Ratings & Reviews

A quick explanation about reviews and ratings here on TravelCommentator. As we all know reviews are a snapshot in time. Circumstances, services and products change. Reviews are also personal experiences. Both factors need to be taken into account.

We work from a list of criteria and try to be as objective as possible. We also try to be as positive as possible and keep the negative comments to a minimum. This doesn’t mean we won’t criticise if required, but we’ll do it in a constructive manner and give advice where due. Hopefully if we suggest improvements which are reasonable, we hope to see them implemented. We all want the best when we travel, true?

How we review and calculate star ratings

Reviews are written with the following points in mind and a star rating added:

  • Ambiance (Atmosphere, vibe, character, look and feel of a place)
  • Amenities (Items and extras offered as part of accommodation and travel)
  • Cleanliness (Clean, tidy and healthy surrounds)
  • Comfort (Sleep, seating and lounge quality)
  • Entertainment (In house and in flight movies, shows, documentaries, etc.)
  • Facilities (Dining rooms, swimming pools, gyms, toilets/change rooms, conference rooms, etc.)
  • Food (Quality, quantity and variety. Breakfast, lunch and dinner)
  • Location (Position relative to transport and sights)
  • Maintenance (Upkeep and condition of accommodation, transport and places)
  • Noise (Interior and exterior noise affecting sleep and comfort)
  • Security (Safety and welfare of patrons, guests and passengers)
  • Service (Quality of customer service, check-in, check-out, room and waiting service, etc.)
  • Staff (Attitude, manners, friendliness, appearance, etc.)
  • Value (Costs and perceived monetary worth)
  • WiFi (Internet speed, quality and availability)

These points are applied to Accommodation (Hotels, Apartments, B&Bs, etc.), Eating/Drinking (Restaurants, Cafes, Bistros, Taverns, Pubs, etc.) and Transportation (Airlines, Railways, Buses/Coaches and Ferries/Cruises.), but also to a lesser extent Places (Museums, Galleries, Churches, Open Air Antiquities, Natural Wonders, etc.) and the Booking process.

How are ratings calculated?

With each review we try to add star ratings so it’s important to understand how our rating system works and what it means.

The star rating is a summary of how happy or satisfied the reviewer is with a product or service. They’re great at giving an idea whether a review is positive or negative.

Normally, ratings are calculated as the average of all the ratings the product or service has received. For example, if you have ten x 5-star reviews and eight x 2-star reviews the average rating is calculated as:

(no. of reviews x rating) + (no. of reviews x rating) + … / total no. of reviews
((10 x 5) + (8 x 2)) / (10 + 8)
(50 + 16) / 18 = 3.66 (2 decimal places)

This is how overall ratings are calculated. However we do not update the rating every time a review of the same product or service is published. In other words they are not added up and averaged. Each review rating stands on its own. So it is best to read all the reviews of the same product or service and then form an opinion. We believe this gives a truer picture.

Star Rating

All scores are rated on a scale from 1 to 5 stars (including half stars in between). You can understand the score as follows:

5.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Loved it
4.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Liked it
3.0 out of 5.0 stars stars It was okay
2.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Disliked it
1.0 out of 5.0 stars star Hated it


5.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Outstanding
4.5 out of 5.0 stars stars Excellent
4.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Very Good
3.5 out of 5.0 stars stars Good
3.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Above Average
2.5 out of 5.0 stars stars Average
2.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Below Average
1.5 out of 5.0 stars stars Poor
1.0 out of 5.0 stars star Bad
0.5 out of 5.0 stars stars Awful
0.0 out of 5.0 stars stars Avoid