A Luxembourg woman in search of a summer holiday resort for her family has taken up the task with the intellectual vigor of a professor of ancient languages carefully examining newly discovered texts that might illuminate fundamental truths about human nature.
The 39-year-old mother casually offered to take over the job of choosing a hotel for this summer after her partner complained of feeling overwhelmed by all the factors to consider.
“Cassie said it would be easy, that she’d just go with the first hotel that looked okay,” said the woman’s partner Niles. “We narrowed it down to two countries, and I wished her luck.”
The woman glanced at the LuxairTours website and within a few minutes came up with a list of five hotels and then, in what would later become famous last words, she said, “l’ll just have a quick look on Tripadvisor to see which hotel’s the best.”
That was in May. By June, she realized that only having two to three hours per evening to look over Tripadvisor reviews of the five hotels was not enough, so she quit her job to study reviews full time.
As of Wednesday, she had only carefully gone through half of the some 3823 reviews related to the five hotels – and just a fraction of the 10028 reviews linked to 14 other hotels she had compiled into a B list.
“You can’t just take ratings at face value, nor should you give equal weight to every review,” she said, her eyelids twitching due to extreme sleep deprivation. “To truly make sense of the corpus of reviews for a hotel, you also need to examine the review history of each reviewer and question her assumptions about what an all-inclusive resort should offer.”
“Some travelers give one-star reviews to hotels just because they don’t offer a special type of Yorkshire sausage at breakfast,” she added, “while others give five stars just because no one at the reception desk ever spat at them.”
The woman says that she also had to develop a whole new system of point-counting to be able to make comparisons between hotels.
“What if Hotel Pegasus in Crete has an average rating of four stars and positive reviews of the animation team and tennis court but six out of the last hundred reviews mentioned that the swimming pools were too cold, while El Rey Resort in Tenerife only has an average of 3.7 stars and unenthusiastic comments about on-site fitness and dining yet the place has three huge water slides and a fun cocktail session every evening?”
By Thursday morning – two months into her studies – the woman was left so mentally exhausted that she no longer had any interest in an all-inclusive resort. She instead arranged for the family to spend a week on the Belgian coast in an Airbnb.
It has been reported that the couple’s children have voiced their fears that one or both parents might start consulting Tripadvisor before picking lunch spots, meaning that the family will never actually get around to eating during the entire week.
Originally published by RTL Today