New hotel rankings prove that there still isn't one name to trust online

Expedia released the 2010 edition of its Insiders' Select list May 4, which ranks the world's best hotels according to customers' reviews - revealing a somewhat different view of the world from travel review giant TripAdvisor.

A five-star hotel in Greece took the Insiders' Select top spot, with a South African guest house in second place of the 2,539 hotels featured. All in all, the site ranked properties from 1,022 cities using more than one million reviews submitted by its customers after completing a stay booked on its sites.

The Insiders' Select list is compiled as a similar consumer guide to TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice list, which featured the top 719 properties based on traveler reviews back in January.

However, these lists could bring confusion for travelers, as none of the top ten hotels featured on the Insiders' Select list are featured as one of Tripadvisor's 719 top properties, and only half of them were rated as the top destination in their respective areas by TripAdvisor rankings.

One US hotel in the Expedia Insiders' Select global top ten didn't even make the top 30 hotels in its own city, let alone the world, according to TripAdvisor reviews. Conversely, Inn New York City, ranked by TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice as the most popular hotel in the US, doesn't appear anywhere on the lengthy Expedia list.

In fact, with a comparison of the top ten European and US hotels of both the Insiders' Select and Travelers' Choice awards revealing no common names whatsoever (despite TripAdvisor being owned by Expedia), which site can be trusted?

Although Expedia Insiders' Select includes properties from a list of some 123,000 and TripAdvisor claims over 500,000, a random sample test reveals many of the top establishments are listed on both sites.

Representatives for Expedia Insiders' Select says that it uses a "mathematical formula" to rank its properties, with over 1 million traveler reviews as the most influential factor. This approach is similarly adopted by Tripadvisor, although it appears to claim more traveler reviews - "millions" rather than "over one million."

From this point the lists begin to differ. Insiders' Select also incorporates value ratings to compile its rankings, comparing the average daily rates with those of similar properties and weighting the list based on its results.

It also takes into account the views of 400 Expedia "market managers," which are the company's liaison points with individual properties, to weight results, saying that they contribute "their insight and firsthand knowledge of their destination's best hotels."

These extra factors could account for the large discrepancy in results, but Insiders' Select has one strong point in its favor. Because it requires that a traveler must have booked through its service to be able to contribute a review, its system is less prone to manipulation than TripAdvisor's, where any registered user can post a review without needing to prove that they have ever stayed there.

This had led to criticism of the site from establishments and industry groups concerned at the power that the travel behemoth now wields over online booking.

For the moment, it's obvious that sorting through thousands of properties to find travelers' favorites is always going to present dangers, and neither TripAdvisor nor Expedia offers a perfect way of doing so.

Consumers can perhaps take some guidance from a 2009 survey by consumer analyst Nielsen. In answering, respondents stated that they placed significantly more value on the opinion of friends and family than that of consumer opinions posted online - proving that in the jungle of hotel reviews, there are still some opinions that count above all others.

http://www.expedia.com/insidersselect
http://www.tripadvisor.com/travelerschoice
http://www.nielsen.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...