How to Leave a Proper Trip Advisor Review

Ahhh Trip Advisor, that ever evolving website that allows you to leave reviews of places you’ve visited or check on places you’re planning to visit.

Trip Advisor is a great tool to use when searching out a new area and you want to cut right to the chase. You can find the best hotel to stay at, the coolest atmosphere while drinking or dining and even get insider scoop about which room offers what view….etc

It’s become the Go-To site for travelers and has a very loyal following. It’s safe to say that Trip Advisor can make or break a business depending on the type of reviews left by visitors. Which is why I felt the need to type up something like what you’re reading.

As an employee in the Entertainment & Hospitality Industry, I’m at the mercy of Trip Advisor when it comes to my job, my livelihood and my profession. Does this worry me? Not really, because I’m a professional at what I do, and I know my income depends on the service I give, so I’m sure to always give my utmost best when it comes to service, and if for some reason I cant give 100%, then I call in sick to work. Its literally that simple and that should be a rule followed by all in the Hospitality Industry.

Trip Advisor, Logo, BrandingThe wife and I also happen to use Trip Advisor when it comes to visiting new areas, but I’ve learned that we cant consider it Gospel when deciding on where we’re going to go eat, stay or even if we’re going to go visit the place or not. It’s just another one of those tools we use to help us make decisions.

Being as most places we seek out are simply because of the quality of photographs they are going to offer our cameras, I could really care less if the local restaurants, hotels or campgrounds are going to offer great service, but it helps make decisions like “Should we bring our own food and drinks, or will we be eating out every night?

If planning to visit a new area for a weekend get-away and Trip Advisor says there are 50 restaurants to pick from, all with rave reviews, then more than likely we’ll be eating out the entire time. If that same area was to only offer 4 restaurants and all 4 have horrible reviews complaining of bad service and nasty food, then we know enough to make sure the cooler is filled with steaks and food that we’ll be able to prepare ourselves. This also means we look for a hotel room with a kitchen in it, or a campground so we can bring our own camper which is outfitted with a full kitchen.

I thought I’d list a few tips and tidbits of info for those who like to leave reviews on Trip Advisor, and those who just use the site to decide on where to stay.

First and Foremost, Don’t Hold Every Review as Gospel. If you see a hotel or restaurant and there are rave reviews, and only one or two bad ones, chances are that reviewer is one of those types that loves to leave bad reviews on every place they visit. When I see a horrible review left by someone, I usually go read a few of their other reviews on other areas to see if they all mimic one another. Too many times I find someone that probably should just stay at home, and stay off a computer when it comes to leaving reviews. They wouldn’t be happy if they had everything handed to them and it was all for free.

Now in contrast, if you see a bad review left, and you read their 10 other reviews and they all left honest criticism, then chances are they’re telling the truth about their one bad review.

A good friend of mine owns a motel. One evening he was checking in a solo traveling guy. He made sure to tell the gentleman that they had two different types of rooms to offer. They had a newly refurbished room that was up to date with all new furniture, the latest of electronics, new tile floors and had recently had a full make-over from top to bottom. This room was $90 for the night.

He went on to explain that they also had one room left that hadn’t been made-over yet, but was still clean and accommodating and only costs $65 a night. The visitor chose the least expensive room saying he could care less about the remodel, he was just looking for a place to sleep.

A few days later he leaves this nasty review about how outdated the room was, and recommended that no one ever stay at this establishment when visiting this area of Florida.

We went and looked at his multiple reviews, and not one of them was a positive thing said about anywhere he stayed. So if you see a review left like this, look at their other reviews and see if they all follow a pattern or if it was just a one time incident.

Also pay attention to what people are either complaining or raving about. Some restaurants receive horrible complaints about service, but no one can find fault in how delicious the food is. So maybe you’ll just have to put up with crappy service if you’re going to get top-notch food if you’re going to be visiting this area. And that goes for motels too. You might put up with some bad service to get the best view, or the choice locations, or you might sleep in a lumpy bed, but fall asleep not really caring due to how delightful you were treated the entire time you visited.

Just learn to read into the review a little and don’t hold every review as gospel truth..

When leaving reviews yourself, think about what you’re writing before you leave the review.

