See the photoshopped fakes before you check into these hotels. Oyster.com compares hotel marketing photos with real photos taken by their hotel reviewers.
Oyster.com uncovers the truth about hotel <a title="hotel" href="http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/top-hotels" target="_blank"><em> hotel</em></a> photos posted on pamphlets and websites. See the fake photo, and then compare it to the real photo taken by an Oyster reporter. Take a look at this marketing photo from LA’s<a title="Hotel Shangri La" href="http://www.oyster.com/los-angeles/hotels/hotel-shangri-la-santa-monica/" target="_blank"><em> Hotel Shangri La</em></a>. We instantly noticed two balls of light.
Hotel Shangri La’s marketing staff strategically placed the flashes to cover a lamp post right outside the hotel’s door, and the other covers a traffic light. Neither object is something to be ashamed of, Shangri La! Traffic lights are a part of everyday life.
There’s no denying that the hot tub at <a title="Breezes Runaway Bay, Jamaica" href=" http://www.oyster.com/jamaica/hotels/breezes-runaway-bay-resort/" target="_blank"><em> Breezes Runaway Bay Resort, Jamaica</em></a>, is bright and colorful, but there’s too pristine and perfect about this hotel photo that we found on Orbitz.com.
The reality shows that chairs are strewn every which way and the grounds aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Luckily, there are 2 larger pools, and this hotel sits on one of the best hotel beaches in Jamaica.
This room at the<a title="Holiday Inn New York City, Wall Street" href="http://www.oyster.com/new-york-city/hotels/holiday-inn-new-york-city-wall-street/" target="_blank"><em> Holiday Inn New York City on Wall Street</em></a> is pretty nice -- a big bed, a window that lets in plenty of natural light, a small flatscreen TV, and even a coffeemaker. But what the marketing photo conveniently leaves out is the right-hand wall. It seems like the room could stretch on and on for ages, and the potential guest has no idea how big the room really is.
And how big is it, exactly? Well, it's small. And while we're used to hotel rooms in New York City being tiny, we like that our real photo on the right shows an honest depiction of just how tiny that room is going to be upon arrival.
At the<a title="Claridge Hotel" href=http://www.oyster.com/miami/hotels/claridge/" target="_blank"><em> Claridge Hotel</em></a> in Miami, what you don’t see may really be what you get. Looking for the classic, Olympic-sized indoor pool experience?
Well, unfortunately you'll have to look further than the Claridge Hotel. You won't be able to do your morning laps here. The fake-out, marketing photo used the magic of photocrop to make the pool seem larger.
Here’s another example of the marketing photo pool crop. Groupon offered a deal to the<a title="Clinton Hotel & Spa South Beach" href=" target="_blank"><em> Clinton Hotel & Spa South Beach</em></a> in Miami Beach, FL. We're familiar with the color-enhancement tool, which makes photos look shinier, prettier, and more exciting than reality.
While Groupon's "Visited & Verified" stamp is loud and clear for this hotel, apparently they saw a very... different pool than we did when we visited.
<a title="Hotel La Mariposa" href=http://www.lamariposa.com/oceanview.html" target="_blank"><em> Hotel Mariposa</em></a>, in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, only shows 1 photo of a full ocean-view room on its website. When we checked into that same room type, we sadly only found one of the three windows shown in the hotel's photo.
When we checked into the same type of room, we only found 1 of the 3 windows shown in the hotel's photo. The room shown on the hotel's website does exist. It's the full ocean-view room that's located at the corner of the hotel. We, however, received a full ocean-view room in the middle of the hallway, and therefore only had 1 window. To be fair, the view from our balcony was beautiful, and the hotel is known for its amazing panoramic views from its restaurant and pool -- just be cautious when choosing which room type to book.
NYC’s<a title="Hudson Hotel" href=http://www.oyster.com/new-york-city/hotels/hudson-hotel/" target="_blank"><em> Hudson Hotel</em></a> cropped its marketing photo just before the wall so the viewer can't see where the room ends.
We know New York has small rooms. And since we've really seen it all, we know when something looks too good to be true. In reality, it's just another teeny tiny space we New Yorkers call home.
Looking to burn some calories during your hotel stay? It's not impossible. But if you're looking for some breathing room in between intervals, steer clear of the fitness center at the<a title="Holiday Inn New York City, Wall Street" href="http://www.oyster.com/new-york-city/hotels/holiday-inn-new-york-city-wall-street/" target="_blank"><em> Holiday Inn New York City on Wall Street</em></a>.
We noticed that the camera in the marketing photo is shooting towards the mirror so the fitness center looks double the size. Oyster photographers visited the space themselves and, and as you can see, it's certainly a tiny fitness center.