Three Sheraton guests and the cumulative verdict of 280 TripAdvisor review writers concur that the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thambol Cha-Am, Thailand, is a pretty good place to stay.
Three Sheraton Hua Hin Resort guests collectively give the property 4.7 stars out of five.
And, 280 TripAdvisor review-writers collectively rank the property #2 of 45 hotels in Cha-Am, Thailand.
Starwood Hotels, with brands including Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis, W Hotels and Meridien etc., realizes that travelers value consumer-written reviews and Starwood has become one of the first major U.S.-based chains to take the review process into its own hands and post its own guest reviews.
Starwood isn't integrating a widget from TripAdvisor, which doesn't ensure that the reviewers actually stayed at the property, and is taking reviews about its more than 1,000 properties globally only when would-be review writers enter their Starwood Preferred Guest account number or reservation confirmation number.
So there apparently will be reviews from confirmed guests only.
Starwood introduced the review program this week and it will be slow-going.
You can search Starwood brand websites far and wide without finding a property review because the program is just getting under way and the chain is waiting to have three to five reviews per property before posting them.
The three reviews of the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort & Spa in Thailand were among the first to go live.
Review writers create a profile name and state how often they travel, the purpose of their trip, their Starwood Preferred Guest status level, where they are from and the month they arrived.
They rate Room Comfort, Staff Met My Needs, Room Cleanliness, Facilities Met My Expectations and SPG Recognition, and then add their free-flowing critique.
There are only three reviews so far of the Sheraton Hua Hin Resort, which gets 4.7 stars out of five.
The reviewers are fairly gushing in their praise of the property, with review headlines such as "Just Go!," "Great Landscape" and "Weekend break at Sheraton Hua Hin."
There are a few semi-critical comments, though. One reviewer notes that the property lacks "a great beach (but there is white sand a short distance to the left of the hotel."
Another reviewer recommends a "slider for children."
Starwood advises that it could take 48 hours for reviews to go online, and one wonders what would happen if a review was titled "Don't Go" instead of "Just Go."
The answer may come when more reviews go online.
Starwood says the reviews will be available only on Starwood-branded websites. In other words, there will be no aggregation in Google Places or elsewhere.
However, in addition to thumbs up and thumbs down buttons, Starwood enables readers to share review snippets on Facebook and Twitter.
Travelers may have to grapple with a question about these Starwood-hosted reviews -- Will they trust Starwood hosted and vetted reviews more than TripAdvisor's Gunfight at OK Corral approach?
Of course, with Starwood's new global review system, you can consult its verified guest reviews and then navigate to a TripAdvisor website to consult theirs, as well.