Welcome to our official TripAdvisor UK blog. This is where we aim to share our thoughts, quirky updates, new research and anything else we hope you will find useful and interesting.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Brits Ready to Take a Stand Against Airline Hand Luggage Fees

Brits Ready to Take a Stand Against Airline Hand Luggage Fees

Ever increasing airline fees have long been a hot topic for travellers and the recent news that a budget airline is to introduce a fee for hand luggage that won’t fit under your seat continues to flare the conversation. We at TripAdvisor polled over 11,500 British travellers to find out what they think about these new costs and the scale of the negative reaction to this move speaks for itself.

The TripAdvisor poll revealed that almost three-quarters (73%) of respondents are so disgruntled by the imposed fees that they would rather fly with an alternative airline than pay the additional charge, while a quarter (25%) said they would only consider paying the hand luggage fee if it meant cheaper costs all round. Only 2% of Brits said that they would be happy to pay the extra fee.

“Charging passengers for hand luggage that doesn’t fit under the seat is an interesting move, but one that clearly doesn’t sit well with the majority of British travellers. Travellers should always do their research before booking to ensure that any extra charges are factored into the total fare.”
* Survey carried out on 11,752 British Travellers, between 4 October – 10 October 2012.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

TripAdvisor celebrates 50 years of Bond with the top 007 hotels

TripAdvisor celebrates 50 years of Bond with the top 007 hotels

Celebrities galore flocked to the star studded premiere of new James Bond flick Skyfall last night and to mark the 50th birthday of the James Bond films, we at TripAdvisor felt it was only right to celebrate.
We’ve seen James Bond grace numerous hotels with his presence throughout his career, fighting enemies and wooing Bond girls and with the latest 007 movie about to hit silver screens across the globe we’ve pulled together a list of hotels that have appeared in Bond films since Ian Fleming’s books were bought to life on screen*.

“James Bond is iconic in modern British history and with the half century anniversary of 007 upon us there has never been a better time to visit one of the hotels that has actually appeared in a James Bond movie,” commented TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.
This historic hotel is located in the heart of Mexico City and the interior of the building featured in License to Kill in which Timothy Dalton played Bond. Famous for its Art Nouveau Louis XV style, the hotel boasts a Tiffany stained glass ceiling from 1908, designed by the French artisan Jacques Gruber and lit by 150 lights. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Probably one of the most architecturally stunning historical Deco buildings I have EVER seen!”

Hotel Atlantic Kempinski Hamburg, Hamburg – Tomorrow Never Dies

Located on the shores of Lake Alster in Hamburg, the Hotel Atlantic Kempinski played host to Pierce Brosnan’s hair-raising climb from his suite to the globe on the roof of the hotel in Tomorrow Never Dies. The hotel has recently been renovated and offers a private cinema to guests. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “The Kempinski did not let me down. The rooms, service and food were to die for.”

LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas – Diamonds Are Forever
An iconic Vegas hotel, the LVH was world famous before Sean Connery played Bond in Diamonds Are Forever – Elvis chose the hotel in for his comeback in the late 1960s. In the film with one of the most famous Bond soundtracks of all time, sung by Shirley Bassey, the LVH featured as the Whyte House casino. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Great stay at a great price.”

Hotel Cala di Volpe, Sardinia – The Spy Who Loved Me

Not one for those on a budget, The Hotel Cala di Volpe has an expensive price tag with a night in the presidential suite costing a cool £11,500, but then James Bond does enjoy the finer things in life. The backdrop for The Spy Who Loved Me, Hotel Cala di Volpe is located on the Costa Smeralda and its stunning design is drawn from old fishing villages. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Service and amenities are first class.” 

Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel, Buckinghamshire – Goldfinger and Tomorrow Never Dies
A beautiful stately mansion set in the Buckinghamshire countryside, this hotel featured in two Bond films with two different James Bond actors – Goldfinger with Sean Connery where Bond famously played a round of golf against Auric Goldfinger, and Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan. Stoke Park Country Club, Spa and Hotel boasts a 27 hole golf course and an award-winning spa. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Very impressive hotel which was enhanced by excellent food and service.”
Starring Roger Moore, the Taj Lake Palace appeared as the home of Octopussy in the film of the same name. The hotel sits on the edge of Lake Pichola and drips with marble and luxury. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is without doubt one of my very favourite hotels anywhere in the world.”

Palacio Estoril Hotel, Golf and Spa, PortugalOn Her Majesty’s Secret Service

A meeting place for British and German spies during the Second World War, it seem only fitting for the Palacio Estoril Hotel to appear in a James Bond film – after all he is one of the most famous spies in the world. The hotel appeared in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the only 007 film to have George Lazenby play the star. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “A beautifully appointed hotel, with old style elegance. Staff are very friendly and helpful.”

