Undoubtedly, many travelers would benefit if they were able to see real, candid views of their hotels before they actually stayed in them. There is a website that was designed to do just that, TVtrip. This is an independent web site whose sole goal and purpose is to allow visitors the unique opportunity to explore hotels before setting foot in them. How do they plan to achieve this? They send film crews to visit the hotels, and take videos of them. That way, you the traveler can see the area you will be staying in, and the quality of the room before you book. It could make all the difference whether you actually book the hotel or not.
Since all the hotel videos are taken by professionals, they only have a limited number of hotels listed, although the listings do cover most major cities, such as London and Glasgow in the UK, and Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam are included in their European coverage.
The site seems like a great idea. You select where you will be visiting, and they give you a listing of hotels in the area. Choose a hotel that interests you. Next, you get a details page which displays a helpful map of the area, a detailed description of the hotel, a list of amenities available, and a complete video-breakdown of the hotel. The video would include an overview, and a look around the different rooms they have available at the hotel you selected.
The site seems to be housed on a good server, the videos are clear and crisp and buffer very quickly, then stream smoothly without any stuttering or pausing. The videos give you a very good indication of the size and quality of the room, and there is no ‘clever camera work’ done to make the rooms look bigger or nicer than they really are. The good thing is that if the hotel is in a rather run-down looking part of town, that is clear on the overview too. You won’t surprised to see the hotel location once you get there, you will know about it in advance.
Unfortunately, there is a problem worth mentioning here. The main problem lies in the limited hotel coverage of the website. We travel quite regularly, and go to a number of different countries, but the cities that we tend to visit are not included in TVTrip , most likely because they are not common tourist destinations. Only one place we pass through regularly is included, London, and the listings they have are all expensive, high class hotels which are mostly out of my price range.
If you are someone who visits ‘tourist cities’ frequently, and can afford to stay in more expensive hotels, then this web site will save you a lot of disappointment. If you are faced with a choice between an expensive three star hotel, or a cheaper four star one, and the lack of a swimming pool is not important, then TVTrip may help you make an informed choice based upon the size and quality of the room, instead of taking a gamble based on the hotels own photographs, or trying to guess if the ‘user’ reviews on tourist sites are accurate.
It is worth checking TVTrip on the off chance that the hotel you are considering is listed, but until the site expands to cover more hotels we think it is just a nice idea, and a fun tool. Apparently, they plan to allow visitors to share their own videos, and when that happens, we think it will really take off, and that it will be something that every traveler should consult before booking their hotel.