We recently stayed at the Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach. My wife Cindy and I actually laughed out loud at some of the poor reviews left about this place on Trip Advisor.

There is not carpet or tiles on the floors in the foyer. do not stay here!!!!!” writes cteale from Spring Hill, Florida

Wow, if a hotels foyer that has acid washed concrete floors, which is outrageously expensive for one, and much easier to keep clean and mopped compared to carpeted floors is your reasoning for not staying at a hotel, you should probably stay home! Oh, and cteale has only left one review on Trip Advisor. So of all the places and areas this person has visited in their lifetime, they chose to leave a bad review about a place because the lobby was void of carpet?

We booked a last minute trip through Groupon at $69 a night. I know I shouldn’t expect the best with a Groupon deal but, I expected more. When we first arrived we were given a room on the odd outside of the building, a nice room but it overlooked a view of a shaggy motel next door. We called the front desk to see if an upgrade was available for a pool side room, and there was for an extra charge of $60 per night.” writes FLgurrrrrl561 who has also only left one review on Trip Advisor

Hammock, Bonish PhotographySo you book a room through a discount travel website, get a spot right on the beach in the heart of the busiest section of St. Pete Beach, and you decide to leave a negative review about the amazing deal you got. This hotel offers rooms for $130 a night that are facing the pool with King Beds and little courtyards in front of each room with their own hammocks. If you’re wanting luxury and fantastic views, then be willing to pay a little more for what you want. Don’t leave a bad review because you’re cheap!

I’ll admit that I wanted to stay at this hotel even though they have a ton of bad reviews. Almost all of the reviews complain about how bad the noise is because of the thin walls and the beach front Tiki Bar. I read into the reviews, thought it would be better to get a room that didn’t have another room above it, and was a safe distance from the Tiki Bar to help hide that noise. Going in, we knew there would probably be some people getting rowdy and partying till wee hours of the night, but if what we were looking for during this trip we were on was solitude and quiet, we would have known to not stay here. We didn’t have any issues, so why would I leave a bad review?

We visited Seahorse Cottages a few weeks ago, which is a great little place on Sanibel Island. They describe themselves as small cottages within 200′ of the beach. We were able to ride bikes that the cottages provided a few blocks to where the Sanibel Lighthouse is located that is at the tip of the island. You’re basically surrounded by beach with it all around you. The islands of Sanibel and Captive are known as some of the best shelling in the world let alone the state of Florida.

Not really close to the water and for shelling?????? We live on Longboat Key and Lido Beach has tons bigger shells than down there. Maybe we just didn’t go to the right place. It was a nice getaway, but we sure appreciate home a little more.” This is the only review that Silvercat34228 from Longboat Key, Florida decided to leave on Trip Advisor.

Why would you leave a negative review on a hotels site about the size of the shells you found on a public beach???? If you’re going to leave a review, be sure that what you’re reviewing has to do with the place you’re talking about. These cottages are within a block of the water and a two minute bike ride to the end of the island that has beach all around you, yet the reviewer questions how close to the water they are?

If you’re staying in a historic bed and breakfast, I can probably tell you before you even check in that leaving a review about how thin the walls are, or how small the rooms are is just going to make you look like an idiot. Historic places had thin walls and small rooms, unless you’re visiting castles made from stone.

Here is pretty much a simple rule to follow. If the hotel you stayed in was built before 1960, plan on the hot water taking awhile to find it’s way to your room. More than likely the air conditioner will be the window type (another thing we always see left in negative reviews), which will be louder than central air. If that hotel happens to have multiple floors, plan on being able to hear the people in the rooms above you and probably the rooms beside you. Complaining about these will only make you look like an idiot.

If you’re visiting an area that is in the tropics and you complain about the bugs or the humidity, you should probably stay home. Especially if the place you’re visiting has outside seating and especially if it is on the water. There is nothing you can do about bugs, rodents and birds when you live on the ocean or on an island. Likewise, if you’re visiting Yellowstone or Alaska and you complain about the mosquitoes, people will just laugh at you and question your validity.

So when leaving a review, think about what you’re actually saying before you send it in. Don’t complain about the town, the other restaurants or the weather when leaving a review about a specific place. If you want to complain, or boast about a bunch of things in general, but about a specific area, then leave that review on that areas Chamber of Commerce site, not on the specific place you stayed.

