See Your Hotel Room Before You Book It (Undoctored Photos and All) - Netted
Article • December 2, 2009

See Your Hotel Room Before You Book It (Undoctored Photos and All) sends special investigators to visit, photograph, review, and rate hotel rooms

How many times have you arrived at a hotel or resort only to find that reality doesn’t exactly match the images shown on their website?

A new site called can help you avoid this by revealing what it’s really like to stay at a particular hotel.

Unlike crowd-sourced travel sites, Oyster uses a team of staff reporters to surreptitiously review and photograph top luxury hotels.

The site even has an inventive section called “Photo Fakeouts,” which shows doctored marketing photos next to the spots as they appeared when an Oyster reporter was there.
This photojournalistic element is one of the site’s strongest features.

At present they have reviews of 720 properties, mostly in the Caribbean, though LA, NYC, Las Vegas, Miami and San Francisco have recently been added to their growing list.

To be certain the reviews are thorough (if not a tad long by web standards), pointing out pros and cons in equal measure.  Like the best travel magazines, Oyster doesn’t allow reporters to accept free lodging or services, so the goal is unbiased coverage.  And, of course, their candid photos help complete the story.

Keep Oyster in mind or you might learn the hard way that your “ocean view” room also looks out over a street, other buildings and a busy boardwalk.