Before I book a hotel or flight, I do extensive research on the Internet to find out more about the company, building or location. Sites like Tripadvisor or Seatguru are a great help, as they combine marketing information with third party information from people who actually used the service in the past.
Those information have to be taken with a grain of salt, as some marketers have begun to exploit those portals by adding fake positive comments about a service or hotel.
There is another area that is often used by marketers to make a hotel or location look better than it actually is. Oyster Photo Fakeouts is a photo series that puts marketing photos next to real photos. The photos are taken by members of the site and shown right next to the marketing photos.
It is interesting to see that similar techniques are used on many different hotels and locations in the world. While most of the photos are not faked, they are shot from angles that make the objects on the photo look better than they really are in reality.
But Oyster is not only about the comparison of marketing photos and reality, it can also be used to look at real hotel, beach and location photos. It is therefor great for getting a second opinion photo wise after selecting a few hotels that you might want to book. See it as a second visual opinion and a way to compare the marketing photos that you have seen on a hotel or traveling agency website, You might be surprised about the differences.
The website is concentrating on two types of locations: US cities and beach locations. Cities include New York City, Washington D.C., Miami, Las Vegas or San Francisco. The beach locations are mostly Caribbean like Bahamas or Jamaica.
There is a lot to explore under Recommendations and Inspiration, for instance romantic, value or spa hotels under recommendations, or the best all inclusive beaches under Inspiration.
Oyster offers a great service that could make the difference between a wonderful holiday or business trip, and a nightmarish one. I highly suggest to use the service in conjunction with other services like Trip Advisor for the best overall picture.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.