Why I Don’t Trust Travel Reviews On Large Wholesale Travel Sites

Outlook Hill Vinyard Yarra Valley Travel Reviews

This post is a feature for our travel reviews. If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram recently you’d have seen our pics from a trip to Victoria earlier this month. We spent a few days at Woodlands Rainforest Retreat, then, due to a mix-up in our bookings (our fault), we left ourselves 1 day short.

We quickly jumped on Google to find self-contained accommodation in the Yarra Valley. We wanted accommodation close to the wineries we planned to visit. We booked The Outlook Hill Vineyard, Cottages and Suites. This was after reviewing the images, reading and trusting the reviews on the site.

With a time warp of around 4 hours, we had the dilemma of our food spoiling after checking out at Woodlands. As we were on our way to the wineries, we decided to swing by Outlook Hill to inquire if we could deposit our food in the cottage fridge we had booked.

We thought it strange as we drove up the driveway that major earthworks underway. That didn’t make it into the photo’s on the booking site!

Unable to find Reception we called the Outlook Hill’s number and finally, the owner answered. We left our grocery bags at the front door as instructed and as we pulled away the owner ran towards the car reminding us that check-in wasn’t until 3 pm.

That really didn’t bother us, even though we thought it a little odd for check-in time, given the property was so small.

After an enjoyable day touring the wineries, we returned to the cottage assigned to us to relax for the rest of the evening.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be. Ever walked into a place and started noticing a few out-of-place things here and there? What was promised on the booking site and what was on offer were two completely different things!

There was SO much wrong with the cottage we called the owner.  We thought perhaps we were in the wrong cottage.

The owner promptly came, knocked on the door and asked how he could help. I asked him about the flowers (that were dead in the vase beside the door) he very proudly advised that they were grown in the garden.

I couldn’t contain my sarcasm, asking why he would put dead flowers in the vase? Looking around the door, he immediately saw what I meant.

There were countless things wrong with the accommodation, the most overriding one being the state the cottage. It was filthy! I’ll let the photo’s do the talking.

Outlook Hill Vineyard, Cottage's and Suites Reviews

The lovely flowers, plus a dirty BQQ plate. We specifically chose the property as the site advised it had BBQ facilities on the deck. We searched and couldn’t find one, so the owner brought one that he’d made a poor attempt to clean.

Breakfast supplied – Out-of-date cereal and no milk and a lovely notice suggesting if WE didn’t leave the cottage clean they would charge US. What a cheek!

Non existant Gardens

No doubt the earthworks carried out around the cottages contributed to the dust and dirt INSIDE the cottage. However, dust can be cleaned up, right? I drew in the dust on the coffee table it was that thick!

Filthy Bath

Isn’t this lovely? The spa bath BEFORE I used it, obviously never cleaned since the previous guests!

Outlook Hill Vineyard, Cottage's and Suites Travel Reviews

The mould and grime on the tiles and bath.

We have written to the booking site requesting a full refund. Today they asked for proof, in the form of pictures, I sent them the ones above and wait for their favourable decision.

With 4 star ratings and 8/10 score, clearly, we booked the cottage with faith that what we booked would be clean and have the facilities advertised.

As we had a similar experience in Thailand last year reading all the wonderful reviews that were obviously fake, I have drawn the conclusion that many Hotels, etc, hire people to comment and review a property bumping up their ratings to gain more exposure. That is why I don’t trust travel reviews on large wholesale travel sites!

On this site, I review accommodation, day trips, restaurants and products, giving you an honest, unbiased and independent review, that you can rely upon.

Do you relate? Ever booked through a large wholesale site, trusting its travel reviews and had a completely different experience? I’d love to hear about them. Share your experience below.

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