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Online Ratings and Reviews

Online reviews are a necessary evil. Just as positive reviews can boost the success of a business, negative comments can also ruin it. To me, anything less than 10 points should be accompanied by an explanation, out of fairness to the entity under review. After all, if there are certain areas that require improvements, businesses should want to know. Furthermore, all businesses have areas that could benefit with some improvement - ours included.

I've just been reading some of my online reviews. I appreciate those who take the time to review their stay at the Guilford Bed and Breakfast. But here's the thing. Some reviewers refuse to assign a 10 to anybody, on principle - because that would mean they were perfect, and no one is. Can I clarify something? Offering a 10 rating DOES NOT MEAN perfection. It means you were pleased with every aspect of your experience. The owners/managers/staff did everything within their means to provide you with an altogether positive experience. So, please - if you are one of those "NO 10" reviewers, please reconsider.

At the GBNB, we strive to make everyone's experience positively memorable. Do I want 10-star reviews? Absolutely, and we work hard to get them. What I don't understand is why some folks write all positive feedback and then assign us a 7.5 rating. What is that? Come on, people. Either explain what you found disagreeable so we can improve upon it or amend your rating. Respect the establishment enough to provide the reason. "I don't like you and I'm not going to tell you why" didn't work in grade school, and surprisingly enough, it still doesn't.

Here's another request. If you don't like something that cannot be changed, don't subtract digits from the review rate. For example: If you hate seafood but choose to go to a seafood restaurant, would you then rate them a 3 because you didn't like the food? That's just crazy. Yet some reviewers do exactly that. That's like a guest assigning a 7 because they didn't like the location. What? Moving our historic mansion to a place that is more preferable to you is simply not an option. Our location is ideal for peace, tranquility, timeless elegance, gourmet food ... a place to unwind, de-stress, and appreciate life with modern comforts minus the distractions. We understand that the lovely scenic Maine Highlands may not be everyone's choice destination, but the traveler must accept some responsibility here. By all means, if the location turned out to be NOT as advertised, then definitely check that box. But don't reduce the rating number over that which cannot possibly be changed.

While I'm on my soap box, here's another aspect that makes me cringe. It's regarding the "value for money"... usually from folks who book at the last minute, book only one night, on the weekend, and on top of that, book through a third party. Did you know that the "value for money" category varies considerably based on the decisions made by the traveler? Here's what I mean. A two-night stay in the Rose room (with a military discount) for Oct 11-13 is priced at $282 on our website, but on you'll pay $328. That's a $42 difference. Browse your options using a third-party site if you prefer, but then google the entity directly to book. Who do you imagine pays the 18% third-party fees? You do. Also, if possible, plan your stay a few weeks in advance, especially during busy season. If you are a US military veteran, claim that discount when you book on (not available on third party sites). Booking more than one night in succession also makes you eligible for the best available rate. Multi-nighters require less turnover work for the business, so we can pass this savings to our guests. Want to save even more? Stay Sunday-Thursday instead of Friday-Saturday. Naturally, rates fluctuate seasonally to correspond with the demand. If getting the best rate is extremely important to you, book ahead of time, before the rates increase and book a multi-night stay, off-season. If you're a veteran, claim that discount at time of booking. If you are calling to book, always ask. Your perceived "value for money" may vary considerably.

On, we're rated as SUPERB, with a 9.2 at the time I'm writing this. I do want to thank all our exceptional guests for taking the time to provide feedback and for enriching our lives by choosing to stay at the GBNB. Guest reviews matter a great deal to us, otherwise I wouldn't be writing this blog. So please, keep it up. While it is a good idea to read some reviews before making an online purchase - including reservations, please don't decide based solely on the rating number. Instead, please take a few minutes to read the review comments carefully, and then decide. Remember, reviewers play by their own rules, so definitely keep that in mind.

Happy traveling!

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