Hotel fakeout photos … deceit by omission

Filed under: Florida News,Just For Fun,Leisure,Vacation Tips |

Sometime last week I came across an article called “Hotel fakeout photos can lure you and your money” and it talked about some of the things that hotels did…or rather did not do, in order to lure unsuspecting travelers to their hotels.

The article, written by Aaron Crowe, touched on the value of a web site called that is effectively a web site that contains “photo fakeouts” of what the hotels don’t want you to see. You know… things like a construction crane, smaller-than-advertised pool, or hotel rooms under construction nearby.

One of Aaron’s favorite fakeouts is of the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort on Oahu, which took the offending photo off its website Friday after a call from WalletPop. The photo that was on the hotel’s website (shown above) showed a couple walking on the beach with the hotel in the background. But the reality, according to a photo by an Oyster reviewer, is that two construction cranes next to the hotel mar the view. From another angle, the cranes can clearly be seen from the beach, leaving you to wonder why Marriott leaves such shots out of its photo gallery.

In another example, a popular hotel photo of pools is to make them look bigger by cropping them tight. In one, a guy gets out of a pool with a surfboard, when it’s closer in size to a hot tub. The end of a giant mall is cropped out of another hotel pool shot, while in another a small pool is made to look bigger by only showing part of it. A wide-angle lens can make a pool, or a room, look much bigger than it is.

“With perfectly set-up lighting, professional staging, a wide-angle lens and photoshop, a photographer can make even the most mundane hotel look great,” wrote Timothy Scott, editor of Luxury Latin America, in an e-mail to WalletPop.

Travelers should do their homework online before booking a room. Oyster’s Seidman, who calls the fakeout photos “deceit by omission,” recommends complaining to management upon arrival if something isn’t what it was advertised and seeing if you can get moved to a better room or get a refund and leave.

That’s the difficulty of renting a hotel room. It’s a product that can’t be returned once bought. The shelf life is as long as your reservation.

See full article from WalletPop:
Aaron’s excellent article is at
So have you ever stayed at a hotel that turned out to be far from what you expected? Let me know…email me: or leave a comment below.
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