Le Meridien Dubai Follows Up Regarding TripAdvisor

Yesterday I posted about my experience at Le Meridien Dubai. I loved the hotel and thought the club facilities were gorgeous, though was put off by them begging me to write a positive review on TripAdvisor at check-out. I’m used to hotels asking guests in passing to consider writing an online review, but the way the associate asked me was next level.

Hotel-Room-Massage-Chair-1

I was asked to fill out a guest survey at check-out, which was followed up with the following conversation:

“Have you heard of TripAdvisor?”
“Yes.”
“Would you please consider writing a review on TripAdvisor saying good things?”
“Sure.”
“Please do, it is very important.”
“Okay…”

Then she handed me a piece of paper with her name on it.:

“Please mention my name.”
“Okay…”
“Don’t forget, it’s very important you do this. Thank you so much.”

I woke up to an email from the hotel this morning with the subject line “Your Stay.” I figured someone may have tipped them off about my post and maybe they wanted to acknowledge that they were coming across a bit strong.

Instead the email said the following:

We thank you for having chosen Le Meridien Dubai as your preferred Hotel, I would like to thank you for your valuable feedback at the time of departure, I was wondering if you could spare some time to put some comments on Trip Advisor as we requested upon your departure. We aspire to continually deliver service in accordance to your expectations. In order to achieve those aspirations, we would highly appreciate your feedback about our services. We are requesting you a testimonial that could be related to your stay or experience you had with us or describing how you would have benefited from any of the facilities and convenience that our hotel had to offer.

Feel free to log into the following link – post your experiences on the Trip advisor (Ctrl+Click to follow link) https://www.tripadvisor.com/UserReviewEdit-g295424-d301562

Feedback is a tool that would help us to strengthen our relationship. Your comments would indicate our reliability and credibility to future clients.

RHOA

Comments

  1. Pathetic. How desperate are they? I first thought this was a problem of a single over-ambitious frontline employee. But apparently it really is their corporate policy.

  2. Hmmm, I think it might just be a corporate email bot sending the email out to all guests. Surely no hotel PR team is that stupid.

  3. Anyone think for a laugh we (the Internet Travel Community) should troll their TripAdvisor page with some negative reviews regarding their persistence for TripAdvisor reviews?

  4. Regarding any hotel
    Every positive review helps them significantly maintain or increase their daily rate
    Negative reviews impacts their ability to command a premium rate

  5. I was wondering… do you even use Tripadvisor Ben? Since you have your own blog to share your travel experiences, do you still use TripAdvisor or other similar sites like everyone else?

  6. Business as usual in the middle east. They’re upset they can’t buy good ratings the same way they buy fancy airplane interiors and hotel lobbies. Can’t get good service if you pay your migrant workers like slaves despite all the oil money.

  7. I received a similar email stemming from a recent stay at Jumeriah at Etihad Towers booked via Amex FHR. The hotel and service were great and I was asked a couple of times in person to write a review, then received the email. It seems quite forced, which makes the great service lose the personal aspect.

  8. Who cares, they want you to post a review on TA…big deal. You need to be a tattle tale now and try and get the poor gal in trouble? Wow. These people work hard and merely asked for a review–big deal. Don’t be a jerk.

  9. I’m not seeing the issue – tons of places ask for trip advisor reviews and some are more pushy than others. If you don’t want to write one, don’t. No need to troll them about it.

  10. I think you’re over reacting, get over it, you’re not at any disadvantage by this.

    You have from your comments so far had a good stay overall which means their push for reviews is more than just surface requests. They must have drilled to their staff to deliver a good stay which can translate into a good review. This to me seems like they are focused on delivering a good product. Which is a positive thing.

  11. This is common now. If they were offering a bribe that might start getting interesting (but they often do that with Facebook liking…).

  12. …….
    Dude you push credit cards on this site left and right and you have a problem with them pushing for ratings?

    Cmon.

    We have learnt to ignore your hard sell, it can’t be that hard for you to do the same.

    Sorry I am so cynical, that I always think you ate fishing for compensatory points or miles.

  13. a) I am not seeing the issue. You do it in your blog being remunerated directly or indirectly all the time. If anything, they were naive. Don’t you think there is no awareness in a good few hotels/airlines about your relationship with this biog and that this does influence the treatment towards you/your upgrade chances. You are far from being a “mystery shopper”. Lets get real.

    b) While I enjoy your blog, I believe that except in those cases where there are huge customer service issues, you should try not to negatively single out a particular employee specially in countries where a negative comment could result in them losing their employment/ residency.

  14. I am seeing this kind of low quality posts a lot these days from your blog. I hope you bring back the informative and less bit*hy posts back…You really sound like those obnoxious TV drama queens in these posts…

  15. Get over yourself. As you can see from most of these comments you are being a drama queen. Nothing at all wrong with the request from the hotel.

    @ken. You nailed it.

  16. I agree with you completely, I think its at very best completely tackless on their part, it would absolutely leave a bad taste in my mouth, regardless of how much I enjoyed my stay.

  17. @keith

    Not really. Just as Scott pointed out that people here should post fake negative reviews, they can just as easily post fake positive reviews.

  18. Ben – you are spot on for flagging this. I suspect what is happening here is that Starwood (or hotel management/ownership) has setup some sort of compensation system tied to positive Tripadvisor ratings. This has driven the property-level management team to go way out of their way to lobby for positive reviews to any guest they interact with that seems to have half a brain and can post a reasonably intelligent review (remember, this is Dubai). Its sad but the fact is that Tripadvisor is a super-important reference point for hotels like the Meridien DXB so I can’t say I’m surprised to see this behavior. Starwood is definitely beholden to take action though. This is out of line.

