Hotel fakeout photos can lure you and your money

fake hotel photos rip you off
fake hotel photos rip you off

When I visit a hotel I don't expect to see any of the models the properties use in their glamorous come-hither promotional material. But I sure don't expect to see a construction crane, smaller-than-advertised pool, or any of the other doses of reality that were cropped out of the ugly realty when I check in.

Such is the value of Oyster.com, a hotel review Web site that has what it calls "photo fakeouts" of what hotels don't want customers to see. At least not before they book their rooms.

One of my 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 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.