oyster.com Fake Hotel Photos

I recently spotted a BusinessWeek online article featuring oyster.com, the hotel booking site that runs a feature purporting to show how hotels “cheat” in the publicity images of their facilities.

Sure, there are some real fakes in there – the photoshopping is sometimes obvious and I’ve no time for hotels that promise a fantastic view from every room then give you one overlooking a scrapyard. But an awful lot of the so-called “fakes” are nothing of the sort – they are simply good shots taken by a professional photographer.


Fake Hotel Photos?

The “reality” photos taken by guests are sometimes are little different to the pro shots, but simply not of a standard that could be used in a publicity shot.

What do these people expect – that the hotel will take deliberately poor shots? Very many, if not most, of the official hotel shots are NOT misleading and they are not fakes. They are taken to show the hotel in its best light – they aren’t going to take a picture of the gardens on a drab winter’s day, or a picture of the pool when some leaves have blown into it, for instance. To expect the actuality to be picture perfect is naive – it doesn’t mean the hotel is a “picture cheat”.


Fake Hotel Photos?


8 responses to “oyster.com Fake Hotel Photos

  1. I just saw an ad from Oyster looking for photographers. One of their requirements is a $2500 body camera (ie: canon 5d) and then I saw the photos on their site… what a joke, I pray those images were not the result of a ‘professional’ shooting with a ‘pro’ camera.

  2. I think Oyster’s photo fakeouts are awesome – I really enjoyed reading the BusinessWeek article that you grabbed the photos from. The one from the Aqua Hotel is hysterical!

    I love TripAdvisor, and I think Oyster makes a great supplement when planning trips. Keep up the great work!

    • I think the Niagara Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro are awesome. Not sure the same could be said of Oysters photos! You can see the same photos not only on Businessweek but also on BNET Travel Blog, by the way.

      I can’t say I love TripAdvisor – it has too many flaws that it has repeatedly failed to address.

      Glad you like our efforts to bring TA into perspective. 🙂

    • Are you mad or on a wind-up? Trip advisor is crud – believe them and you believe any shit.

  3. Agree with you Phil. Mostly, the examples shown are just a case of people trying to make the best of their ‘assets’.

    In some cases, they do reach the level of crude photoShop fakery (most notably ‘paste palm-fronded beach into’ abuse).

    More than anything else, I get the feeling that Oyster.com is milking a basic point (yes, some hotels over-flatter themselves in their pictures) to death.

    I’ve not levelled my beady eye on Oyster.com yet… but methinks I will now… lols

    • You’re right, of course, Sam. There are some real fakes in among the photos on Oyster. It’s a shame that they aren’t a little more stringent in the standards they apply; some of the “fakery” is nothing of the sort and it is unfair to the hotels concerned. On the plus side, the owners do get a right to reply.

  4. We were once accused of misrepresenting our place by ‘deliberately’ not showing the trees we have on site. When I’d finished laughing, I pointed out the numerous pictures on the website that showed the trees, well some of them anyway. I then pointed out the text in the website that told the prospective guest exactly how many trees and shrubs we have, over 60 in fact. Then, lastly I suggested that the very name of our place ‘Le Chant d’Oiseau’ may well be a bit of a giveaway. ‘Song of the birds’. Hmmm.

    All goes to show that people will ‘see’ what they want to see, and read what they want to read. All we can do is show the realities in words and images.

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