How to Respond to Negative Hotel Reviews

Despite you giving all your best and pouring all your hard work into pleasing your customers, there will always be a time when you will have to face negative hotel reviews. And whether your negative Tripadvisor, Expedia, Agoda, or Traveloka reviews are fair, your hotel’s online reputation and ratings will suffer. 

The way you respond to negative hotel reviews can leave a lasting mark on your hotel image. So before you reply with some harsh words, read our step-by-step guide on how to properly respond to negative hotel reviews. 


Why are hotel reviews and ratings important? 

“A whopping 93% of people check hotel reviews before booking a room and 33% of guests do not prefer to book a hotel with no reviews.”

In today’s hospitality industry, online hotel reviews—whether from Tripadvisor, Agoda, Expedia, or from social media pages—add value to your hotel. According to eZee Absolute, “a whopping 93% of people check hotel reviews before booking a room and 33% of guests do not prefer to book a hotel with no reviews.”

Read More: 8 Ways to Convert Hotel Website Traffic Into Bookings

Maximizing your hotel bookings means cultivating the kind of hotel image that attracts customers. Apart from displaying glowing hotel praise, this also means addressing the negative hotel reviews and customer complaints that come your way. 


How to find hotel reviews online

Hotel reviews and ratings can be found almost anywhere on the internet. Hoteliers can often find reviews of their business on popular hotel booking websites and OTAs like Tripadvisor, Agoda, and Expedia. Some can also be found on social media pages, travel influencer vlogs, hotel review websites, and travel publications.

Read More: Build Your Hotel’s “Social Proof” to Increase Bookings

Because of the sheer volume of hotel reviews online, it can be extremely difficult to monitor and address both the positive and negative ones that involve your hotel. It becomes a bigger problem when negative hotel reviews aren’t addressed as soon as possible and they spiral out of control without your knowledge. 

Instead of scouring the internet for your hotel reviews and ratings manually, invest in a hotel reputation management system. 

A hotel reputation management system is a hotel software application designed to help you improve your hotel’s online reputation. It helps you organize and manage your hotel reviews from a single dashboard and provides you with valuable insights into what guests value at your hotel. 

Learn more about our affordable hotel reputation management system during a free consultation. 

How to respond to negative hotel reviews

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Addressing negative hotel reviews and comments can be a tricky business. So to help you out, we’ve listed some tips on how you can respond the right and smart way:

  1. Address and thank the hotel reviewer

  2. Apologize for the incident

  3. Remedy the problem

  4. Discuss the complaint offline

  5. Ask for a second chance


Step 1: Address the hotel reviewer by name and thank them for bringing the complaint to your attention. 

Start by addressing your guest by name. Avoid using the generic “Dear guest” to make the conversation more humane and sincere. Then proceed to thank them for letting you know of the hotel’s misgivings. 


Step 2: Apologize for your hotel’s shortcomings and apologize for any inconvenience it caused. 

Even if you think you or the staff is not at fault, an apology is still necessary because the incident dampened the guest’s hotel experience. Acknowledge the problem, be accountable for it, and apologize with genuine sincerity. 


Step 3: Remedy the problem as soon as possible. 

Be proactive and prompt in remedying the complaint. Do not wait for the guest to follow up before you address the issue. Whether you need to provide an upgrade, a refund, or re-do a service, make it a priority to rectify the situation quickly. 


Step 4: Discuss the negative hotel review offline if necessary. 

There will be times when a negative hotel review will require a personal meeting with the complainant. In these situations, offer a meeting with the aggrieved party in order to properly address the issue. Offer to meet at their most convenient time as soon as possible. 


Step 5: Ask the hotel reviewer for a second chance to meet their expectations. 

Once the hotel reviewer’s complaints have been addressed, be sure to invite them back to your hotel to experience better service. It shows a commitment to your hospitality and is a surefire way of closing the incident on a good note. 



Template: Sample Reply to Negative Hotel Reviews

If you need help on constructing your response to negative hotel reviews, here’s a sample reply that you can use as your guide.

Dear (guest’s name),

This (your name) of (your hotel). Thank you for bringing this to our attention. 

We are sorry to hear about your experience. At (your hotel), our top priority is our guests’ safety and comfort and we do our best to deliver great experiences. We apologize that our service did not match your expectations.

We are looking into this issue and hope to resolve it promptly and accurately. We will use your feedback to make us better and to ensure this doesn’t happen again. Thank you again for letting us know about this. Your feedback helps us do better. 

If you’re open to discussing this further, please contact me at (email address) or call us at (phone number). We will work with you to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. 

With much appreciation,


(Your name)

(Your position)


Monitoring and responding to negative hotel reviews isn’t the most pleasant part of the hospitality industry. However, it is a crucial aspect of running a successful, reputable, and profitable hotel. Follow our tips and you’ll easily get accustomed to managing any kind of hotel comment or complaint in future. 

Interested in learning more about hotel marketing and management? Work with ZEN Hospitality Solutions! We provide the latest in hotel software and  in-house experts with years of experience that can help you increase hotel bookings, earn more revenue, and achieve other business goals. Talk to an expert today. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Negative Hotel Reviews

Should you respond to negative hotel reviews?

Yes! Hotel reviews play a very important role in sustaining a profitable revenue stream as it is the clearest indicator of your hotel’s reputation. 

When to respond to negative hotel reviews?

When you receive a bad review online, the best time to respond is ASAP. Research first about the details of the reviewer’s stay and once you have information with you, reply as soon as you can to avoid further damage.

How to politely respond to negative hotel reviews?

1. Address and thank the hotel reviewer

2. Apologize for the incident

3. Remedy the problem

4. Discuss the complaint offline

5. Ask for a second chance

How to avoid negative hotel reviews?

There is no guaranteed way to avoid negative hotel reviews. The best way to lessen the chances of complaints is to always provide top quality service at every single opportunity.


Article by: Ayna Gonzales