Booking a 5-star resort is usually done to avoid any type of headaches while on vacation. The simple criteria one looks for in a resort is, a great staff that takes good care of its clients, a clean facility and one you wouldn’t mind going back to when it is all done with. It’s easy to fall into the 5-star trap however. A rating and photo can be deceiving at times. Resort websites rarely update the pictures and that can lead to big time disappointment. If you really want to see what a resort is like, head over to Trip Advisor and check out their traveler reviews. The reviews tend to be honest and best of all, they are put up by travellers like us.
5-star resorts or hotels aren't exempt from criticism.We feature photos showing the resorts and hotels looking nowhere near 5-star worthy. In some instances you would think that the traveller was staying at a hostel. From outdated decor to simply outrageous maintenance, these are embarrassing photos posted by tourists showing us what some of these 5-star resorts are really like. We include common vacation hotspots in the article such as Spain, Mexico, France and various other travel locations.
Enjoy the article folks and like always be sure to pass this bit of information to a fellow friend or traveller. Without further ado here are 24 times Trip Advisor gave us a dose of what 5-star hotels are really like. Let’s get started!
24 Cuba – Iberostar Resort
The Iberostar chain is one of the most respected resort names. The decor on the outside of this particular hotel just adds to the prestige of the name. However what might be problematic is what’s going on inside.
Just think, you finished up a shower and want to wrap yourself up in a fresh and clean robe. One problem, the robe looks like it was used for at least five years, not to mention that it features some disturbing stains. The traveller was none too pleased posting the photo on Trip Advisor. How such a top notch resort can provide this type of service is beyond us.
23 Santorini, Greece – Elea Resort
Photos of the Elea Resort make it look like a destination you would never want to leave. The same can be said for Santorini in general. The Greek island is a one of a kind and a trip you’ll never forget.
It might be a little too pricey for some travellers however. This particular resort has a fee of $600 a night. You would expect quality at such a rate. A traveller posted a photo that tells us otherwise. One of the beach chairs on the outside by the pool looks to be of the lower caliber and significantly outdated. Now that might cut it for a three star hotel but not one with a price tag of $600 per night. It’s an embarrassment.
This is what the resort in question looks like:
22 Punta Cana – Riu Hotel La Altagracia
Riu chains tend to be among the most trusted travelling names. When it comes to food Riu has a strong reputation. However the same could not be said for this traveller’s experience at the Riu in Punta Cana. In particular the food was a complete disaster. Both the pork and the steak were a major letdown and basically raw, according to the review. To her credit, the traveller praised the hotel quality.
The rooms and pool area are said to be stunning - though in truth the food hurt the trip experience. Unless you just plan on eating bread, perhaps you should side step this resort.
21 Paris, France – The Peninsula Hotel
The Peninsula looks like a cathedral on the inside however a certain tourist pointed out that it isn’t even worthy of a 3-star rating. According to the review the Paris crew was not the friendliest and neither was the quality of the room. From the stained vanity to the electrical problems with the room - it was a pretty horrifying experience for the said traveller.
Making matters worse it took two days for the hotel to figure out the room problem. If you are looking for quality in a hotel from the workers in particular you might want to skip out on this expensive Paris hotel.
It's beautiful on the outside, but this traveller might beg to differ...
20 Thailand – View Point Resort
Thailand is a beautiful vacation destination. Not only is it cheap but the vacation spot is one you’ll never forget. One must be careful when booking hotels however. According to this Trip Advisor traveller some high priced hotels aren’t as prestigious as they might seem to be.
Unless you enjoy the company of rats, the fact that they made their way into the room really doesn’t scream out 5-star resort. A traveller posted a photo of the damage done by the rats. The review gave it one-star. Without a doubt that isn’t something any traveller wants to experience while in the comfort of their own room, 5-star hotel or not.
19 Punta Cana – Grand Bahia Principe
Just imagine booking a five star resort and having to tell the employee to clean the pool! The sad reality came true for a traveller as she posted the disturbing photo to Trip Advisor.
According to the review the staff wasn’t any better either. It took forever to get a drink and making matters worse the hotel did very little to accommodate the newly engaged couple. Hotels usually make it a priority to offer a complimentary bottle of Champaign. At a 5-star hotel you would think that would take place but it did not. The review called the hotel service a two star at best and we can’t blame the person.
18 Barcelona, Spain – Oasis Catalonia Hotel
The Sagrada Familia and Park Guell are a couple of reasons to visit the beautiful Barcelona, Spain area. In terms of lodging hotels really aren’t all that hard to find. However be aware, not every 5-star hotel seems to be worthy of the rating.
