NOT MUCH! unfortunately when considering one Hotel over another, reading reviews doesn’t mean much.
Hotel Reviews have been tainted by owners of Hotels, angry Customers, Stock Holders in Hotel Chains and total idiots. Tripadvisor is now trying to link facebook to Their reviews so They will be more legitimate. People on facebook are truthful? I didn’t know You couldn’t get a facebook account unless You were a truthful Person.
I think it is fair to say that if a review site allows pictures then You can put some weight on that review. A picture of a molded shower or filthy carpet speaks more than a description.
These Days, some Hotels are pressing You to fill out a review on the spot after They have told You how much They value You and made sure everything was perfect. How about the flirty Girl at the front desk that ask You to give Her good reviews? It happens. Then the one where You get home and get the Email asking for Your review but have You ever seen Your bad review listed on Their site? NO!
The only review You can really trust is from Someone You really trust. Not a stranger! Close Friends and Family that have recently visited the City are Your best source for opinions. I am not saying do not read reviews, even if They are not truthful You might get some tips for making sure the same doesn’t happen to you. Things like “This hotel isn’t even close to the Convention Center even though I was told it was in walking distance”. Maybe in that case, You would research on mapquest to see if that was true or not.
Instead of relying on reviews, make Your stay as good as it can be by immediately checking Your room for cleanliness, working television, phone or anything else in the room You are going to use. Turn on the shower, flush the toilet. Don’t wait to get in the shower the next morning to find out it doesn’t work. Don’t wait for it to get cold to find out the heat doesn’t work or a/c doesn’t work. Before You unpack one thing, do a five-minute walk through, it’s so much easier to ask for another room than it is to wait for house keeping to finish cleaning, a repairman to show up.
What normally makes a unhappy guest is They unpack immediately and then They don’t want to change rooms and the Hotel has limited workers to fix Their problems.