Raveable.com sets the record straight: Former Microsoft employees rank hotels on Web site

Two former Microsoft employees have launched a Web site which ranks hotels and gives a rapid rundown of why they are or aren’t recommended by real people.

Former Microsoft employees Rafik Robeal

Former Microsoft employees Rafik Robeal

Two former Microsoft employees have launched a Web site which ranks hotels and gives a rapid rundown of why they are or aren’t recommended by real people.

Philip Vaughn and Rafik Robeal created Raveable.com,/a> because they found it “personally very frustrating to plan vacations, going back and forth, searching so many sites,” said Vaughn.

Nearly everyone has had the experience of arriving at a hotel and finding it to be far less appealing than what they had expected. There’s no shortage of hotel info on the Internet, but the hope here was to bring lots of user feedback to one place, with positive and negative comments about qualities such as the property’s location, amenities, cleanliness and noise level.

All major U.S. cities and many suburbs — including Redmond — are represented on Raveable.com. The site works for business or recreational travel, although leisure travelers, especially singles, newlyweds or empty nesters make the most trips.

“We’ll be adding family-friendly hotels later,” Robeal noted.

Raveable.com is not a travel agency and the partners have no sales quotas. By analyzing user reviews of hotels, their goal is to “tell you upfront, the good and the bad. We want to show the hidden truth, mine as deeply as possible,” Vaughn explained.

A press release stated, “We built our technology to summarize guest reviews by giving a few gifted computer engineers too much caffeine and unlimited number of computers to create an artificial intelligence or more specifically natural language process (NLP). This process semantically analyzes portions of each hotel guest review against an ontology to determine the subject matter … and the sentiment of the statement.”

It’s true that “close to sights” could also mean close to a noisy train station. But certain words like “paper-thin walls” and “earplugs” are going to tell you right away that the place isn’t quiet.

Color-coded ranking methods are included on Raveable.com, too, for users who just want to cut to the chase.

Hotels with rankings displayed inside of a green square are considered good — ranked in the top 40 percent of all ranked hotels in that city for that given aspect, whether it’s “service,” “overall,” etc.

Hotels with rankings inside an orange square are deemed “average,” ranked in the middle 20 percent of all ranked hotels in the city for that given aspect.

If the hotel is inside a red square, it’s regarded as “poor,” ranking in the bottom 40 percent.

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