This particular traveller posted a disturbing photo of the Oasis bathroom. The tub ledge is absolutely disgusting with yellow rust on the end of it. You expect that in a one-star motel but not a top notch resort like the Catalonia Hotel. Upgrades are needed once in a while - we hope the hotel got that message.
17 Ibiza, Spain – Ibiza Gran Hotel Balearic Islands
Ibiza is one of the most desired vacation spots. The area includes a wide range of resorts both of the top quality and lower scale. The Gran Hotel in the Balearic Islands is regarded as one of the very best, especially looking at the resort from the outside. However, this Trip Advisor traveller gave us a healthy dose of reality.
The hotel claims that the beds are “King Size”. Perhaps the hotel isn’t aware that King Size tends to be double the size of the actual bed photographed. Travellers also complained about the lack of service at the hotel. If you like your sleeping space you might be disappointed by this high quality hotel.
16 Dubai – Dubai Marine Beach Resort and Spa
A bad resort in Dubai? We must be dreaming. However reviews for this top hotel haven’t been the greatest. Travellers have complained about the lackluster service and the untidy rooms.
However this particular review takes the cake showing a photo of construction taking place near the resort. Just imagine you’re in Dubai trying to relax and enjoy the view but in the background is loud construction noises and heavy machinery obstructing the beauty that is Dubai. That doesn’t sound like something most of us would want to book – especially when the most important part of a trip is trying to enjoy some relax time by the beach.
15 Hungary – New York Residence Budapest
Make a quick search and this hotel looks like a prestigious 5-star that most of us would stay at without hesitation. However what’s in the rooms might be worth looking into. A traveller posted an awful photo of the terrible room shower. Not only is it outdated but the reviewer also mentions that it was “moldy”.
The hotel setting isn’t the most prestigious either located in back of an abandoned building. Also no slippers or robes were given. That’s usually one of the first things you see when entering a room and that’s especially true for a five star hotel. At least the person could have worn the slippers while showering...
14 Ibiza, Spain – Destino Pacha Ibiza Resort
The Destino Pacha resort is another high rated hotel in the Ibiza area. The price tag isn’t cheap and neither is the stunning decor on the outside. A traveller pointed out that things aren’t the same on the inside. The post showed a disturbing shot of ants coming out of the wall. It wasn’t just one ant, but a family of ants.
At a high quality resort, that should not be tolerated by any means. The photo gave lots of travellers a healthy dose of reality in the sense that looks can sometimes be deceiving.
13 Mexico – Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya Resort & Spa
Canadians and Americans love to visit Mexico during the holiday seasons. It’s a close trip and a reliable destination. However travellers should be aware that not every 5-star resort meets the criteria. The Grand Sirenis is another hotel that looks magnificent on the outside by according to Trip Advisor members the inside isn’t as captivating.
This traveller puts out a disturbing photo of water that clearly isn’t the color it is supposed to be. Now we understand water can be problematic in Mexico but a brown color in the tub takes things a tad too far. The photo looks as though it was taken at a Motel in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
12 Cyprus – Constantinos Great Beach Hotel
Cyprus is a post-card-worthy vacation destination when done correctly. The Great Beach hotel needs to be avoided if you like modern decor and hotels that are actually worthy of 5-stars. Photos of the hotel on the inside are extremely disappointing. Based off of the outdated decor alone, the resort is worthy of less than 3-stars.
Making matters worse the walls include holes in them. The carpets also look incredibly old with noticeable tears in them. The outside looks decent but the rooms inside are nothing close to what a 5-star in Cyprus should be like.
11 United Arab Emirates – Hilton Sharjah
Looking at the stunning outside decor and building you would think that the Hilton was worthy of the rating. A traveller gave us a sneak peek of the inside and let’s just say it was even worse than underwhelming.
First off the torn couch looks like something we would find in the basement of our grandparent's home and not a 5-star hotel. As if that wasn’t bad enough the Trip Advisor traveler posted other lackluster photos of a stained carpet and yes another dirty bathtub. All this makes the hotel less than underwhelming.
10 Curacao – Baoase Luxury Resort
When you attach the term “luxury” to your resort, those are some big shoes to fill. The photo above was only the beginning of this traveller’s problems at the resort. Not only were cans of paint and tools left in the lobby area but other ridiculous problems included no hot water in the hot tub and constant construction. Things got so out of hand that construction workers were actually hammering outside of the couple’s room on the balcony!
On the bright side the resort was said to have been beautiful but the overall experience was definitely not.
9 Dublin, Ireland – Hotel Dublin Country
From museums to pubs to castles to stunning parks, Dublin is another great vacation spot. If you want something other than a beach, Dublin, Ireland offers an optimal experience with lots to see. Just be sure you book wisely when searching for proper lodging.
