Time to talk of many things. Or just Oyster, and hotel reviews.

Posted on
Jul 29, 2009
0

I was going to wait a while to post about Oyster.com. Not because I don’t think the site is worth talking about – I most certainly do. Oyster might just be the most reliable hotel review website out there. It sends their team of hopefully-not-too-underpaid writers out to different hotels, and has them scrutinize every inch of their lodgings and report back their findings. No fake positive reviews (which can occasionally happen with other review sites). Just honest, objective summaries. And a name that reminds me of the Lewis Carroll poem, The Walrus and The Carpenter.

Why was I going to wait? Because I figured Oyster could use a little more time. They launched just recently, and they don’t have a huge amount of content yet. It’s pretty slim, actually. So I figured I’d wait until they had a few more reviews under their belt, and were totally schooling the likes of Trip Advisor.

And because I waited? I got scooped. By the fucking Bing Travel Blog, no less.

Usually, this wouldn’t bug me that much. I don’t proclaim to be on the cutting edge of all travel news. But here’s the rub: I know the guys behind Oyster.com. Quite well, actually. I even invited one of them to my wedding. Behold:

 

My cousin caught the garter. Eytan, in the background, looks totally bummed about it.

My cousin caught the garter. Eytan, in the background, looks bummed about it.

I’ve known about the site for some time now. Originally, I wasn’t to excited about it, since it was the reason that Eytan left Seattle for New York. But recently I spent some time on Oyster. And even though they’re my friends (and I still blame Oyster for taking Eytan away), I feel like I can accurately evaluate the site (which makes me a good journalist, I think, and a lousy friend. But whatever).

The point is, loyalty aside, I really like Oyster.com. A lot. I’m actually surprised, since I’m kind of crazy picky. But they provide the kind of information you’d get if you sat down a very knowledgable friend and drilled them about the hotel they just stayed in. The reviews are incredibly in-depth and thorough (which may be why they don’t have a ton of them up) – covering location, nearby attractions, in-hotel eateries, work-out facilities, amenities, and even what kind of bath products they carry. Indeed, like the Walrus and the Carpenter, they talk of many things. And they’re fun to read, too:

“One of the W’s best free features is a fairly extensive DVD collection. So, around 10:30 p.m., I called to ask for Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End. (As a post-script, don’t ever watch this movie.)” – Oyster.com review, W Hotel, New York.

Since Oyster has a dedicated staff and a strict set of criteria, you don’t get the sort of obviously-written-by-a-crazy-person reviews you occassionally get on Yelp. Reviews like, “OMG – THIS HOTEL RULZ. WAAAAY BTR THAN THE HOSTEL.” (Sorry, Jeremy. Please send your brother my regards). Don’t get me wrong – I still love Yelp for finding a good hole-in-the-wall place to eat, or a great gym or movie theater. But as far as hotels go? I’ll probably stick with Oyster.

As soon as they get more reviews up, that is. GET TO WORK, EYTAN.

Leave a Comment

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Help! The book I'm writing about startup journeys and biases needs a title... By the end of tomorrow. If you have any suggestions, oh boy would I appreciate them. #randtookthis #workingonthebook
  • Slide viewer? Check. Slides? Check. Image of your mother when she was 26, pregnant with your brother, that you've never seen before? Check.
  • Whoa. Rand received this rather remarkable gift from someone at a conference and it's led to a lot of discussion in our house about the verisimilitude of it. Also, is it weird that people are constantly giving us likenesses of ourselves?
  • Little dude learning to skip rocks on a crystal clear Bavarian lake. Traveling with @wilreynolds & @norapreynolds is the best. #randtookthis #nofilter #bavariansunset #latergram
  • We visited an Abbey where monks brew beer. Somebody's photobombing us. And this was before the drinking. #randtookthis
  • Just visited my step-mother for the first time since my father died. She gave me a box of photos, many which I'd never seen, including this one of my grandfather on my parents' wedding day. This image of him, his face obscured by smoke, is fascinating to me. In my lifetime, I'd never seen him pick up a cigarette, ever.
  • Cheers! Not sure who was more excited to toast over dinner here in Bavaria. Both Rio And Wil look equally psyched.
  • This again. Off to Germany. Really nervous to see Dad's final resting place for the first time. But this guy has been super supportive. So grateful for him. #thisagain #randaldineselfie #selfiesonaplane
  • My husband's grandfather hugged me goodbye after we had breakfast today, and said, "Take care of my little boy." If you need me, I will be crying forever and ever and ever.
  • Geraldine lost her voice (from recording her AUDIO BOOK!) and so made this handy card to take around at the #Mozcon Local afterparty. #randtookthis

All Over The Place

Pre-order my book now and I promise I'll never ask you for anything again.

Pre-Order Now!