Passover Programs are programs established at hotels and resorts for people who celebrate the holiday in the traditional Jewish fashion. It is logical for anyone wanting to visit one of the Passover Program resorts for the holiday, to go hunt for the reviews about the establishment, as well as the program operator.
If the reviews of these Pesach friendly programs were written by actual people who had stayed at the resort, then the reviews would be a great resource. The problem is the majority of websites posting Passover Program reviews are not posting legitimate reviews, and they are tainting the market.
The majority of the Passover Programs are legitimate programs established to provide people observing the holiday a place to go that is Pesach friendly, serves kosher foods, is Chametz free, and has activities to help enrich the religious holiday. Unfortunately, all of the programs out there are not perfectly adapted, and many of them even lie about what they provide.
When a hotel or resort wants to make people think they are offering something they hire a freelance writer to create web pages detailing everything they have. The writer does a little research and discovers the most important elements to the Pesach observers and writes beautiful articles making people think the hotel or resort is a fabulous place to spend their holiday.
Sometimes when people arrive at the holiday destination, they discover that they had been told half-truths, and the Passover Program does not meet their expectations, and they feel cheated.
To make sure that people think a certain hotel or Passover Program has been enjoyed by the guests who have previously visited the hotel management hires professionals to write reviews about their experiences. Most of the reviews they post will be three stars are above ratings. That is because 88% of the people who see a hotel with a star rating lower than three stars will not book a room at that hotel.
The professionals who manage the websites for these establishments know that it would look fake if all of the reviews were outstanding, so they have the writers pen a few reviews that are less than three stars. They go as far as to have the writers complain about something like not enough hot water, the room was not clean enough, the bed was too firm, or the elevator was outdated.
People read the fake reviews and they are fooled into believing them so they book a room, and then their holiday is ruined when the program they thought they were going to have been nothing like it was said to be.
How to Read a Review and Find the Truth
There are a few things you can do to make sure you read between the lines and get the truth out of a review.
Go to the major booking sites like TripAdvisor or Expedia and read reviews left with them. The major booking sites require you to have an account before you can create a review. There are fewer fake reviews on these sites.
The biggest problem is the majority of reviews on these sites will discuss the quality of the bed, the cleanliness of the establishment and the friendliness of the personnel not whether the resort had Pesach friendly attitudes, activities, and preparations.
Read only reviews where the full name of the person is listed with the review. It is harder for the fake reviewers to make up full names so they usually only post reviews as “Lisa from Texas”. Or “Carl from California”. You want reviews that name the person, and reviews that have been written in the last ninety days.
What to do instead of reading reviews
Instead of relying on information from reviews written by complete strangers you can contact the Passover Program hotel or resort and ask your own questions. On the bottom of the website advertising the program you will find a selection that says, contact us. This is usually either a phone number you can call or an email address that you can write to.
Send your questions about how the program takes care of preparing for the holiday, and what they offer for the Seder celebration. You can find out the name of the Rabbi that blesses the establishment and instructs the staff in how to be properly prepared.
You can find out about activities for kids and teens that may be planned. You can even discover whether the establishment provides religious services, or transportation to local services. This is information you can really use.
When you get information in this manner when you arrive at the location if everything is not exactly like it was described then you can tell the managers what you were told and who told it to you.
Avoid Travel Sites and social media
The worst locations to read reviews are on the specialty travel sites and the social media sites. The majority of specialty sites are going to do everything they can to convince you to book a room with one of the programs they endorse, even if the programs they endorse are not right for your needs.
Social media sites are often misleading and if you do gather information using these venues always check that information against other sources. The majority of social media endorsements you read are done by professionals who are being paid to write about the program.
If a program has to hire people to write fake news and fake reviews then it is not a program, we want you to spend your money or time on.
Passover Programs make up a small amount of the resort and hotel programs available. It is really easy to write false information, but it is hard to provide people with an overview and provide them with the contact information they need to ask relevant questions of the establishment in question. Choose the harder route and you will have a happier stay.