Itineraries: Soothing Ruffled Guests: Hotels Meet Threat of Bad Reviews


Larry and Pam Willis were threatened with a bad review by a guest displeased with the concierge service at their Gables Wine Country Inn in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Talia Herman for The New York Times

Pam and Larry Willis had recently purchased the Gables Wine Country Inn in California’s Sonoma wine region four years ago when they received it: their first TripAdvisor threat.

“A guest pulled me aside and said he didn’t get the level of concierge service he expected and was going to write a negative review online if he didn’t get his money back,” Mr. Willis said. “It was pretty bold.”

Mr. Willis told the guest he was sorry but the complaint did not warrant a refund. Ultimately, the guest took no action. But the episode put the Willises on guard.

The threat of a bad…

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