Try your hardest to Upload Quality Photos of the food you ordered, the places you stayed and the surrounding area you visited. In this day in age of top notch cell phone cameras and high end Point & Shoots, there is really no need to be uploading horrible images.

Bonish Photography, FoodDo yourself a favor and look up basic techniques that will teach you how to capture better travel photos. This will not only make your reviews more fun to read, but it will make your trip journals and memories much more fun to look back through. Tips like ‘Filling the Frame’, making sure the ‘Light is at your back’ and ‘knowing when to use a fill flash’ are very simple tips to better your photos.

No one cares about your blurry photos. Don’t ever post those, and what ever you do, DO NOT post EVERY image you took. Take the Top 10, the ones that make you say “WOW” or bring a smile to your face every time you look at them. Those are the ones you should share.

I hope this helps and hopefully we can all help fellow travelers with our reviews. Lets keep them honest, and keep them to the point.

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28 Responses to “How to Leave a Proper Trip Advisor Review”

  1. Mark W.October 6, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    I have been following your blog/adventures for a few years now and most of the time I agree with your views/opinions but not this time.

    I don’t think it is appropriate for a business owner to tell me how to prepare the perfect review, not all of us are professional photographers, great writers, spellers, etc. Some of us do the very best we can with the skills we have. I also take issue with your statement, “So if you see a review left like this, look at their other reviews and see if they all follow a pattern or if it was just a one-time incident.” You will find most people (myself included) only take the time to write a review when they feel they have received poor quality products or services, sometimes it’s our only recourse, if we approach the management with our concerns and get the old brush off or the it is what it is attitude.

    I do occasionally write a glowing review, but the service has to be outstanding and at a reasonable price too.

    You also made this statement “Complaining about these will only make you look like an idiot” several times in your post. Calling reviewers or potential customer’s names because they see things differently is just wrong IMO. I am sorry you have been burned by a few of your customers but I think you have way more positive than negative, you need to learn to take the good with the bad and not take it so personally. My wife and I had been looking forward to visiting the Low Key Hideaway when we hit the road full time but after reading “How to Leave a Proper Trip Advisor Review,” I think we will spend our money elsewhere.

    Maybe you should charge your guest a little extra to have you or Cindy write the review on their behalf. Just think, all of the pictures would be awesome, you could always leave out details like small bathrooms, window units in the kitchen, waiting 20 minutes for hot water, loud obnoxious Tiki Bar guest, hit or miss internet, short toilets, etc.

    I’m sure this reply won’t be posted for other visitors to see 🙂

    The self-absorbed personality is really self-explanatory. You are absorbed with yourself. This individual may think they are the only one that knows how to do something or they do everything the best. This person thinks they can do everything you can do, but better. They think they are the best looking and the most intelligent. Bottom line the only person they care about is themselves.

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      Mark, I’m pretty shocked by your response and quite taken aback!

      As with most of my posts on the Every Miles A Memory blog, they’re meant much like a personal journal and at no point are they ever meant to be taken as fact or taken to heart. At what point do I talk about my own motel or tiki bar in that specific blog post? I was refereeing to other reviews we see left on motels and restaurants that we frequent. My blog post was meant to be comical about people ONLY leaving negative reviews.

      All too often in this society we have people that will only talk or want to rant about the negative sides of things which is exactly what you have done. “You will find most people (myself included) only take the time to write a review when they feel they have received poor quality products or services, sometimes it’s our only recourse, if we approach the management with our concerns and get the old brush off or the it is what it is attitude.” So you’ve read my blog for years now, and have never left a comment, but with one sarcastic, comical blog post, I’m lam-basted and told that I’m ‘self absorbed’, ‘All I care about is myself’ and told ‘I’ll take my business elsewhere’…WOW!

      Most businesses want their customers to be happy and leave with a good feeling about their hard earned money spent at their establishment. 9 times out of 10, if I contact a manager or owner, the problem is resolved immediately. If the problem is brushed off, then sure I’d leave a negative comment or review and let other customers know that, but I’d be sure and tell both sides of the story. I do try my hardest to give credit to those that work very hard to allow me to enjoy the things that I have paid money for, when customer service is good, I shout it from the roof tops which was the whole point of that blog post, leave more positive reviews and less negative reviews.