Hotel Dublin Country might have to be a destination to leap over. It has a strong rating but that isn’t comparable to some of the Trip Advisor reviews. One of the photos shows the disturbing conditions of both walls and ceilings that are filled with holes likely created by insects or due to the outdated texture. Tourists that love sleek and modern decor need to avoid this hotel.
8 Varadero, Cuba – Hicacos Varadero Resort Spa
According to this traveller, his time at the Varadero Hicacos is remembered as a disaster more so than anything else. Once again constant construction hurt the trip experience. At a 5-star hotel this should not be tolerated. Making matters worse the maintenance was not up to par either.
Garbage bins were said be full on the regular and as if that was demoralizing enough some of the pools had no water in them. The inside was not a pretty sight as you see in the photo above. Cuba is an easy trip if you want to enjoy a nice beach and sleek beach water. However do your research before booking a high quality resort.
7 Bali, Indonesia – Ayodya Resort
Beautiful Bali can be a trip experience that you’ll never forget. We hope that’s in the best way possible and not like this Trip Advisor review by a tourist. According to the traveller the hotel was extremely outdated with water taps that didn’t work. The room wasn’t up to par despite the fact that half the hotel was empty.
The major kick in the gut is the beach. As you saw in the photo above it was filled with garbage. It is a problem in the area but seriously, could the hotel staff not have at least cleaned up a little? When asked, the hotel staff laughed claiming it was a reoccurring question..... Not a good response.
And it certainly wasn't advertised...
6 Uruguay – Laguna Garzon Lodge
A 5-star price for a room that wasn’t even hostel-worthy? Yikes! This is what one of the reviews had to say when discussing the Laguna Garzon Lodge. You can't deny the traveller’s point. The pictures clearly show the outdated facility. The wooden area on the outside looks as though it hasn’t been revamped or at least repainted in several decades.
Making matters worse the room maintenance was terrible and the ultimate low of the traveller's experience. Stained towels and terrible breakfast options sunk the resort even further according to the review.
5 Singapore – Park Royal Reach Resort
Proper room maintenance and cleanness are just a couple of features to expect when visiting a 5-star hotel. Unfortunately this Sigapore hotel didn't check off any of those things. The room seemed to be extremely outdated. The counters featured several chips.
Making matters worse the room maintenance wasn’t any better. The tourist found a past receipt under the counter from a person the used the room prior. When asked to have the room re-cleaned, the bill was still there and the cleaning crew was said to be very disrespectful. This hotel definitely doesn’t seem 5-star worthy in terms of service alone.
4 London, England – Claridge Hotel
The Claridge hotel is among the most prestigious. It is ranked 36th out of the 1,083 London hotels. However the 5-star hotel has a few noticeable blemishes. The decor for one is very outdated and in rough condition. It’s a reoccurring theme in this article but some highly praised hotels just aren’t willing to maintain the proper care needed in a highly rated area.
To the credit of the hotel the staff was said to be very friendly. The experience was lessened nonetheless because of the decor and untidiness of the rooms, among other things. For a top hotel in London this just isn’t acceptable.
3 Malaysia – Gaya Island Resort
Talk about a downer. This tourist was disappointed when taking a look at the water outside of the Gaya Island Resort. According to the review he went for the snorkeling but instead was just met with a body of water filled with disturbing sewage and garbage. Talk about a nightmare scenario, huh? He recalls the awful experience;
“Arrived to see what was supposed to be some of the best snorkelling in the world. Went to Gaya Island beach to find the water rife with sewerage and large clumps of floating rubbish everywhere. Beach not much better debris every other step. And they levy a huge environmental charge - shocking.”
2 Cayo Santa Maria – Melia Las Dunas Hotel
Google photos of the Melia hotel in Cayo Santa Maria and you'll quickly think that the resort is worthy of the 5-star rating. However photos on Trip Advisor tell us another story. The landscape of the hotel looks a lot less flatering in the personalized photos. A traveller also posted a disturbing photo of a massive insect inside the bathroom.
Again, these things happen but at a 5-star resort you would think the crew would do their best to avoid such problems. Trip Advisor gave us a much different dose of what the hotel is really like in this instance.
1 Paris, France – Hotel Andrea-Paris
Don’t be fooled by the nice decor. This Paris hotel was a major let-down in terms of room maintenance. Just imagine having to bring your own sheets? This traveller might have been better off. The white sheets had a noticeable stain on them. Clearly they weren’t washed. The tourist was switched to another room and despite the harsh treatment the hotel staff wasn’t the nicest either making the experience a forgettable one without a doubt.
A theme in this article? Looks can be deceiving and that’s also true for high quality 5-star resorts and hotels. Always do your homework before booking.