Table of Contents

Hotel room at a resort

How Hotels Should Respond to Reviews

To any hotelier, it’s evident that hotel reputation management is vital to their business. The statistics back that up, with over 80% of travelers looking at online reviews before booking accommodations. What many hotels ignore, however, is responding to reviews.

Responding to reviews is as important as getting them in the first place. In this blog, Philadelphia-based Forge Apollo’s reputation management experts share how to respond to reviews to help make the right impression on current and potential customers.

Why is Responding to Reviews Important?

If a hotel is getting a lot of reviews and most of them are good, do they even need to respond? Yes–hotels should always respond to reviews for the following reasons.

Responding to reviews helps with customer acquisition by displaying the brand’s care for customer experience.

It also demonstrates to current customers that you appreciate their feedback and care about their opinions. This helps with customer retention.

Negative Reviews Need Responses, Too

It’s also important to respond to negative reviews. Your responses here can help smooth over poor experiences to improve brand sentiment among disgruntled customers.

More importantly, responding to negative reviews demonstrates to potential customers how you handle issues and negative feedback.

Let’s face it–as much as hotels strive, none is perfect. There will be the occasional HVAC, plumbing, or billing issue with a guest. People understand this and don’t expect perfection from a hotel. They expect careful attention and resolution when those issues arise, though.

If you don’t respond to a customer’s issues online, how can potential customers trust that you’ll respond to their problems?

Responding to Positive Reviews (With Examples)

Don’t rely on copy-and-paste answers when responding to positive reviews. Here are some tips to help you come across as authentic in your responses:

  • Respond Promptly – Respect your customers’ time by making responses a part of your workflow every day or every other day.
  • Personalize the Response – Rather than copying a pre-written response, have a few templates on hand so you can swap out elements to make the response feel personal. This includes using their name, calling out specific parts of their review, or having the person responding sign the review (if this is appropriate for your brand).
  • Relate to Your Values – Tie their review back to your core values to realize your brand identity.
  • Use Your Brand Voice – Keep your voice in mind when writing responses. For example, if you have a fun, lighthearted voice, include an emoji or two.
  • Encourage Repeat Bookings – Don’t forget to let the guest know you can’t wait to see them next time.

Positive Review Response Examples

Example Review #1:

This hotel is in a great location. It wasn’t too busy, and there were nice stores and shops nearby. The room was clean and had good space. The staff went above and beyond to make us feel like we were at home. – John

Example Response #1:

Hi John! Cleanliness and attentive hospitality are two of our core values, so we’re thrilled to hear that you experienced both during your stay. We can’t wait to see you again -Sarah (Hotel Manager)

Example Review #2:

We enjoyed a weekend recently at this hotel. The suite was absolutely beautiful, with a breathtaking view. The hotel manager and staff were friendly, inviting, and professional, ensuring we had an amazing stay! -Alex

Example Response #2:

Thank you for the kind feedback, Alex. We work hard to provide outstanding service, and it makes us happy to hear that guests feel taken care of. We hope you come back soon to enjoy the view some more. -Taylor (Front Desk Manager)

Example Review #3:

A wonderful place to stay! Service was above and beyond, including in the restaurant. The food was delicious, and the espresso martini was the best I ever had. The room was so clean and comfortable, too. I can’t wait to come back! – Linda

Example Response #3:

We’re thrilled that the service, accommodations, and restaurant were all up to par, Linda! We strive to provide a positive guest experience in every area. We can’t wait to have you back! -Lauren (General Manager)

How to Respond to Negative Reviews (With Examples)

How you respond to negative reviews is important because it demonstrates how you handle customer complaints. Here are some key factors to keep in mind when crafting a response:

  • Don’t Copy and Paste – We’re stressing this here because it’s even more critical than with positive reviews. Write a unique response to each review–do not copy a prewritten response.
  • Respond Quickly – There’s a chance you could resolve some of these issues if you respond fast enough. But if it takes you weeks to respond, that’s not a good look.
  • Understand Their Experience – Try to look them up in your system to review any notes about their experience before responding.
  • Apologize When Appropriate – If something was your team’s fault, like poor service, apologize. If it wasn’t your fault, you can apologize for their experience without apologizing for what they’re complaining about.
  • Don’t Get Defensive – We understand the urge to defend yourself when a bad review hits, but it doesn’t make your brand look good. Instead of pointing out every little thing you tried to help a guest, acknowledge that you tried to help but that it may not have met their expectations.
  • Sign Your Response – When appropriate, sign your response with who is personally responding to give it a more authentic touch.

Negative Review Response Examples

Example Review #1:

This stay was the worst hotel stay I’ve had. The room was never cleaned in the three days we were there. We had to call three times for toilet paper and didn’t get it until we went to the front desk. And they never emptied our garbage. Poor service at best–not recommended. -Dan

Example Response #1:

Thank you for providing this feedback, Dan. Attentive service is one of our core values, so I’m sorry we let you down. I would love to hear about this more at [phone number] or [email] so we can do better. -Tim (General Manager)

Example Review #2:

This hotel is not worth the price. I arrived a few hours before check-in, and they wouldn’t let me check in early. The room itself was much smaller than it looked online, and there was no breakfast included with the price of your stay. What a ripoff. -Dana

Example Response #2:

Thank you for your feedback, Dana. We allow early check-in when possible, but unfortunately, we can’t always accommodate it without advanced notice. Regardless, I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy your stay or feel it was worth the value, as this is something we work hard to provide. Please reach out at [phone number] or [email address] if there’s anything I can do to make you feel better about your stay at [hotel]. -Carla (Hotel Manager)

Example Review #3:

The room was nice and clean, but some amenities (including extra blankets and toiletries) were missing. When I asked, they did bring them to us. But I’m writing this review for the check-in. We had to wait 20 minutes for someone to show up at the desk to check us in. When they did show up, they had a nasty attitude about it. The check-in process took another 20 minutes because the person was so slow. It was an awful way to start a trip. -Kyle

Example Response #3:

I’m sorry that your experience didn’t match our standards of hospitality, Kyle. We are committed to providing the best amenities and attentive service, and we missed the mark on both. We will share this feedback with our team as a training opportunity to prevent this from happening again. Please contact us at [phone number] or [email] to discuss this further. -Erin (Guest Services)

The Best Way to Learn

Positive and negative feedback is the best way to determine what’s working and what’s not working in your hotel. Figuring out how to respond to Google reviews or reviews on other platforms may seem intimidating, but I hope these examples helped.

For help getting more positive reviews to fuel your listings, Forge Apollo offers reputation management services that can help prevent negative reviews from ever going public. Let us help you protect your online reputation. Contact our digital marketing agency in Philadelphia to get started.

About the Author

Read More


Don’t Miss Out