Not sponsored. No affiliate links. 100% my Perth staycation review style!
Like most people at this time of year (or any time really) I’m in need of a good holiday. An extended holiday, preferably somewhere sunny, where every little detail is taken care of. No cooking, no cleaning. Just lots of relaxing. Are you with me?
Ideally, if someone could arrive at my house and organise my three teens and hubby, so I really didn’t need to pack for five people lift a finger and then magically reappear when we return to unpack, wash and have the fridge fully stocked and ready to go. Even better.
Reality and the fact hubby is generally either at sea with work or on call during school holidays means we really only manage to grab a quick night or extended weekend here and there. It also means I’m not keen on factoring in a huge amount of travel time. It just ends up eating into my precious relaxing and unwinding time.
Which is why introducing a Perth Staycation series here on the blog is so damn appealing right now. Truth be told, it’s been on my blogging wish list, even before I started blogging way back in what now feels like the dark ages.
There were however, one or two things standing in my STAYCATION blogging way. Mainly my mystery shopping work and the fact that on occasion I’m required to audit hotels undercover, so to speak, as part of this service.
Auditing or mystery shopping hotels are great gigs if you can get them. It generally includes a night (or two) in a motel with room service or a restaurant meal thrown in. Although, not as glamorous as it sounds, these reviews can be a lot of hard work.
Take my first experience with a hotel review in country NSW, where a fire alarm had us up at 2am and 4am (both false alarms) and I almost over slept the mandatory breakfast review in the restaurant which would have meant no reimbursement of my costs and no payment for my time and services.
The main thing with any mystery shopping or review work, is confidentiality. Working under cover, retaining minute details and reporting facts not opinions. It kind of ruins the review and the real experience if you announce yourself or they suspect you are a mystery shopper and you obtain special treatment as a result. In most cases it voids the job completely.
The fact you need to hand over credit card (or in my case debit card) details at check in for hotel mystery shops, rules out giving a false name. So lately, now that I’m more known about town as a blogger, I tend to only take on hotel audit jobs when I travel interstate. So not a lot.
When it comes to being asked to review hotels for the blog in a sponsored capacity, I’ve been a tad conflicted there as well. In the end though, most of the reviews that will hit the blog will be my personal holiday experiences. Funded by myself.
Hotels will not warned in advance; I won’t go in looking or asking for special treatment. I’m just planning on being a regular customer, looking for a real and regular experience that I can report back on.
There will be occasions where I’m reviewing a hotel or a restaurant in an official blogger capacity but you can guarantee that this will be fully disclosed at the top of the blog post. As not all bloggers are as transparent, I also feel I need to disclose when a post isn’t actually sponsored.
Like all my reviews, anything overly negative just doesn’t make it on to the blog. I’m not in the game of naming and shaming. Instead, I send this type of feedback straight to the hotel and move on to the next review.
Unlike my brunch reviews, where I prefer to have ‘cased’ a particular venue on at least five occasions before a review makes it to the blog, hotel reviews are one off experiences. As much as I would love to ‘case’ each hotel five or more times, it just isn’t feasible right now. How I wish it was.
At this stage, I’m not entirely sure of the frequency of this series. If I had my way, it would be one Perth staycation a week. Reality means it will probably end up being one a school holiday or less. Time will tell.
My first Perth Staycation review hits the blog this week, with my visit to Sage Hotels in West Perth, with an offer even I’m finding hard to resist.
Now speaking of reviews…
Our Aussie Review Crew linkup kicks off this month with a giveaway, as I look for more ways to support my blogging favourites as well as newbie bloggers making their way in this oversaturated blogging world. Keep an eye on the blog later this week for more details.
What would you like to see when it comes to a hotel review? What do you look for in a hotel? Have you ever tried a staycation?