      The fact that you only write a glowing review if the service is outstanding and at a reasonable price is again showing that some reviews that are left on Trip Advisor are one sided and folks need to read further into the reviews or at least give the place a look for themselves. Trip Advisor is a wonderful tool for both the business as well as the customer, I was just sarcastically stating that sometimes people complain about silly things which are out of the businesses control, hence the shell size on the beach compared to the shells on her hometown beach. Again, Trip Advisor is a good tool, but there are plenty of other tools in the tool box, use more than one.

      If the only thing someone wants to read and see are negative reviews, it’s the same thing as saying that ‘Reality Television’ is actually Reality. Negative reviews are sometimes hysterical, I see the fun in them and I’m sure other people do also if they’re true, but leaving a negative review on a hotels site about the size of the shells on the beach is both wrong and Trip Advisor should know enough to take that review down or let the reviewer know to edit their review to reflect the hotel itself and not comment on things outside the hotels control.

      Some of the positive reviews are funny as well. But I would love to see more positive reviews left by folks and less negative reviews where the things they’re actually complaining about don’t merit the time it took to write the review.

      If for some reason my writing style has lead you to believe that ‘I’m absorbed with myself’, I’m at a loss for words again. Maybe it’s because Cindy, nor I have ANY formal teaching in literature. Neither of us attended college or have taken classes for writing, and we’d never claim to be good writers. Again, my Every Miles A Memory blog has nothing to do with my business, it’s basically a digital journal that I keep for myself. I never called any of my potential customers names and I’ve never been Burned by any of my own customers, so I’m confused with that statement also? We don’t have any negative reviews, sure there are some statements about the age of our place, the small bathrooms, etc….but those are all true, I would never say that they are idiots! Just like I said in my blog post, sometimes the experience you get with staying somewhere is worth having a small bathroom or hit-or-miss internet signal, I don’t argue those facts as they are FACTS. You’ve never stayed with us or you’d know that we don’t have window units or loud-obnoxious Tiki Bar guests.

      I write on my blog about many things that interest me, I have many observations of people, places and things on this planet, I write about what I feel and think and sometimes it becomes personal, but it always comes from the heart. Sorry you found this Blog Post so offensive, maybe I can’t always write about wildlife/bird photography and only post travel photos to try and keep everyone happy. Sometimes I like to shake things up and get people thinking, obviously it’s working. Thanks for sharing your opinion, we all have one and I respect that.

      I posted this for everyone to see, I’m worried people might not get to see both sides of the story.

      Sincerly, Pat Bonish

      • Mark W.October 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

        Pat, I don’t use Trip Advisor, Yelp, Yahoo, etc. to make decisions on where I should eat, spend a relaxing weekend, etc. I just sort of wing it and to date, I have been pretty lucky. If I have a really bad experience, I will (sometimes) post a review to help someone else (those that do read reviews) avoid making the same mistake that I did. Maybe the next guy won’t order the steak if my review says “the chicken was great but the steak tasted like shoe leather..Lol. I just got the impression that you think a lot of people posting reviews are haters and wouldn’t be happy no matter what their experience.

        Until you wrote about this I had never even checked out the reviews for Low Key Hideaway. After I read this post I did check out your reviews and I think you and Cindy have done a great job keeping the majority of your visitors happy. However some of the things you griped about in your post were very similar to complaints you have received at the Low Key Hideaway.
        Here’s one example >>>>
        “Here is pretty much a simple rule to follow. If the hotel you stayed in was built before 1960, plan on the hot water taking a while to find its way to your room. More than likely the air conditioner will be the window type (another thing we always see left in negative reviews), which will be louder than central air. If that hotel happens to have multiple floors, plan on being able to hear the people in the rooms above you and probably the rooms beside you. Complaining about these will only make you look like an idiot.”

        I didn’t realize your post was meant to be comical, maybe you should have said this is a humorous post meant to make you laugh and it has absolutely nothing to do with negative reviews left for our establishment.

