rough Guides started and my guess from the emails we get is that at least half our readers are using public transport - maybe it's less in Togo for some reason. A lot my own African research was originally done by bicycle, which I reckon is probably the best of all worlds: you get to travel for free when you have the time; you can put your transport on top of a bus or taxi brousse when you need to go faster; you stay reasonably fit; you can go wherever you like, even places a car can't reach; and best of all local people think it's incredibly funny to say a tourist on a pushbike, sweating and red, which really breaks the ice if it ever needs breaking, and makes you very welcome wherever you go. When we were cycling, we camped a lot, using a home-made tent (rip-stop nylon groundsheet and mosquito net upper).
Looking forward to more news as you head through Africa. Bon voyage.