Choosing a hotel or restaurant can be difficult sometimes, we all want a pleasant, interesting and comfortable experience. Sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp have become essential to consumers while browsing for the best match, so much so, that a single bad review can make all the difference to their eventual decision. (Facebook cover image: Jamie J. Hagen)

Image credits: The Roxbury

Is this fair to businesses? Not really, especially when some reviews can come from petty revenge, spite, or just plain trolling. While it’s true, online reviews have made businesses raise their games to keep their customers happy, people’s reputations, their lives even, can be ruined by a single malicious rating based on spurious grounds.

Take this review of The Roxbury for example. The hotel resort, located in upstate New York, is famous for its outrageously cool and creative room designs, wowing guests with a selection of unique and whimsically-themed lodgings to choose from. The Tripadvisor ratings are overwhelmingly positive, which 650 five-star reviews compared to just a single one-star critique.

Helpfully, the one-star review has a thorough and well-written response by the owners of The Roxbury, giving their own perspective on this particular experience. The thinly-veiled suggestions of racism could’ve proven incredibly damaging to the owners personally and professionally, however, it becomes clear that the ‘skin color’ references were well off the mark – there was much more to it than blind prejudice.

The response sheds an entirely different light on the incident and is a fine example of how to deal with an unjustified bad review. What do you think? Do you place a great deal of trust in customer reviews of things like hotels and restaurants? Was this the correct way to respond? Let us know your opinion in the comments!

Here are some reactions to the well-written response