        I am sorry if you feel I read between the lines and didn’t fully understand the message you were trying to get across to your readers. I was a business owner for years but that was before we had all of the social media that can make or break a new or old business. I do understand your frustration with the whole review process but it is (IMO) not the business owner’s job to tell people how they should express their feelings, reviews are how they share “their experiences or their take on it.” If I want to complain about the hot water then I will and that doesn’t make me an idiot.

        I noticed you responded to most of the complaints on your site and have even made some changes after receiving a complaint that shows that you do care about your customers and it also proves the review process works to benefit both business owner and consumer.

        My reply (and I’m really blown away that you posted it on your blog):) was to simply let you know that I felt it was a little petty for you to be giving us directions on the proper way to review a business. If you were a consumer and not a business owner, it wouldn’t have perturbed me enough to respond. Again, I am sorry for my reply if your post was truly meant to be comical.

    • Cindy BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

      Mark, I can’t imagine that after years of reading our blog you would walk away from this post with this much anger.

      These rants and posts or observations of my husbands are to be taken lightly, not as a smear campaign to hurt you. Please, take the time to see some positive things in your environment, Lord knows the way the world is today, we can all use some goodness in our lives. I will also say that I can almost hear some resentment and a twinge of jealousy toward Pat, please let that go.

      You are correct about his excellent writing abilities, his wonderful photography as well as his ability to use spell check (he’s not that great of a speller). If you would like to learn any of his incredible talents, Pat is the type of person that will take days to help you learn any of them and actually teach you all of the knowledge that he has taught himself and he will never ask you for anything in return.

      By the way, Pat is the best looking and most intelligent person that I have ever had the privilege of knowing, I hope that doesn’t cause any more issues for you. Take care Mark, glad you decided not to spend your money here. By the way, never was our business brought into the post that Pat made, they are two different entities, oh and I bet it took you hours to find a comment about a low toilet! LOL

      • Mark W.October 6, 2013 at 8:07 pm #

        Not jealous Cindy! Just disappointed but thank you for the reply.

    • Mark W.October 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      🙂 I surrender! Even (after reading all of the responses) I feel maybe I jumped the gun when I responded to Pat’s “How to Leave a Proper Trip Advisor Review.” I still don’t like being told how to write a review but my personal attack on Pat was unwarranted and for that I do apologize. I know Pat and Cindy are good people, if they weren’t I wouldn’t have followed their blog for years. This will be my last post on this particular subject…I’m sure all of you glad to hear that. Take care!

  2. DeAnn BurmeisterOctober 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    I find it interesting that Mark has extracted such a vast collection of observations and opinions about you Pat. I mean…really? This guy has never stayed at your establishment, yet he writes as though he has experienced “The Low Key Hideaway” in the flesh. I would say way to go Pat, the passion you and Cindy express through your writings is what draws people in – the reader can vicariously share your experience and become immersed if they so choose. I, too have followed your blog for years…the illustrations of your journey have kept me in touch with you and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of your journey. I respect, that you respect the opinions of others even though those opinions may not be in alignment with your own. That is the making of a truly great human being. Sometimes one does not need college or writing classes to create a masterpiece or legacy – and if someone doesn’t like our journey…’s all good…. Kudos to the Bonish Family for touching so many lives, doing what you love and simply being yourselves. NaMaste’

  3. TaggertOctober 6, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I am both parts – consumer as well as business owner. I actually do agree with your article.
    I personally review as many establishments for the positive as I do negative, if not more. I figure I’d rather share positive experiences to benefit my friends, help folks I don’t know, and also for good karma.

    As a business owner, I’ve had exactly 1 bad review about our rental cottage. And, as you say, I was dinged because Cedar Key was too small, too few restaurants, had poor weather, and because our house built in 1936 has a run roof and it was noisy.

    I also check a persons stats before I believe they’re very bad *or* very good review. I ignore outliers and wingnuts and take the middle of the road consensus.

    To willfully harm someone’s business and livelihood is reprehensible. Plain and simple. I’m no touchy-feely, make no mistake, but I believe if you have a problem, ask management/owners to address it. If they won’t, share that info.

    In this day and time, pictures are welcome. Good pictures. They don’t need to be of the quality of a wall hanger, but certainly decent enough to see clearly the great or terrible thing you’re describing.