Hotel Cipriani and Palazzo Vendramin, Venice – Casino Royale

Offering spectacular views of Venice’s lagoon and Doge’s Palace, Hotel Ciprani and Palazzo Vendramin provided the backdrop in Casino Royale for Bond to moor his yacht in the first film to feature the current James Bond, Daniel Craig. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This is certainly one of the great hotels of the world.”

British Colonial Hilton Nassau, Bahamas – Thunderball and Never Say Never Again

This hotel has appeared in two Bond movies, Thunderball and Never Say Never Again. The British Colonial Hilton Nassau is a combination of colonial and contemporary style and is situated in downtown Nassau with its very own private beach. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “This hotel is a fantastic property. It has everything one can hope for – service is great, it has a breathtaking view and a fantastic beach.”
Couples Sans Souci, Jamaica Dr No, Live and Let Die, Goldfinger
Set in a beautiful location, this hotel has appeared in no less than three Bond films – Dr No, Live and Let Die and Goldfinger. The Couples Sans Souci is situated on the water’s edge over-looking the turquoise Caribbean ocean. As one TripAdvisor traveller said, “Couples Sans Souci happens to be one of my favourite hotels in Jamaica.”

*The James Bond hotels were selected by TripAdvisor editors

Friday, 19 October 2012

Que? Three quarters of Brits expect locals to speak English on holiday

Que? Three quarters of Brits expect locals to speak English on holiday

With summer now officially over we at TripAdvisor decided to find out just how many of us knew their hola from their bonjour on holiday this year. In a survey of over *6,000 European travellers we can reveal that while 94% of British travellers claim they do make some effort to at least learn basic local language words before their holiday, a significant three quarters (74%) of Brits expect those they meet to speak English.

Britons are still at the bottom of the class when it comes to speaking another language – only 11% of British respondents claim they speak another language fluently, compared to 70% of Germans and 51% of Italians. Two thirds (67%) of Brits claim they can at least speak the basics of another language, but almost a quarter (22%) admit they do not speak a single word of another language.   

Country Speak another language fluently  Speak only the basics of another language  Do not speak a word of any other language 
Germany 70% 29% 1%
Italy 51% 46% 3%
France 50% 42% 8%
Spain 43% 51% 6%
UK 11% 67% 22%

And it doesn’t just apply to people, when abroad a fifth (19%) of British travellers admit they expect public signs to be displayed in English as well as that of the local language.

“It’s easy to blame our poor grasp of other languages on the fact that English is so universally spoken, but expecting all signs to be in English reveals just how presumptuous some of us have become when travelling. However, it’s good to see that while we might expect locals to speak English, most of us at least attempt to learn the basic pleasantries before we go on holiday,” says TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw.


*survey carried out on 6,258 Europeans, including 2,508 Britons, between 3rd August – 10th August.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012



We are pleased to announce that TripAdvisor’s Local Picks Facebook app has been awarded gold in the Lifestyle Mobile and Apps category of the prestigious Lovie Awards, which honours the very best of digital creativity. The Lovie Awards is sister to the world-famous Webby Awards, and the internet's highest honour for the European Web.

TripAdvisor’s Local Picks is a Facebook app that provides dining recommendations from locals and friends to discover and choose the best places to eat. Covering more than 850,000 restaurants worldwide, Local Picks draws from millions of diner reviews and opinions collected on TripAdvisor, highlighting contributions from locals and friends.
“TripAdvisor has excelled in its category, showing fantastic prowess in digital innovation and creativity" said Nik Roope, Executive Chair of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS). "This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators."

Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson said, “TripAdvisor is always looking for ways to make travel more social and personalised and so we’re delighted to have won this prestigious award as recognition for the work that went in to creating this app by all those involved in the project.”

The Lovie Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences made up of creative and web industry experts, including Google Creative Director Tom Uglow, Co-founder of TechHub Mike Butcher, Co-Founder of The Next Web Patrick De Laive, Alexander Ljung, WIRED Editor at Large and BBC exec. producer Will Saunders.

To experience the TripAdvisor Local Picks app, visit https://apps.facebook.com/localpicks.



Tuesday, 16 October 2012



TripAdvisor reveals the top spots for wine getaways in Europe

Today we are pleased to announce our 2012 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Wine Destinations® awards. The awards are decided purely by those who matter the most – travellers themselves.

The top spot is filled by Italy with Tuscany coming out as the number one Travellers’ Choice Wine Destination for Europe and Aquitaine in France is awarded second place. Both Italy and France are famous for their wine, food and fashion, and the two countries’ rivalries are evident here as they battle it out throughout the list. And, although France dominates the top 10 with five destinations, Italy still takes first, fourth and fifth positions respectively.

Spain’s Costa de la Luz, and Portugal’s Porto District also make an appearance in the top 10 taking the honours of ninth and tenth places respectively.

