Vacations are meant to give you time to relax and unwind away from day-to-day stresses, but there’s nothing enjoyable about opening the door to a hotel room that’s nothing like what you imagined. The internet is an excellent tool for planning the getaway of your dreams, but being duped by misleading photos can feel more like a nightmare.
Hotel photographers have one job: to take pictures of the establishment that show it in the perfect light. But, what looks impeccable on the company’s website might be less than perfect when you actually show up to check in. It’s impossible to know for sure that what you see digitally is what you can expect when you walk through the door. But, there are some tips you can use to tell if those luxury hotel room photos are real or an illusionary, optical trick.
Read the Reviews
No matter how well a photographer does their job, they can’t override what eyewitness accounts say. It’s a good idea to check what other vacationers say about the hotel you’re considering. Photos are an excellent way to get a feel for a room’s appearance, but by reading the reviews, you can also get the real story about what people actually experienced during their own stays. We show the most helpful customer reviews on the pages for each hotel on our site to make them even easier to check.
Look at Vacationers’ Photos
Professional photographers are just that: professional. Many sites will allow average hotel-goers to post their own photos from their stay. Don’t just look at one website before booking a room at a specific hotel; explore many. See if you can find amateur photos posted from people who have vacationed the establishment before you. Most likely, their photos won’t be airbrushed or edited. Check to see if they have a Facebook page, as this is often a good source of independent photos (as well as other comments).
Download a Helpful App
If you want to get super creative about discovering whether or not a photo is real, then there are apps on the internet that allow you to check images. If you upload pictures to one of these applications, the program can identify if things have been altered. Websites like findexif.com and FotoForensics.com can show you if someone has gone through great pains to enhance the real image with a photo-editing software.
Gain Some Perspective
Photographers will use wide angle lenses, either adding light or reducing it to hide visible imperfections. When a professional photographer uses this special lens, everything in the room will look slightly out of proportion or grander than average. When you are looking at the photo, focus on the objects in the room to understand the sense of scale. If things aren’t very clear or if they’re somewhat out of focus, that’s a good indication that the photographer was trying to hide unsightly aspects of the hotel room.
Accept That All Photos Have Some Degree of Staging
A level of staging will always exist when it comes to professional hotel photos. The advertisers for luxury hotels aren’t going to put images of their worst room on the internet, nor are they going to highlight the imperfections of their accommodations. When you view an image, you must accept that the room is probably never going to be as spectacular as it looks in print or online. That way, you won’t be expecting a ten when it’s likely that the room will probably be closer to an eight.
When selecting your next luxury hotel getaway, it’s important to look at the online photos of the location ahead of time. But, remember that they are probably not going to be 100% reflective of the real deal. Do not select your relaxation destination based on photos alone. Read reviews, check out several websites about the hotel, and do your research. Don’t walk in blindly!