    As all things internet, Trip Advisor is a tool. A tool that an be manipulated by the unscrupulous. As a Social Media manager for some local CK businesses, I’ve also seen business owners manipulate it to their gain. Everything with a grain of salt…

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Well said Taggert! Everything with a grain of salt

  4. Sally WrightOctober 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm #

    Thanks Pat, for your reply. I think sometimes, “bashing comments” from people that have never even been to a location, comes under the heading of “everybody’s got an opinion”, and we can’t do anything about that.
    However, having been to Low Key, even for just a few afternoons of photoing and hanging with the people and dogs of the Tiki Bar, the Tennessee girls found it and the visitors charming and welcoming. We only go back to places that made us happy. We were not happy…we were completely giddy, and have the photos to prove it.
    One of your visitors even told us to go into their room, to see what it looked like, as we’d never been inside. It was clean, completely charming and decorated beautifully. Granted the little kitchen was barely big enough for an English Mastiff to fit into, but then we’re not there to prepare meals, we’re there to sit in the yard and admire bottle walls.
    Well, that’s my blog for the day. Hope you are enjoying yours.

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:24 pm #

      When are the Tennessee Girls coming back?? We need more garments to hang on the chandelier 🙂

  5. Amanda AndersonOctober 6, 2013 at 5:44 pm #


    Having a bad day? Or are you just always so cynical and negative?

    Look, I rarely (if ever) post replies on blog entries, but you leave me no choice here. My husband and I have been visiting the Low Key Hideaway for several years now and have had nothing short of consistently positive experiences. We know both Pat and Cindy personally and your quick assessment of their personalities couldn’t be more off-based if you tried.

    I can assure you that their entire business is successful purely due to their desire to put others before themselves. They go above and beyond to not only ensure customer satisfaction throughout the duration of a stay, but pride themselves on their ability to make lifelong friendships out of their guests.

    When I think back to our visits, so many memories come to mind. I remember taking our 110 lb Rottweiler on visits with us and having Pat come to our room to help us sweep and vacuum the hair off the ground just because he wanted to. I remember Cindy spending a solid hour brushing and playing with our dog outside and giving her attention as if she were her own. I remember Pat spending his own time and money to burn me copies of CD’s after hearing me talk about how much I loved his choice in music. I remember Cindy feeding us dinner on countless nights out at the Tiki Bar, expecting nothing but good conversation and laughs in return. I remember Pat and Cindy mailing me a framed picture they took of us during a stay as a birthday gift. Simply put, I remember the positives.

    I try not to focus my energy on the size of the bathrooms or these units in the kitchen that you speak of. Pat says they don’t exist and quite honestly, I wouldn’t have remembered, nor cared, if they did or didn’t, because to me that “stuff” just doesn’t matter. Life is too short to spend time focusing on the negative as you unfortunately end up losing sight of all that’s positive. And you, my friend, are clearly missing out on A LOT of positive.

    If you’ve truly been following Pat and Cindy’s blog over the past few years, I would assume that you’d have a more accurate depiction of their personalities by now. But then again, assuming is never a good thing as you have clearly just showed all of us. If I were to assume I knew you based on your one reply, I’d assume that you were nothing short of an “asshole” for lack of a better word. But now that wouldn’t be very nice of me, now would it? And I’m sure there’s a lot more to you than that. At least, I’m hoping so.

    I’d challenge you to take the time to step outside of your norm and write some positive reviews while you’re out on the road. You’d be surprised at the power of even the seemingly smallest compliment. Small business owners like Pat and Cindy might not be capable of providing a stay that meets your standard of “outstanding service” paired with a “reasonable price” , but I guarantee that you can find at least one positive element worth commenting on. I think, perhaps, that was the entire idea behind Pat’s initial post. Life isn’t perfect, so stop wasting time on the negative. Instead, spend time bringing others up, and you just might find yourself in a better place.

