It sounds like a dream holiday. But would Adam Buxton’s sceptical wife Sarah agree to renew their marriage vows in the Maldives?
“I’ve got some exciting news,” I announce as my wife loads the children’s supper plates into the dishwasher. “I’ve been asked to write a travel article for the Guardian. They’re going to arrange for you and me to spend a week in a luxury resort in the Maldives. It’s the holiday of a lifetime!” All day I’ve been imagining Sarah jumping up and throwing her arms around me at this point. Perhaps we’ll twirl around the kitchen. Instead, she turns back to the dishwasher and says, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but why would they ask you?”
“I don’t know, Adam and Joe stuff, maybe my hilarious YouTube videos?” I offer, struggling to take it the right way. “Look, it doesn’t matter why they asked me, aren’t you excited?”
The travel website that compiles millions of holidaymakers’ star ratings could face legal action – hotel owner Duncan Bannatyne complains the consumer resource is bad for business
In quiet moments, Jared Blank likes to kick back by looking at reviews of the world’s greatest hotels on TripAdvisor. Specifically, the terrible reviews. Blank is a long-time analyst of the travel industry, and a user of TripAdvisor – the consumer review site that has become one of the world’s biggest travel resources, attracting 41.6 million users a month, and featuring 40m reviews of hotels and restaurants worldwide. But the pettiness and hysteria of some of the complaints never fail to astonish.
“No melon is ever ripe enough for people on TripAdvisor,” he says. “There are hotels that rate in the top five in the world, and people are still complaining. I’m always shocked by the comments: from the quality of the fruit, to the mobile-phone reception on an island in the middle of nowhere, to whether the person on the front desk was smiling sufficiently upon their arrival. It blows my mind.”