Sometimes places try to demand prestige by making certain odd rules. It’s an old trend that can really dampen a good adventure. Sometimes, these rules aren’t too ridiculous, and people take comfort in them for they condition the environment for an adventure more geared to them. Fancy restaurants may require you to take off your hat or wear a blazer (which they of course offer rentals for at an exorbitant fee), or a heavily cultured restaurant may bring a little slice of adventure from somewhere else around the world by having you adopt their cultural niches such as taking your shoes off in a Japanese restaurant. However, sometimes a place goes too far, and it backfires. That’s what a hotel did in Hudson, Colombia County, New York.
The Union Street Guest House resides in beautiful upstate New York, nestled atop the Hudson River and below the Catskills mountains. I’ve been to the Catskills myself a few times, and all I can say is that it’s peaceful and beautiful, and the people are friendly and always up to something interesting such as yard sales and the like. (I got into a conversation with a 70 year old man who refurbished old motors, mostly for boats, and he had a stunningly beautiful collection with a lot to say about it that went right over my head.)
You’d think the hotel would adopt the peace-loving nature of it’s surroundings and just go with the flow of that kind of adventure, but in trying to keep up with that darn trend of being prestigious, it pissed off it’s customers by having a fine print charge for any negative reviews posted by wedding guests, a $500 fee per review. So what happened? Yelp brought the hotel to its knees. A swarm of reviews (almost entirely jokes from people who have never stayed at the hotel) bordering the hilarious and profane bombarded the hotel’s Yelp page, dropping it’s rating to 1.5 stars. The hotel has since tried to pass of the fee as a joke, but it’s unlikely enough of a counter-attack to heal the wounds of the backlash it took.
It goes to show, if you want to be prestigious, it’s important to note that you don’t penalize or look down upon your guests in doing so.