Publish Date:
October 19, 2023

Responding to Negative Hotel Reviews (Examples and Tips) 

Need help responding to negative hotel reviews? Examples in this guide make it simple and easy. See real hotel responses and get tips on writing better replies.

Responding to Negative Hotel Reviews (Examples and Tips) 

responding to negative hotel reviews

Research shows that 98% of consumers check online reviews when comparing businesses. Google reviews are the most viewed – and most trusted – with 87% of consumers saying they checked them in 2022. Research also shows that consumers are more likely to choose businesses that respond to all of their reviews, as opposed to just reviews that are positive or negative. 

Considering the impact that ratings can have on a business, responding to negative hotel reviews is essential to managing your online reputation. But it can also take up valuable time to manually sift through so many platforms and comments. So what’s the best, most cost-efficient way to reply to bad reviews from guests? 

In this guide, we’ll share six examples of real hotel responses to negative reviews, along with some tips and best practices to help you improve your own responses.  

How to respond to negative hotel reviews: 6 examples

Most negative reviews of hotels deal with one or more of the following issues: 

  • Room cleanliness
  • Unpleasant odors 
  • Difficulty accessing Wi-Fi 
  • Lack of in-room and/or hotel amenities 
  • Excessive noise 
  • Inability to control temperature or humidity 
  • Cost and/or quality of food and beverages 
  • Elevator accessibility 
  • Front desk service or room service 
  • Problems with the hotel’s website or app
  • Issues with booking or room assignments 
  • Leaks or other issues involving water in the bathroom 
  • Issues with parking or the valet service 
  • Rude or slow customer service 
  • Inadequate shuttle service (for airport hotels) 

Regardless of what the reviewer’s issue is, it’s important to respond calmly, courteously, and swiftly while also personalizing the response and attempting to move the conversation offline. 

Let’s look at six examples of how real hotels have responded to negative reviews featuring some of the common complaints above, then dive into some tips and best practices to help you write effective responses. 

Negative review response example  #1

negative review response example number one

Guest issues in this negative review: Rude service, problems related to air conditioning, slow check-in, noise, technical issues with hotel website, disappointing experience with hotel shuttle service 

What this reply gets right: The response to this negative review uses the guest’s name, includes an apology to the guest, and references specific details from the review (e.g. “confusion relating to the shuttle service and AC,” “a longer-than-usual check-in process”). Additionally, there are matching timestamps on the response and negative review, indicating that the hotel replied within 24 hours.

Negative review response example  #2 

negative review response example number two

Guest issues in this negative review: Dissatisfaction with room cleanliness and room service, noise, issues interacting with staff members 

What this reply gets right: The hotel apologizes for the negative experience while highlighting its commitment to customer satisfaction and “flawless,” “exemplary” service. The response also uses the guest’s name, thanks them for their valuable feedback, and places an emphasis on “continuous efforts to improve” the guest experience. 

Negative review response example  #3 

negative review response example number three

Guest issues in this mixed review: Concerns about room cleanliness, disappointing customer service 

What this reply gets right: The hotel uses the guest’s name, thanks them for their feedback, and offers an apology for the reviewer’s specific issue (“your forgotten watch”). It also empathizes with the reviewer (“We understand that it is frustrating”), which makes the apology feel more personalized and sincere. 

While apologetic in its overall tone, the response still manages to highlight the hotel’s positive actions (“provide you with a clean and comfortable room”), along with expressing commitment to provide “a more satisfying experience” for guests. 

Negative review response example  #4 

negative review response example number four

Guest issues in this mixed review: Concerns over room size, lack of basic bathroom amenities, problems with temperature control, dissatisfaction with guest parking 

What this reply gets right: The response acknowledges details from the original review, uses the reviewer’s name, emphasizes the hotel’s commitment to providing a comfortable experience, assures them their feedback will be used to improve future experiences, and thanks the reviewer for their comment. 

Negative review response example  #5 

negative review response example number five

Guest issues in this negative review: Issues with room assignment, issues with humidity control, pricing and quality of hotel food, concerns over potential leaks in room   

What this reply gets right: This response uses the guest’s name, apologizes for the reviewer’s dissatisfaction with their room, and offers several remedies. 

Negative review response example #6

Guest issues in this negative review: Dissatisfaction with front desk service and room service, dissatisfaction with pricing and quality of food, inadequate luggage carts for guests, issues with elevator speed 

What this reply gets right: The hotel uses the guest’s name, emphasizes that their goal is to provide a positive experience for guests, and assures the guest that their feedback will be used to make improvements. 

Best practices for responding to negative hotel reviews

It's important to follow best practices when you’re responding to negative hotel reviews on any review site, whether it's general (like Google) or hotel-specific (like Expedia). 

Here are the tips we'll be covering to help you write better review responses to negative feedback from guests:

  • Use the reviewer’s name in your responses to online reviews 
  • Acknowledge the specific issue from the negative review and say that you're sorry to hear about the experience
  • Assure the guest that you are taking actions to respond immediately to the issue
  • Offer a potential solution or remedy to the guest 
  • Move the conversation away from public review sites 
  • Follow up to ensure that any further concerns are addressed 
  • Publish negative hotel review responses as quickly as possible 

By following these best practices, you'll be able to confidently and effectively respond to hotel guests who leave negative online reviews.

Use the guest’s name in your review response

Address the guest by their name if possible and refer to specific details mentioned in their review. This demonstrates that you have read and understood their feedback. 

