09 October 2013

TripAdvisor - Do You Rate Them or Not?

Love 'em or hate 'em TripAdvisor holds a lot of sway with many travellers planning their trips around the recommendations.

Sat at a bar in Ronda just through the old city gate this summer an American couple sat at the next table and asked us to translate to the waiter that they were the number one bar in the town. I had huge reservations about that. All we wanted was a beer, the nice looking bar next door was packed and had stools to wait on which were full, we'd already eaten and so tapas was not on our agenda.

Having overheard the husband ask if she was sure they were at the right place they dived into the menu. Several tapas later she exclaimed "Oh it's the bar next door. I thought it was all one." We left quickly with huge smirks plastering our faces, the hubby looked much less amused.


Ronda old town walls
Ronda old city walls

Funnily enough we saw them again the next day as we were staying at the same hotel - Hotel Reina Victoria. They were due to go home the day after and planned to drive from Ronda to Lisbon, Portugal. Only Americans would do that! Us Brits wouldn't dream of planning a 6 hour drive to an airport, we'd probably have to allow at least 11 hours to get there -in the UK that is. Here in Spain, well possibly. We have flown from Madrid a 4.5/5 hour drive from home on good roads, no way would I start from somewhere remote like Ronda.

That same evening the Americans were heading off to the No. #2 bar for tapas on TripAdvisor. That got me thinking. Do people really follow TripAdvisor recommendations and not go anywhere else? Personally I like to do a reccy, explore the town and choose my own eating spot based on where locals are eating, not ratings from those who've been once and maybe only tried one or two places. What do you think? Do you rate their ratings? Do you head for the no.#1 spots or search out your own?