it is for the latter reason I have always maintained an attitude of general compliance with the rules and regulations of work-related travel, such as never consuming anything from the mini-bar (also, I cannot be arsed paying those exorbitant prices - and who can't be arsed going for a quick walk to buy chocolate?) and have always been conscious of how lucky I am to get paid to travel, and to be paid for the experience. Even when the hotel is some horrid tile-floored airport motel in KL with the most extensive buffet of positively awful food I have ever experienced in my life.
I mean, really: if the entire buffet is just basically meat-based foods of questionable origin, surely you'd think one couldn't go wrong with a bread roll? Right? But you'd be wrong: very wrong. After two attempts at the buffet and a cup of some kind of detergent-flavoured Kool-Aid, I returned to my tile-lined cold room and sat there wondering how long it would take me to actually walk to KL city itself.
The answer didn't come, so I flicked through a couple of snowy channels on the television and eventually found a reasonable hour to fall asleep for my flight the next morning.
This was way back a few years ago, and the work trip itself was great and awesome and very profitable, academically speaking of course. At the time it didn't occur to me to actually provide some kind of feedback about the hotel itself save for perhaps whinging about it on here. Since then, and for the past year, I have however been providing feedback via TripAdvisor, which I still maintain is a useful aggregator, despite its somewhat subjective nature and reports of its unreliability.
One method I have used to determine if a negative review on Trip Advisor is the result of one whingy bitch having a rant is to check how many reviews they have posted: just the one is fairly good indicator that they've made up a quick pseudonym and posted their comments in a pique fit of tantrum-itis really. Another surefire sign that the traveller in question wouldn't be happy in a pink fit is if their complaint is entirely unreasonable given the location of the hotel.
So for example, last year I chose to stay at the fantastic Park Hotel in San Francisco. Excellent room, excellent location, excellent service. In fact, the manager there was such a capital guy that when I left to embark on a trip to Death Valley National Park, I was able to leave my large suitcase there, free of charge, and use a room on my return for the day to clean up and get ready for an overnight train ride departing at 10pm that night, free of charge.
This being the case, I immediately booked in for my return few days in the Bay Area before departing from the US. Now; don't you think that kind of service deserves a mention, not only in this little corner of the blogosphere, but also on a ratings and review site?
That's what I thought: so I reactivated a dormant TripAdvisor account, wrote my little review, and have been writing and reviewing on there ever since.