You can’t please every guest that stays at your hotel, and in the modern world, that means you’ll inevitably receive a few negative reviews on TripAdvisor. This doesn’t make your business less successful than that of the competition; it’s just a consequence of operating in the hospitality market. But it’s one you can deal with, positively.

Here’s how to turn a bad review into a positive experience.

Don’t sit on it

Poor reviews on TripAdvisor are like rotten eggs; the longer you leave them, the worse they smell for any passer-by. The quicker you respond to a bad review on TripAdvisor, the more it demonstrates to prospective guests that you care. A review that is responded to within a few hours proves you have a focus on customer service.

There are some ways you can ensure a guest has a positive experience at your property, such as increasing guest communication throughout their stay. Ensure checking TripAdvisor is a task you carry out several times each day.

Don’t lose your cool; thank the reviewer

It’s not nice when you receive a bad review. Hotel owners care deeply about their businesses, and it hurts when someone claims the experience you’ve created isn’t up to scratch. No matter how much you’re hurting after reading a bad review, don’t let your emotions colour your response. Take a breather, go for a walk or work on something entirely different before responding.

Once you’ve cooled down, start by thanking the reviewer. Make it your opening gambit, no matter how hard it might be.

Example: “Thank you for your review, Sue – we really appreciate you taking the time to tell us your thoughts about the stay.”

Highlight their positive comments

Unless the review is particularly vicious, it may not be all bad. Some reviewers will highlight areas of the stay that delighted them or which gave them hope that things could improve.
When you spot those comments, elevate their position in your response by thanking the reviewer for highlighting the positives.

For anyone reading the review, this will place those elements foremost in their mind, and it even gives you the opportunity to mention any upgrades or services that relate to the positive comments.

Fix the issue

Whatever you do, make sure you don’t provide a copy-and-paste response to the issues described – even if they’re common (if that’s the case, something’s definitely wrong – see our next tip).

Instead, treat each issue as unique. Depending on the nature of the review, this might require a staff meeting, change of terms and conditions or an offline chat with the guest to gather more information.

Whatever you need to do to fix the issue, make it clear in your response that you’ll be making it your top priority.

Make changes where needed

Bad TripAdvisor reviews are great barometers for hotel performance, efficiency and the overall experience you’re offering. If you receive bad reviews that appear to highlight common issues, deeper changes might need to be made. These are all things that can be improved with the right hospitality software.

There are always two sides to a story, therefore it’s important to involve your team in such discussions. Where are things going wrong? Why do you have more than one guest experiencing the same problem?
It’s important not to react too quickly to bad reviews, therefore if you feel some internal changes need to be made to avoid future instances, take your time. Remind yourself that the bad reviews probably still make up a small percentage of your profile on TripAdvisor.

Gaining perspective will help you avoid making rash decisions.

Wrapping up

It’s estimated that one in every sixteen people on earth visits TripAdvisor each month to plan a trip. There’s no getting away from the importance of this platform if you’re a hotelier. Use our tips above and ensure your property has the right solutions in place to ensure bad reviews don’t tempt potential guests to look elsewhere.

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hotel property management software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at We will be happy to guide you to the GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.