Hotels in the U.S.that won TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence award share strategies for encouraging happy travelers to leave great online reviews.

  • 1No. 1: Inns of Aurora

    Inns of Aurora

    Who: Meryl Davis
    What: A hotel with two inns in the Finger Lakes region of New York
    Where: Aurora, New York
    How they encourage reviews: “We send a thank you note when people leave,” says Davis, who notes that the Inns of Aurora gets at least one review a week.
    What the reviews mean to them: Davis says TripAdvisor is extremely important to their business – especially when it comes to attracting Baby Boomers. “We encourage staff to read the reviews,” says Davis, in order to hear the feedback and take pride in positive e-mails.

  • 2No. 2: Tahoma Meadows Bed and Breakfast

    Tahoma Meadows

    Who: Dick White
    What: A B&B with 16 cottages, built around 1910
    Where: Lake Tahoe, California
    How they encourage reviews: White says it’s all about the personal contact. “We send a follow-up email with a link to TripAdvisor, which has boosted the reviews we’ve gotten. We really interact with guests – we get to know them,” says White.
    What reviews mean to them: “For a small business, it’s really the only way we can compete with larger corporate hotels that have huge advertising budgets,” says White.

  • 3No. 3: Roughley Manor

    Roughley Manor

    Who: Gary Peters
    What: A three-story stone house built in 1924 with 12 rooms
    Where: Twentynine Palms, California
    How they encourage reviews: “We have a little note on our reception desk that says, ‘If you think your experience was worth sharing with friends, please consider TripAdvisor,” says Peters.
    What reviews mean to them: Peters says they’ve attracted a lot of travelers thanks to positive reviews online.

  • 4No. 4: Chateau Chantal Winery and Inn

    Chateau Chantal

    Who: Marie-Chantal Dalese
    What: A winery and B&B with 11 rooms
    Where: Traverse City, Michigan
    How they encourage reviews: “We have a soft push … We display the certificate and our top ratings, and show them how they too can post. It’s not something verbally communicated – just hinted at,” says Dalese.
    What reviews mean to them: “We use ratings as a management metric tool … as a good way to gauge ourselves against the competition,” says Dalese.

  • 5No. 5: Starlight Pines Bed & Breakfast

    Starlight Pines

    Who: Richard Svendsen
    What: A 1912 Victorian with five bedrooms
    Where: Flagstaff, Arizona
    How they encourage reviews: Svendsen says it’s all in the human connection. “You have to feel them out, because it’s something they really don’t want to do. You gauge people – it’s a verbal conversation when they’re checking out,” he says.
    What reviews mean to them: Aside from the city website in Flagstaff, Svendsen says TripAdvisor is the second biggest tool the bed and breakfast has for attracting visitors. “It’s extremely important,” he says.

Follow Gabrielle Karol on Twitter @GabrielleKarol