Welcome to Oyster Hotel Reviews

by Elie on June 21, 2009

Welcome to Oyster Hotel Reviews.

The impetus for Oyster Hotel Reviews was a trip that Eytan – our VP of Product – and I took to Alaska at the end of the summer of 2007. We had an amazing time but on the last day, arrived in Seward, Alaska, our final stop, and had that awful “Oh Sh*t” moment when you show up at a hotel and realize that what you thought you had booked is not at all what the hotel actually is. Based on that experience – and it just being too difficult to find a great hotel – we decided to start Oyster Hotel Reviews.

Our goal is a simple one: to be the site for the most comprehensive hotel reviews anywhere – on or off the web. We’ve researched the hotels we have covered from head to toe and front to back. We have a rigorous process by which we review hotels.

We do the obvious things –– like stay in the hotels, sleep in the bed, and swim in the pool. But we go way beyond that. We verify that hotels actually have all their claimed amenities. Is the “spa” really just a room with a treadmill and an old TV?

We take our own photos so that you can see if that hotel website with those beautiful airbrushed photos is really what you are going to get.

We founded Oyster Hotel Reviews in the Spring of 2008 and we’ve been in stealth mode since then. Having spent more than a year staying in hotels, we’ve learned a tremendous amount about hotels and the hotel industry. We’ve visited 100s of hotels, writing nearly a million words and taking more than 200,000 photos, of which about 50,000 are on the site. When we stayed at all these hotels, we had you in mind; our goal when we are at the hotel is try to put ourselves in your shoes. Hotel guests are a varied group: families, foodies, beach lovers, and design aficionados. We are not here to tell you what you should or should not like rather, we want to give you the information you need to make your own decision. That’s why our reviews are so detailed, our amenities list to carefully researched and verified and why we take so many photos.

You’ll see it all here – the good, the bad and the spectacular. Some of the hotels we’ve stayed in are so expensive that for most they are really a once in a lifetime splurge. But many are very affordable – even more so in these times when hotels are struggling to attract you to their properties. At either end of the price range, you’ll find great hotels to spend a night or maybe even ten. Some provide, thankfully, nothing more than great weather, a comfortable bed, and a cold drink on the beach;. Others propel you out into their locale to take in the local flavor. Whatever your mood or situation – we’ve reviewed a hotel that is right for you. Whether it’s your honeymoon, winter break with the family and kids, a trip with your girlfriends, or a staycation in your own backyard, you will find it here and hopefully very easily.

For all of us here at Oyster, today is a really exciting day and we hope that you’ll enjoy the site as much as we’ve enjoyed building it; we appreciate how fortunate we’ve been to have this be our “job”. We’ve worked hard and have had a lot of fun along the way . This is truly just the beginning for us because we are missing the most critical component – you. We look forward to hearing your feedback. Tell us what we should improve upon, what we are missing, and of course what you feel like we’ve done well.

Elie Seidman, Co-Founder and CEO of Oyster Hotel Reviews

Photo of Elie and Eytan in Seward, Alaska Photo of Elie and Eytan in Seward, Alaska (nice hair Eytan)

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Susannah June 21, 2009 at 10:54 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Matt Chesterton June 22, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Very impressive: the thinking traveler’s TripAdvisor. Beautifully structured, and a technical tour de force.

I’d prefer fewer photos. You can be both honest and selective.

Hope to see you operating down here in South America…

Natala June 22, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Congrats! love the hair eytan :)

Lyn Dyles, MCC June 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm

I am very curious about which Seward, Alaska, hotel was the proverbial ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ for Elie and Eytan….. While that hotel may have been horrid, it caused a spark that led to Oyster.

The ‘no-holds barred’ approach to the reviews and the copious photos make for an exceptional and useful site. What a wonderful breath of fresh air!

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