How to Respond to Negative Hotel Reviews

bad hotel reviews

Do you want to respond to negative reviews without losing a customer?

Are you looking for the best ways to respond to guest reviews?

Most of the hoteliers now receive their bookings through online channels. Therefore, online reputation has now become more important. Statistics also confirm this: 148.3 million travel bookings are made online each year and almost 4 out of 5 travelers start travel planning online.

Nowadays a traveler decides which hotel to stay in by going through online reviews. As a result, keeping your hotel’s online reviews and handling complaint professionally are vital.

A TripAdvisor study finds that 62% of users make their booking decision based on management reviews on reviews. Since potential guests place so much importance on online reviews, a negative review can really damage your hotel.

Here are the most effective tips regarding responding to bad hotel reviews:

  • Start Off by Thanking and Apologizing – The most preferred way to open your response is by thanking the guest for their review and apologizing for any inconvenience.

For Example:

Dear ‘insert customer’s name’,

Thank you very much for your sincere review of your recent stay at our hotel. Feedback like yours is extremely important to us. We apologize for any inconvenience it may have caused during your stay.

  • Don’t Be Defensive – Yes, it can be incredibly frustrating when the negative review is an unreasonable. But, patience is the key. No matter what it is, you should never be defensive.
  • Focus on Changes You’ll Make in the Future – Instead of promising any sort of compensation, invite the guest to contact you. And, highlight any changes the current situation forced your hotel to make or intend to make.

For Example:

Hi ‘insert customer’s name’, I am disappointed to learn that you didn’t have a pleasant experience when checking out. I am assuring you that I’ll personally look into this matter and make sure it never happens again.

  • Offer a Solution – When responding to negative reviews, your response should be heartfelt and enthusiastic. Always try to be the problem-solver.

For Example:

Hi ‘insert customer’s name’, thanks for your reviews. I’m sorry to hear that you weren’t able to sleep due to the noise from the club upstairs. I wish you could have informed us of the issue earlier since we offer free ear plugs at the front earplugs. Do ask for the earplugs if you face this issue again.

  • Offer Compliments – If the negative review is constructive and factual, it could be difficult to write a bad response. So, acknowledge how helpful the review will be to make changes.
  • Persistent Customer? – When a guest is continually writing bad reviews, what can you do about it? If you have done everything, there’s still a solution. Here’s how you can respond:

Dear ‘insert customer’s name’,

Thank you once again for bringing this issue to our attention. We are serious about this matter, and doing everything we can to resolve this issue. I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to resolve this earlier. Thank you for your patience.


There will always be the complaint in serving, but what matters is how you improve a complaining customer’s experience. In this article, I listed a number of effective tips you can follow when responding to a negative review.

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