Romantic cottages for two in the Peak District

Parwich: TripAdvisor’s “Travellors’ Choice” Destination for 2012??

Will Parwich beat London – or even Baslow – for TripAdvisor’s latest Travellors’ Choice Awards?
This evening I received an invitation to rate these three destinations; could this be the first hint that Parwich has reached the UK’s short list for this year’s awards?

Sadly, probably not, but let’s see what the criteria is before we give up on the hopes of toppling London. I was going to give you the actual link to the page but fortunately I realised in time that TripAdvisor might blacklist us immediately if 15 or even 50 people filled in the form and rated Parwich as John and me; instead I write it out myself:

How would you rate Parwich for these activities? Answer 1-5 (1 being terrible, 5 being excellent)
Food & Wine
Skiing/Winter Sports (almost could have said yes last week!)
City Break
Spa and Wellness

What is your score? Much as we all might love Parwich, it is not going to make it to the Awards…

Finally, to end on a slightly more serious note… TripAdvisor has been a lot in the news recently, with hoteliers I think, mainly, being very upset about malicious anonymous reviews that they cannot remove; others have claimed that often rivals would write themselves, or get members of staff to write, bogus rave reviews about their own establishment whilst slating the competition.

The fact that many millions of travellers use TripAdvisor to plan their holiday, researching accommodation, restaurants and destinations (vote for Parwich!) and finding the information and reviews extremely helpful has been largely ignored in the articles that I have seen.

As far as we are concerned here, being such a small, personal setup, we have not yet suffered any mishaps and we have played by the rules ourselves: we most certainly have never written a review ourselves pretending to be guests of Tom’s or Douglas’s Barns (not even when we have stayed as genuine guests!). We often do not know who has written a review but from what people say, and their destination one can be totally confident that so far all the reviews we have had are completely genuine ones, from guests that have stayed really here.

The fact that the reviews have been very positive is very encouraging and rewarding for us but we are well aware that one day we may have an upsetting one. Things can go wrong in the most ordered of setups (fridges giving up the ghost on Christmas Eve, water pouring through the kitchen ceiling, keys getting stuck in locks – yes to all of those!).

One can imagine that very often people who write damning reviews are feeling so aggrieved is because they feel nobody has listened or cared enough to do anything about their grievance at the time at the time .

This is where people like us, being on the spot, have an enormous advantage. We would always hope to be able to deal with the problem instantly which thanks to a wonderfully loyal and willing team of local tradesmen, builders, cleaners  and general helpers we almost always can although it can be very fraught at the time.

So we think TripAdvisor is great… But, back to the destination rating. How has Parwich fared? 55/55 is the top mark but we have no beach, no nightlife, no one offers city breaks and the skiing is not well established. Perhaps it will be Baslow, or even London.

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