Despite wine production in England increasing over the last few years, it’s unfortunately not enough for an English wine producing region to make it into the European Top 10 wine destinations list this year.

The top spots were honoured, based on millions of valuable traveller reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor and determined based on their popularity as wine destinations, taking into account travellers’ reviews and opinions for local wineries, restaurants, attractions and accommodations.

TripAdvisor spokesperson, Emma Shaw, said, “Italian and French destinations have dominated this year’s Travellers’ Choice Wine Destinations list, with classic wine-producing regions proving that not only do people love to drink their wine, but have a great time visiting the areas as well.”

Travellers’ Choice Wine Destinations -- Europe:

1.    Tuscany, Italy
2.    Aquitaine, France
3.    Provence, France

4.    Umbria, Italy
5.    Sicily, Italy
6.    Languedoc-Roussillon, France

7.     Burgundy, France

8.     Champagne-Ardenne, France

9.     Costa de la Luz, Spain

10.  Porto District, Portugal

For the complete list of 2012 Travellers’ Choice Wine Destinations winners, go to http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Wine






Friday, 12 October 2012

The line between work and holiday for Brits dramatically blurs

The line between work and holiday for Brits dramatically blurs

Half of us now check work emails on holiday

With the recession still biting, we’re all having to work that much harder and it seems it doesn’t stop at the office. A TripAdvisor survey of over 3,500* travellers can today reveal that Britons are struggling to escape work even on holiday, with 40% admitting to checking their emails whilst away. Over half (51%) of respondents revealed they check their emails daily or more – a dramatic increase from the 13% who logged on daily in 2011 and 10% in 2010.
Increasing expectations, increasing tensions
And it doesn’t stop at emails – over two-thirds (38%) of British workers claim to take and make work calls on holiday, which appears to be having a negative impact on our so-called break away with almost a third (30%) admitting working on holiday makes their trip less enjoyable. However, Britons are still not as work-addicted as Italian respondents – 59% admit to checking work emails on holiday.
Perhaps an indication of increasing expectations at work, 12% of Brits, 19% of Germans and over 20% of French and Italian workers say that employers expect them to be contactable and able to work on holiday if necessary, which appears to be taking its toll on relationships with 15% of Brits claiming to have argued with a partner about having to put the hours in while away, only second to Germany at 19%.

Vacation Deprivation

The TripAdvisor survey also reveals that almost a third (30%) of us don’t even manage to take our full holiday allowance. Although many Brits aren’t taking their holiday entitlement, it seems that our colleagues in France, Italy and Germany are even worse at not taking their annual leave, with Italy the worst culprits with almost two-thirds (62%) failing to do so.

“Perhaps it’s a sign of tough economic times and job insecurity, but many Britons are not only taking their work with them on holiday, some are even sacrificing their holiday allowance by not taking their full entitlement,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson. “While smartphones and technology have made it easier than ever to stay connected to the office, it’s still important to set some boundaries so that you return to work feeling refreshed and productive.”

*Survey carried out on 3,758 European travellers, including 1,331 Brits, between 14th and 21st September 2012

Friday, 5 October 2012

Are you a Nomophobic? Brits can’t let go of mobiles even on holiday


Are you a Nomophobic? Brits can’t let go of mobiles even on holiday

Nomophobia may sound like an aversion towards creepy crawlies or something equally as unpleasant but it is in fact a term which describes a very different fear. Nomophobics suffer with anxiety at having no access to mobile technology, and we at TripAdvisor have conducted research to find out just how obsessed many of us are with our mobiles. And it seems holidays are no exception when it comes to mobile addiction. But have you considered how that affects the people you’re with?

Over half of the British population own a smartphone* and a recent poll of over 5,000** respondents on TripAdvisor.co.uk reveals that over two-thirds (68%) of Brits have been on holiday with someone who refuses to be parted from their mobile phone.

And while mobiles and social media can undoubtedly be useful when on holiday, allowing you to access maps and find local information, a significant number of Brits are using technology to gloat at those back home, according to further research carried out on over 2,500 TripAdvisor respondents***. Almost two-thirds (64%) of Brits admit to posting an update or photo of their travels on to a social media site to make those at home jealous.

“As mobile devices and social media continue their dominance in our everyday lives, it’s perhaps not surprising that we struggle to let go when on holiday too. So while many of us prefer to stay connected in some way, holiday-makers need to be careful that their mobile and social addictions don’t lead them to miss out on actually enjoying their holiday,” commented Emma Shaw, TripAdvisor spokesperson.

*Research carried out by Kantar Worldpanel

**Poll carried out on 5,378 respondents on TripAdvisor.co.uk between 14-20 September 2012

*** Poll carried out on 2,775 respondents on TripAdvisor.co.uk between 2-7 August 2012