Camelot Castle Hotel: TripAdvisor reviews

The reviews of Camelot Castle Hotel on TripAdvisor are telling.

If you’re trying to work out what’s going on with this hotel, its owners and the ‘church’ they belong to then taking a good, hard look at the reviews posted to TripAdvisor is an important place to start.

At the time of posting this, the hotel appears (at first glance) to rate at 3.5 out of 5 from a total of 515 reviews.

There are a number of important observations about this hotel’s presence on TripAdvisor which you should bear in mind.

1) The extremes of opinion expressed. There are 200 apparently 5* reviews and 135 1* reviews (remember you can’t post a 0* review!). It is almost impossible for a hotel to get this kind of score unless someone is faking one end of the rating spectrum or the other.

2) The 1* reviews are unanimous in their opinion of the poor quality of the accommodation, the creepiness of the hosts and the unwelcome and uncomfortable scientology propaganda they have to endure during their stay.

3) The 5* reviews are unanimous in their praise of the fantastic Mr & Mrs Mappin, the wonderful Mr Ted Stourton, the beautiful accommodation, the lovely art, the breathtaking ‘Light Box’ and the magical, mythical quality of the place – always stating how much they look forward to coming back. You may be forgiven for thinking that these reviews appear to follow a script.

TripAdvisor is a good place to find picture of the hotel to help you compare the 1* and the 5* reviews. What do pictures like this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this do for the credibility of the 5* reviews?

4) It appears that Camelot Castle Hotel owners are highly active in complaining to TripAdvisor and lobbying to have highly critical reviews taken down.

5) The volume of suspicious, formulaic 5* glowing reviews is increasing in line with the amount of critical online commentary about this hotel and its scientology agenda.

6) We have not been able to find an online trace of a single contributor of a 5* review.  Some have names of low-key celebrities (who clearly haven’t stayed there or reviewed the hotel). Some have names like ‘Anthony Alias’ (‘A.Lias’). Such a lack of trace of contributors is highly unusual.

Whether you’re researching this hotel because of its link with scientology or because you’re considering staying there, spend some time on TripAdvisor.  Seek out the 1* reviews and the 2* reviews then compare them with the 5* reviews.  Remember, this spread of reviews indicates that either the 5* reviews or the 1* reviews are faked. It’s up to you to decide which you think are.

This is a typical extract from a 2* review:

“John Mappin (part owner) is a nice bloke. I think he is genuinely kind hearted and once you get past the meglomania (DON’T go there to read his “newspaper”, get someone to send it to you!), is a good conversationalist and an intellectual, but…after the first night (and a conversation with him that confused us like hell) we found ourselves, practically all the next day, discussing whether this was a Scientology recruitment centre (not something you want to do when you’ve come away for a romantic break).

We decided that it wasn’t. He was just very enthusiastic about his beliefs etc but we still, somehow, managed come away with 3 DVDs on Scientology!!!!”

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