When it comes to hotels, customer reviews are increasingly important to travelers. Unless you know someone who can personally recommend a hotel in your intended vacation destination, it can be difficult to choose.
Because the truth is, you can look at those photos on the hotel's web site all you want, but what you see is not always what you get.
A survey by Orbitz, the online travel agency, found 70 percent of respondents said they not only look at reviews when searching for a hotel but trust them. And 64 percent said they would stay in a hotel based solely on the awards it has received.
That's why they created the "Best in Stay" Awards for 75 of the nation's most popular tourist destinations. Following are the top 10 destinations for fall travel, based on bookings on Orbitz, and the corresponding "Best in Stay" hotel.
Las Vegas: Bellagio
New York: The Peninsula New York
Chicago: The Talbott Hotel
Los Angeles: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Washington, D.C.: Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
Orlando: The Peabody
Denver: Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
San Francisco: Argonaut Hotel
Maui: The Fairmont Kea Lani
Miami: Dream South Beach
According to Orbitz, the Orbitz Best In Stay Award winners are selected based on the overall numeric score of nearly 200,000 hotel reviews submitted by Orbitz customers who have booked and stayed at hotels since 2011.
Customers are asked to rate a variety of hotel attributes on a scale of 1 to 5, including amenities, maintenance, hotel staff, room comfort, location, and value. Those ratings are supplemented by input from nearly 150 Orbitz hotel experts who factor in other market conditions, such as the number of reviews, frequency of booking and reputation of hotel staff.