    I wish you nothing but the best and hope that your journey takes you by the Low Key Hideaway someday. I promise you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

    *Disclaimer: Pat nor Cindy paid for me to write this post and I can assure you that they didn’t write it themselves 😉

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      Amanda, you put such a big smile on my face today 🙂

      And I could have NEVER wrote that good of a reply

  6. DebbyOctober 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

    I actually agree with most of your post, Pat. I use TripAdvisor and Yelp! on a regular basis as we are always in new places. I have learned that you can pretty much tell by a quick skim of the reviews if the negative ones are just someone who likes to complain, or if it’s really an issue. And I also do look at the other places they have reviewed for some perspective as well. Most reviews are informative and on occasion hilarious, which, I enjoy, but sometimes it’s all you can do to take the time to just make some quick notes. Unfortunately the people who really need to hear the information you write about will never see or hear it, but I always enjoy your ramblings, so keep it up!

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Thank you Debby! The Key Word is Ramblings 🙂


  7. Joe sulimanOctober 6, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Mark W. I have known pat and cindy for some years now , I don’t always agree with their point of view ! Maybe you took what pat wrote the wrong way . I can tell you from knowing them for years they do not put themselves above others . When I read what pat writes it is like I am sitting across from him having a drink , he is so descriptive and tells it from all points of views ! I have not been to visit them since they went on the journey of a life time , hopefully I will soon and I can give a honest report on their new home and business . Mark it sounds like you have been a fan for a few years , don’t stop . We don’t always have the same views , that’s what makes us all unique and interesting ! I’m not a good writer , I hope I am clear in my view . Have a great day and a great journey thru life . Pat keep the blog real ! Love you man

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement Joe! Now come visit already

      • Mark W.October 6, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

        Joe, Thank you for being one of the “nicer” people to respond to my response to Pat’s Blog Post. I have been a reader for years and I would have to say this is the first time I didn’t agree with Pat. But I guess that’s why they make chocolate & vanilla….it would be a really boring world if we all liked or thought the same thing. Again, thank you for your encouraging reply…now I will put my flame suit back on to read the rest of the responses. 🙂

  8. HollyOctober 6, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

    Pat, I would like to add my 2 cents about your blog post. AMEN! People do need to think about what they are reviewing and why they are reviewing it. Give true reviews for what a business has complete control is of utmost importance. Perhaps in the actual words typed stating that the establiset was good or bad for whatever reasons that pertain to said establiset would be best. If the reviewer feels the need to add additional information about surrounding sites and other establishments then they should be sure that those feelings stated have no bearing on the overall review of the original establishment being “reviewed”. Damn, now I’m not sure I’m making sense… Good thing I’m not leaving a review, it might be coined “comical”

    • Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      Thank you Holly, I guess some people dont see my humor! Have a great day!!

  9. Bill UplegerOctober 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    My wife and I stayed at Low Key Hideaway, we invited my sister and her husband too. We both had a very relaxing time. Both units were surprisingly beautiful inside, totally remodeled. The tiki bar here was extraordinary and the story behind it was awesome. We can’t wait to go back, it’s 3 hours away. If you looking to relax, with no kids. This is the these to be. If your looking to party on a white sandy beach with a bunch of teenagers, don’t go here.

  10. Pat BonishOctober 6, 2013 at 7:14 pm #

    Thank you all who felt the need to leave a reply! You’re making this boy blush here!!

    For all those looking for a really good laugh, please follow this link

    These were the type of people I was talking about when it came to writing this Blog Post

  11. AprilOctober 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

    I’ve been to the Tiki Bar a dozen times over the past 2 yrs, with friends, family and my spouse. We’ve enjoyed every visit, every time. It’s a welcoming, down-to-Earth establishment. Cedar Key is a lovely town, shells or no shells. Don’t sweat the silly people Cindy and Pat – not worth the worry. Looking forward to our next visit to CK and to The Tiki Bar!

  12. Chris HendryOctober 6, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

    I would just like to add my two cents here regarding Low Key Hideaway. It will not be eloquently written but it will be from the heart. I have been traveling for many years and stayed at a lot of so called resorts, hotels bed and breakfast etc. Pat and Cindy are unique business owners because they care. They add such a personal touch to their business you feel like you’re part of a family so much so my wife and chose this wonderful place to get married.

    I believe no one can sell a product better than the owner. It just shows good marketing skills on their part. But it’s the personal touch of the old time small business owner that impresses me most. Capitalism and big business rule. It’s nice to see the little guy succeed.

