It looks nice….but – a word of caution about hotel photos


Hotel Pool
It’s a really nice pool, but where is everyone?

Throughout our site you will see pictures of hotels including the insides of rooms, some of the amenities and sometimes even the surrounding area. These can be very helpful when choosing a hotel for your trip or vacation, but a word of caution is in order.

Hotel photographs are supplied by the individual hotels and are carefully composed to give you the very best impression of their property. This is something along the lines of home staging, which is becoming a very popular and successful tactic for selling a house. So , just what is the problem with this? The problem is with expectations. You may be disappointed when you get to your hotel.

So when you are looking at all those beautiful shots of hotel rooms, pools and beaches just remember these few things. Wide angle lenses tend to make rooms and pools look larger than they really are. Many hotels generally show images of their most recently decorated rooms and sometimes stage them with premium accessories and furnishings for the photo. Sometimes they will even go so far as using Photoshop to enhance the view out the window. Pictures of hotel pools are often staged with all of the pool side furniture carefully positioned and just a handful of ‘beautiful’ hotel guests posing in or around the pool. The same thing applies to beaches in front of the hotel. Photos are also taken from an angle that shows off the pool at it’s very best or sometimes the the picture just shows a closeup of a small portion of the pool, often including a sexy hotel guest. Remember in reality, hotel pools are full of average people enjoying their vacation and may not be as large or as impressive as they looked in the photos. I should add that not all hotels do this. There are still plenty of hotel promo pictures that look quite natural and do not appear to have been heavily staged. You just need to exercise a little judgement when basing your decision on the photos.

We are not saying there is anything particularly bad about this practice, as any type of marketing obviously attempts to show a product or service in such a manner as to make it as appealing to you as possible. We are just bringing this up as one thing you should consider when you are looking at all those pretty marketing pictures.

One thing you can check out for yourself is the area surrounding the hotel by zooming in on the map view we provide for any hotels you are interested in. Turn on the satellite option and you can even see the pool if it is outdoors. You can also take advantage of Google Street View to have a good look at the area surrounding the hotel. Nearby businesses and restaurants are often indicated on the maps as well. Using these tools can be very helpful in helping you find the ideal hotel for your vacation.