Social Media

Social Media Sites and TripAdvisor.

In the age of the Internet, anyone can post a review about a hotel, whether he has actually been there or not. Because it has long been widely known that Plantation Bay's Guest Satisfaction and Word-of-Mouth are the best in the country, certain other hotels, desperate for business, have hired PR firms to sponsor positive reviews about themselves, and negative reviews about us.

Most of these sponsored reviews are on user-generated sites, and the most well-known of these is TripAdvisor, which accepts reviews from anyone with an e-mail. It makes no effort to verify if the reviews are by real paying guests, or if they are honest and fair. In addition, TripAdvisor has spawned a new class of hotel guest, bent on bullying hotels with the spoken or unspoken threat of posting an ugly review. Some of them are motivated by the hope of getting a freebie or an upgrade, others just want to feel important, and others have anger management issues. A small number of cranks and crazies on this site even post again and again, turning a single weekend stay into a dozen negative reviews. (If you don't understand why anyone would do this, it's all right; that shows you probably aren't a crank.)

Though Plantation Bay receives many excellent comments on TripAdvisor, and indeed was elected to its Hall of Fame for earning its Certificate of Excellence for 5 straight years, you should understand that TripAdvisor reviews can be misleading, and that many of the negative reviews on TripAdvisor are bogus (planted by competitors) or written by people with extreme points of view that the typical traveler would not agree with. The following links discuss some of the pitfalls of naively trusting social media, believing the words of people you never met and who may not even exist, to make a decision involving thousands of dollars.

On Tripadvisor, many hotels in Mactan have one glowing review after another, often peppered with "facts" and staff names, even reviewer pictures, to convince readers they are genuine. But in our opinion, many of the reviews on TripAdvisor are bogus, and no more helpful than asking a random person on the street how to spend $1000. Judge for yourself. There is a marked difference between the reviews on and those on booking sites such as, which accept reviews only from verified paying guests.