    Mark I know not the reason you felt the need to write the words which appear to be very misguided but that is the reason we all live in a free state to freely express our thoughts and post what ever we want. Thank you Pat and Cindy for being such wonderful business owners and you have a wonderful place that I will always continue to spend my hard earned money to stay when ever I can.

  13. KarenOctober 7, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    When my husband and I first read this post this morning, there were no responses, and my gut-reaction was to reply instantly, with my main point being that this was Pat’s personal blog, and he could post whatever he wished; that it wasn’t tied in any way to the Low-Key Hideaway.

    Then, I remembered my dearly departed Mother’s word’s, “Karen, you are a writer, but once you put something in writing, it can’t be taken back; reflect and think before sitting down to write.” (imagine how she’d have felt if she’d lived to see the permanency of writings on the internet!)

    I shouldn’t have been surprised when I checked in hours later, to see so many replies to the first post, including Pat’s further explanation in defense of writing in his own personal blog.

    We rely heavily on TripAdvisor and Yelp when traveling, and we, too, deliberately read the negative responses, and if it seems a fluke compared to so many positives, we check out the person’s entries rating other places, to see if that is their trend. We don’t often get around to writing reviews, but when we do, it is to be positive, not to try to ruin one’s rating. There are plenty of other people out there doing that on the lower-rated establishments.

    When we read comments about a lack of seashells, etc., it reminds us of our many visits to St. Lucia, and staying in a favorite cottage in the rainforest. We’ve read and laughed about several TripAdvisor replies through the years regarding the loud noises from the rainforest at night, and keeping people awake, and going so far as to recommend the owners supply earplugs in the nightstands for the guests. “HELLO, you’re in the rainforest! Perhaps you should have considered this before traveling there”, is what we’d recommend to those people.

    We met Pat and Cindy nearly two years ago, and had the good fortune of staying at the Low-Key Hideaway and participating in the Tiki Bar experience then, and upon our return visit to the area last year. We plan to do so again this winter in Cedar Key. While we are a ‘wee bit older’ than Pat and Cindy, and thus, have some different interests, we share in the nomad mind-set, being pet/animal lovers, and simply trying to “think good thoughts, say good things, do good deeds”, to quote a good friend of ours.

    They go above and beyond in being great local business people, running a wonderful establishment, which they are always trying to improve upon, trying to improve the planet on which they walk, and treating their guests with friendliness and respect.

    There’s so much negativity in the world, that it’s a shame that people feel the need to take the time out of their lives to fill someone’s personal blog opinions with more negativity, instead of trying to begin the day “thinking good thoughts, saying good things, and doing good deeds.”

  14. DickboyOctober 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    WTF!!!!!! That’s all I have to say PAT & CINDY KICK ASS!!!!!!!!

  15. David HorwitzOctober 14, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    Thanks Pat,
    My response isn’t to Mark even though I think he missed the point of your piece. However many of us don’t understand the mechanics on how to write a good review that would give relevant information to other potential customers. The reason to write a review is so that others can make a purchasing decision on whether they are going to stay at an establishment or not. Its not a catharsis for you….it’s to help out the next consumer in line who wants to make a decision on where to stay or eat. This is a team sport based in logic not passion. If you want to have a catharsis write in a journal.

    Sometimes reviews are not always helpful because you have to read into them, check on the background of the person who wrote it, etc. How do you interpret other reviews and how does expectation management factor in on making a purchasing decision?

    Expectation Management
    Consumers need to engage in expectation management and all too often they believe that every building or the atmosphere of every establishment should meet their lifestyle. There are many different establishments based on different lifestyles in order to capture market share. Don’t be lazy with your money do your due dilligence as a consumer or you will be disapppointed.

    Visualization helps in the decision making process. Don’t leave me a picture of a toilet…I’ve seen them before 🙂 I want a picture that captures the atmosphere of the establishment. A good picture is sometimes all that is needed.

    Bottom Line: Educate yourself and take Pat’s blog to heart because you’ll be happy with your purchasing decision and you’ll make others happy by supplying them with real purchasing information.

    • Pat BonishOctober 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

      All very good points David, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment

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