Avoiding Nightmare Hotels
TVTrip Takes the Guesswork Out of Travel Planning
By Megan Cross
Twists, turns, and unexpected adventures are all part of the thrill of traveling. It is all about meeting new people or catching up with old friends, sampling the local fare and finding out what the nightlife is all about.
But one vital component of travel planning is finding the right place to spend the night. There is nothing like having a good night’s rest in a good hotel.
GoNOMAD Editor Max Hartshorne recently booked a hotel in Los Angeles because it was in the right place and the price was right.
But when he and his girlfriend got there, the place was so dirty, she refused to stay there, and they had to pay for another room in another part of town.
Sometimes the hotel you choose turns out to be a nightmare.
Don’t let yourself end up asking “Why me?” “What could I have done to avoid this disaster?” “Why wasn’t there a way to check this place out more thoroughly before I got here?”
An Accurate Picture
TVtrip.com has taken the guesswork out of the equation. No longer will the average traveler have to stress about the quality and condition of his/her lodging.
This website provides viewers with videos of hotels at their destinations showing exteriors, dining areas, lobbies, rooms, and even the view from the window.
Created in Paris in 2007, former Expedia managers came together and pondered over what was missing from the tourism industry. They came up with the idea of TVtrip and it caught on like wildfire.
Since its opening it has been showered with nothing but compliments from the New York Times to Glamour magazine.
“We created TVtrip.com to give people a true, objective idea of a hotel before making a reservation,” they say on their website. “We like to show you everything so that you can check out your hotel before you check in.”
Offered in more than five languages and having more than one thousand hotels on-board, this website is designed with international travelers in mind.
A Firsthand View
Like other hotel websites it is possible for people to book their accommodations on the TVtrip site; however they are not a travel agent or booking company. The site also provides information about services provided by third parties. Mainly it was founded in order to provide knowledge and a firsthand view of your establishment.
The website is setup very similar to other sites such as Expedia or Orbitz. It has a built-in search engine and allows users to find a number of different hotels listed with prices and locations. The big difference is the ability to actually see the surrounding area and the hotel’s amenities on video.
The concept of being able to view your hotel room is not a new one. Travelers have long been able to go online, look up a hotel and view tiny photos.
Now guests will feel even more confident about their selection due to the video feature of TVtrip. It provides videos of the rooms,as well as the dining areas, pools, meeting rooms, lounges, the outside of the hotel, and even the surrounding town, city or country.
They also have video footage of local events and attractions that are located close to the hotel so travelers know what to expect in and outside of the establishment.
The videos taken are not edited or altered by the hotel. What you see is what you get. Easy to view, unbiased, informative, professional videos give an accurate picture of the accomodations.
Each video is produced, filmed, edited and paid for by TVtrip to help you, the traveler, make the hotel decision an easy one. They say that a picture is worth a thousand words… I guess with TVtrip.com “they” must have lost count!
Besides video, the website also provides users with maps, local and hotel information, personal reviews of the property, the option to leave your own reviews, and the ability to vote for hotels that are on display but haven’t been filmed yet.
Whichever hotel gets the most votes, wins a spot on the top of the filming list. There is also an option to see other hotels in the same area which are of the same quality, but cheaper.
I had the opportunity to speak with Steve Stollerman, also a former Expedia staff member who is now vice president of the North American branch, and I was fortunate to get some insight into the future of the site.
He said the site hopes to film as many four-, three- and even two-star hotels as possible throughout the already established countries and eventually move into new ones.
The ability to watch video online of the places you want to visit will soon be available on other sites other than TVtrip.
Stollerman noted that this new feature will be on all types of travel sites, all around the world. So goodbye tiny, hard-to-see photos and phony descriptions and hello to the truth!
I personally have traveled throughout the United States and Europe and have stayed in many different types of lodging.
I can honestly say that it is one of the worst feelings in the world to travel all day by train, backpack nearly half a mile up and down unknown roads labeled in an unknown language and stumble across the hotel you booked weeks before to find out that it is nothing at all like what you had imagined or saw on the internet.
Or even if the place looks appealing on the outside, what’s worse is a dirty, smelly, mildewed interior.
This website is made for backpackers and business travelers alike. With a click of your mouse you can get an accurate picture of any hotel, inside and out.
Megan Cross is currently a Hospitality and Tourism major at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an intern for GoNOMAD. She has taught English in Spain, and traveled to Europe, Australia, and throughout the USA.
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