Confessions of a Review Addict

Coming back from feeding out lucerne bailage to the horses, which happens daily over the winter and early Spring here at River Valley, I stopped by the mailbox and checked for any mail. Amongst the various items in the mail was a big green A4 envelope.

Boldy printed on the front top left of the envelope was “Your Travellers’ Choice Certification is Here!”. While on the bottom right of the envelope was (in even bigger letters), Travellers’ Choice, accompanied by the Tripadvisor logo.


While the letter was addressed to Dani and not me, she is presently in Queenstown, and the letter was obviously begging me to open it, so what could I do but look inside?

Inside was a letter and certificate again telling us that River Valley Lodge was in the top 10% of Tripadvisor’s global business listings, this time for 2022.

After the warm fuzzies had died down (the warm fuzzies were unfortunately relatively brief as we have had many of these certificates over the years), I got to thinking, and what I was thinking was this.

Does recognition like this actually make any difference to anyone, especially you, our potential or past guest? To be fair, I have no idea whether it does or not. I presume Tripadvisor does, but I am not sure I would lay money on that.

So the only source of research I had on this was to interrogate myself with a few questions, and the most important of those questions was probably this one – well, closer to two questions.

Do I read the reviews when I buy something, whether that something is somewhere to stay, something to do, a book to read, an article of clothing, a gadget or whatever, and do those reviews make a difference to my purchasing decisions?

I was somewhat surprised when I realised I did. Not that I read all the reviews, mind, but rather a bit of a cross-section to get the overall idea. I have become a review junkie!

I am unsure when this affliction manifested itself or whether it has just worsened over time, but I think there could be hints of addiction.

Tripadvisor Travellers' Choice 2022

Where to from here?

We will, of course, place the certificate in a nice frame in reception for all to see. That is what you do with these things.

On a personal level, I will make a greater effort to come to my own conclusions about what I will purchase after having done thorough research, of course.

By the way, once you have finished reading this, and if you have visited River Valley, if you wouldn’t mind, could you pop over to one of those review websites like Tripadvisor, and ahem, maybe leave a review? You don’t need to write a book, just a few succinct words will be acceptable, but surprisingly, reviews do seem to help some folks out.

Thanks. We appreciate that.

Brian Megaw