Bottom Line Reviews


I hate writing reviews.  And, I hate reading reviews too.  But reviews can be useful.  For these reasons, we’ve been writing “bottom line reviews.”  These are short reviews containing our overall summary at the top; followed by a bulleted list of useful info; followed by photos.  The goal is to serve up just the info you need without the fluff.


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[…] Readers may remember that I had hoped to visit Miraval Berkshires, but it didn’t work out (see: Miraval Berkshires Resort. My failed attempt to double-dip deals).  Fortunately a member of the Frequent Miler Insider’s group, May May Hu, did go and wrote up a complete review of her experience.  With her permission, I’ve posted her review here, but I’ve taken the liberty of summarizing key findings at the top to keep this consistent with our other Bottom Line Reviews. […]


Most reviews seem someone is getting paid especially from a travel blogger so I tend to skip them. You’re not posting for fun so you must be getting something from it


how did u get to go to GRAND CAYMAN in march and April they are closed


They closed on 3/16/2020. I think Greg went one weekend before that.

[…] offer a separate bottom-line review of the Grand Hyatt New York following the format that Greg has laid out for hotel reviews, but with this post I wanted to outline the awesome benefits of Hyatt Prive. I will not get to […]


Great idea, I love the format. Looking forward to more!


Greg these are perfect!! Thank you


Once again, you lead the way. I wonder how long before other sites adopt this format.
I think it is important in your pros and cons categories you summarize (as you do) all the points related stuff, as this is a points related blog.


I’m that way with photos. I use to take tons of photos and then never did much with them. A number of years ago I would upload them to SmugMug (paid service but at least it doesn’t disappear) and people could easily view them there. I’ve gotten to the point where I take fewer and fewer photos, and if they are on a phone, I rarely do anything with them. At least in the old days you’d have to get them developed. And then with a digital camera you could pop the card into the computer and save them. Now with phones they just stay on the phone most of the time and eventually disappear.


I’m no tech got a video card $28 good for 30 hrs of Amazon movies and photos go to cloud etc.
Cheap works great the Batt. 5* is better 5x recharge the pH $22..


I like the format of the review, enough information for a quick overview. However, I also like Nick’s review. I guess it is because of his way of storytelling.


Remember I’m sure there’s hotels close by that are cheaper to stay with the same view . Do Greg’s hotel for 2 nites+ Dinner then others . I’ll fly in the morning @ a airport hotel @ 1/2 the price and then the P lounge for BK $$$..


thanks for doing this man!!


I couldn’t agree more! As soon as a trip is over I lose interest, even when I planned to write a review for a blog I post on. What helped me was writing BEFORE the trip when I’m in planning mode and still excited about it. I write out all the basic stuff that can be gleaned before travel, then add and edit on the plane back (when I’m still “in the mood).
Love your site – keep up the good work!


Good! I do read Lucky’s reviews which are detailed, informative and with lots of photos, but lately the first thing I do is scroll down to the bottom line. Your idea works for me.


This tends to be how I read reviews too. Except ….

One thing I do look for is how they treat status in their loyalty program. Lounge, upgrade, breakfast, amenities. Or, if I have a lower tier status than the reviewer, I want to know what might be unusual about his or her stay. Also, I like to know how the blogger booked. These matters seem relevant to points and miles enthusiasts. There is another blog that I think is kind of famous for his very comprehensive reviews, and while I sometimes do find myself skimming, those are pieces of info I always look for.


Yep. I just wasn’t sure whether you were in a transition and thinking of going even more stripped down. The reviews are good!


Greg, I can understand what you meant, but I guess it is partially because the hotels look so-so to you. If you either love or hate it, you will have the passion to write down.

BTW, looking at your “bottom line” review, I smell a taste of your spreadsheet. I like it and feel it is a kind of digitization of content.

If there is a place to improve, I like the recent trend in online article that they put a brief summary or abstract at the top of the article, so you can read it first before you decide if you want to dive in. So why don’t you put an “Overall” section at the start which covers all the most important aspects? To expand my idea, in your typical articles, you do have the “final thought” summary section. When the time is limited, I often skip the major body of the article but just read the final summary part (nowadays, people become busier and busier). I think maybe it is worth bring that final section to the very top instead. Yes, you do need to realize the readers haven’t read the main body yet, so you have to speak to an empty head, but it is doable.

Alternatively, I also like the formatting of Pros and Cons bullets, where you quickly catch the most important things. Your “spreadsheet” covers all aspects. That’s great. But it also forces reader to read the whole review (it is shorter than most travel reviews, but it is still not that short). So, alternative to the “Overall” section, consider put a “pros and cons” section at the top.


Agreed don’t like rambling reviews and don’t find one-off issues helpful. If you can basically tell me two things 1) was the bed comfortable; and 2) property-feel (everything else boiled down into your subjective assessment – nice lobby? staff interactions pleasant?, feeling of safety in room, lobby and surrounding areas? annoying unexpected fees? property convenient or remote? etc) I’m happy.


I agree with Bob.


It would be great if the published snippets would include “thumbs up or down” right in the beginning, so there is no need to click through to see if you like it or not

Mark Ostermann

I hate writing reviews with a passion. Don’t tell Shawn I said that


Dinner looks Great . I usually just look @ the bottom of the post if interested read the rest .
But always love photos !!!


I like this format. I don’t like reading rambling, long reviews. This is perfect. Thanks!