Example: “Thank you for reaching out to our team with feedback about your stay at [Hotel Name], [Reviewer’s Name].” 

Acknowledge the specific problem and apologize 

Respond to each concern mentioned in the negative review individually. Offer explanations where necessary and provide information on how you plan to rectify the issues described by the unhappy customer, such as poor customer service or disappointing food quality, in a timely manner.

Example: "Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Guest feedback is important to our team, and you have our assurance that we are currently looking into the issue you described regarding [ the cleanliness of your room, the room service that you received, the Wi-Fi in our conference room , etc. ]."

Let them know how you are handling the problem

It's not enough to say that you're sorry to hear about a problem or a negative experience. You also need to reassure the dissatisfied customer that you're taking steps to improve guests' satisfaction.

Assure the guest that their online review is valuable and that you will use their detailed feedback to make necessary improvements. You should also mention any actions or changes that have already been taken to address similar issues.

Example: "We appreciate your feedback, as it helps us identify areas for improvement. We have taken note of your concerns about [ parking, temperature control, customer service, etc. ] and have already implemented steps to address them."

Offer a solution

Whenever possible, provide a solution or remedy to the guest's concerns. This can include offering a refund, a future discount, or an invitation to contact management directly for further assistance.

While it's acceptable to compensate an unhappy guest for a negative experience, it's important not to provide incentives for leaving positive feedback (such as offering discounts in exchange for 5 star reviews), which could lead to negative consequences for your organization.

Example: "We would like to make it right for you. Please reach out to our customer service team, and we would be happy to discuss a suitable compensation or an alternative solution."

Take the conversation offline 

When you respond to negative reviews, suggest that the guest reaches out to you directly or provides you with their contact information. This allows you to have a more detailed conversation away from the public forum. That way, you can thoroughly address the negative feedback without getting into a public confrontation or causing damage to your online reputation.

Example: "We encourage you to contact our customer service team directly to further discuss your concerns. They will be able to provide further assistance and address any outstanding issues."

Respond to negative reviews swiftly 

It’s important to respond promptly to demonstrate your commitment to customer service, especially when a guest has a complaint or issue. You should aim to respond to one star reviews without comments in 24 hours or – ideally – significantly less. 

ResponseScribe’s AI-generated review response service enables you to respond to negative reviews in just one hour on average, ensuring reviewers connect with you quickly and get the speedy service they expect. Learn more about using AI to efficiently manage your negative reviews and online reputation. 

Follow up after receiving a bad review

Keep an eye on hotel review platforms to ensure that the unhappy guest's concerns have been adequately addressed. You should also follow up with the guest if necessary to confirm their satisfaction or offer further assistance. This can include reaching out via email or contacting the guest by phone.

There are several benefits to following up diligently on guest complaints. If you provide outstanding support and resolve the guest's issue in a prompt and professional manner, they may update the bad hotel review to include positive feedback. This sends a signal encouraging potential customers to trust (and try) your brand. 

Remember, your response to a negative hotel review can have a significant impact on your online reputation – and the perceptions of potential customers. By addressing reviewers’ concerns professionally and showing your commitment to customer satisfaction, you can help mitigate the negative impact of bad hotel reviews and leave a positive impression on potential guests. 

A better way to quickly respond to customer feedback

Monitoring and replying to reviews enables you to gain actionable customer feedback, make improvements to the guest experience, and portray your brand positively to potential guests. However, replying to all of those guests can also become time-consuming – and, if handled incorrectly, can hurt your reputation even more than the original review. 

ResponseScribe eliminates the stress and hassle of responding to guest reviews while ensuring that your reviewers receive fast, professional, and personalized replies. 

Simply choose the platforms you’d like us to monitor and select the plan that’s right for your hotel’s reputation management needs. We offer AI-powered, people-powered, and hybrid response solutions, which all provide business insight reports and allow you to edit responses. 

Respond to hotel reviews quickly and easily with ResponseScribe

ResponseScribe is the best review software because it simplifies online reputation management for hotels, motels, inns, and B&Bs. Our service enables you to: 

  • Monitor 50+ platforms for positive, neutral, and negative reviews
  • Respond professionally and quickly to guests
  • Gain valuable insights from your customers 
  • Boost customer engagement and retention

Explore AI-generated, people-powered, and hybrid review response plans to find the features and pricing that are right for your hotel organization’s needs. Start your free trial today. 


What are good responses to hotel reviews?

The best negative hotel review response is one that addresses the reviewer’s specific concerns, apologizes for the bad experience, and expresses sincere intent to get the issue resolved and deliver a better future experience. A good response to a negative review will be personalized, professional, and courteous without ever being confrontational or argumentative. It should also lead to a conversation outside the review platform, like asking the reviewer to contact a certain phone number or hotel employee.

How do you respond to hotel feedback examples?

You can find examples of hotel responses to bad reviews in the “How to respond to negative hotel reviews” section of this guide. Each response should be courteous, swift, and professional in tone while offering both apologies and solutions for the reviewer.

What is an example of a good review response?

A good response to a negative hotel review should do the following: greet the reviewer by name, thank them for their feedback, apologize for their disappointing experience, reference a specific detail from the review, assure the reviewer that the hotel is committed to resolving the issue, and encourage the guest to contact the hotel directly for further assistance. It should also be written in a professional tone and published as soon as possible.

What are 5-star positive review examples?

Positive review response examples include the customer name and the following phrases: "Thank you so much for such a great review", "Your kind words encourage our entire team", and "Customer satisfaction comes first to us, and we are delighted to know you had such a great experience".

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