  19. Ugh, get over it! You’re being very dramatic about nothing. As others have said, Trip Advisor directly relates to revenue and pricing. In this day and age where social media is king, people do what they have to do in a very competitive industry. Whilst this hotel might be a little overboard with the approach, can you really blame them for trying?
    You have harped on about it enough, let it go.
    By the way, Starwood does not pay out an incentive for Trip Advisor mentions. Just to clear that up.

  20. I see that the apologists for Le Meridian Dubai are out in full force.

    The issue of hotels panhandling for good TripAdvisor reviews is, indeed, quite valid. One aspect of OMAAT is to report on the overall travel experience; and, that includes ranting about the obnoxious SOPs of hotels like Le Meridian Dubai.

    I don’t mind discreet invitations to write a review; the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas has mastered the practice of subtly and politely asking guests to share their experiences on TripAdvisor. On the other hand, Le Meridian’s behavior was something akin to a baglady aggressively demanding loose change from passers-by.

  21. Wow. This must be the post of the week that draws out all the haters. In your rush to unleash your venom on Lucky, you’ve missed the point that any hotel which repeatedly nudges guests into posting rave reviews is bad for anyone who expects honesty on Tripadvisor. If users end up posting positive feedback for a hotel or any other establishment on Tripadvisor, it should be because they want to do so, not because they’ve been shamed into it by a begging employee or, worse, by hotel management.

  22. Actually, it often helps to turn the issue around. Who will increase their reliance on TripAdvisor after reading this?

  23. @chancer –

    LOL…let me guess you like Bernie. No one is unleashing on old ‘lucky’, but the little jerk attitude is getting OLD. Eventually he keeps this up and the love posts with this little toy Ford, most will stop following his thread. GET’S OLD FAST. Then what happens…coach class for the cry baby.

  24. I’m on the side of Lucky. Asking for a positive review of the hotel is one thing.
    The way they approached it is bordering on overbearing. How can you ensure reviews on TripAdvisor on hotels that aggressively asks for positive reviews can be trusted in this case? I sure won’t and I hope TripAdvisor also do something about it.

    Else TripAdvisor will end up like Yelp.

  25. This is a big deal, folks. Trip Advisor cracks down harshly on hotels that do this kind of stuff. I would totally report them. It undercuts Trip Advisor’s authenticity immensely. I would also report the hotel in question to Starwood. It makes you wonder if they game the Starwood automated surveys, too.

  26. @ me – I’m sure Lucky can afford F seats even if a few readers go running to TPG for their daily fix. FYI I’m not American, so if you mean Bernie Sanders, I don’t know what you are talking about, but thanks for injecting irrelevant references into your comments, like the not so disguised homophobia.

  27. Le Meridien Dubai and Le Meridien Fairway were both recently listed as Member Favorites on the SPG website for the Europe, Africa and Middle East region. A big part of the selection criteria is member reviews. I’ve stayed at both of these properties, and although they are nice they definitely aren’t in the top 10 in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The only way they make the list is by pushing aggressively for great reviews.

  28. I have learned much from regularly reading this blog but agree that the posts overall are deteriorating. Drama queen content degrades the quality of the site.

  29. Lucky/Ben,
    Reply to them and say your stay was “good”, but there is something they could do to make your stay a “superb” one… ask them to provide a special “50% off any stay” coupon (for the next 12 months) for readers of your OMAAT blog. If Le Meridien Dubai is bold in asking their customers for a favor, you can do it too (to help out your loyal followers), right? 🙂

  30. Regarding TripAdvisor, I wrote a review on Park Hyatt Paris several months ago WITHOUT MENTIONING MY NAME, and the second day there was an e-mail sent by the hotel’s general manager in my inbox that has my LAST NAME on it.. Insane

  31. Seriously what’s the issue?
    A clearly automated email which is spat out by the computer to everyone who has stayed there & supplied their email address.
    If you don’t like it, delete it. That’s how email works. It’s lovely.

    Next!

  32. I, too, believe it is an auto-generated email.

    I also think that posting your grievance about them once was probably sufficient. I’m not a hater, but when I read the title, I assumed that someone was getting back to you about your complaint (much the same as an actual person from American Airlines responded to your post where you complained about their generic email response to your complaint.)

  33. Ben, you post a lot of valuable information and I love the site, but I’m going to have to side with the dissenters. If someone with your level of online visibility visited my (imaginary) hotel, I would be quite eager to ask you to be sure to review it. Even in my daily work life if someone has something good to say about my performance, it’s almost pointless if my manager isn’t aware of it. Nevertheless, I understand where you are coming from. We are all bombarded by requests for reviews and surveys and it gets to be too much. I’m especially annoyed by Foresee surveys that pop up asking me to review a site.

  34. Ben, please get over it. You are being a drama queen here.
    I had the same experience of pushy staff during my staff at Sofitel St James in London. They did similar thing by writing their name on the tripadvisor feedback card. This happened everywhere in the world.

  35. I think it’s despicable that some of you think it’s okay to ‘fake’ disparaging posts about the hotel, to try and make up for them asking guests who had a positive stay to share their review on Trip Advisor. Even if you want to feign offense over a guest being urged to give a positive review ; it’s in no way as disingenuous and dishonest as what some of you are suggesting.

    Nor can I get over the irony that all this furor comes from a travel blogger and those who actively read travel reviews being asked to share their impressions.

  36. @panda And where is the manipulation here? Was Ben bribed? Extorted? Promised something in return?

  37. I actually reported the Hotel to TripAdvisor, and have finally heard back from them. But the NonResponse rivals your interactions with American Airlines in term of completely missing the mark. I could post the Link to the (German) Text on Pastebin if anyone is interested

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