Here's Why You Should Never Trust The Photos Hotels Post Online

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It’s one thing for hotel marketers to show a hotel at its best. It’s quite another to make it look far better than it actually is.

We’ve pitted these 12 marketing images against photos of the real thing to show you how hotels mislead travellers through clever staging, cropping and Photoshopping.

FANTASY: The JW Marriott Ihilani Resort

REALITY: Say bye-bye to your serene hotel beach scene

The quiet beach paradise depicted in the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort marketing photo does not seem to be quite so serene these days. Ongoing construction will mar the setting until the Disney Vacation Club Resort opens next door in 2011.

Read the full JW Marriott Ihilani Resort review.

FANTASY: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill

REALITY: D.C. Capitol offence

The Hyatt Regency Washington is certainly located near the U.S. Capitol building, but not as near as the hotel website's photo, taken with a zoom lens, indicates.

Read the full Hyatt Regency Washington review.

FANTASY: Breezes Montego Bay

REALITY: Not So Hot Tub

Lush foliage, cushioned lounge chairs and patterned Jacuzzi tiles make the Breezes Montego Bay hot tub look like a tropical paradise. Too bad they don't actually exist.

Read the full Breezes Montego Bay review.

FANTASY: The Aqua Hotel's Pool

REALITY: Model man goes surfing in a hot tub

This model will have a tough time going surfing in The Aqua Hotel's 'pool' -- which is in fact no bigger than a hot tub.

Read the full Aqua Hotel and Lounge review.

FANTASY: Riu Palace Punta Cana

REALITY: A classy, intimate beach wedding for everybody!

Couples planning to say 'I do' at the Riu Palace Punta Cana might encounter a few unexpected guests at their ceremony. Nothing says romance like an uninvited onlooker in a leopard print sarong.

Read the full Riu Palace Punta Cana review here.

FANTASY: Sofitel L.A.

REALITY: The magic of framing hides the magic of Macy's

The framing of the Sofitel L.A.'s website photo hides the looming presence of Macy's.

Read the full Sofitel Los Angeles review here.

FANTASY: Riu Negril Club's Pool

Reality: Sexy lady phenomenon

Marketers can't show you real guests, but they're always more than happy to include one, singular sexy lady in an eye-catching swimsuit. Oyster.com's photo of the Riu Negril Club's pool gives you a real impression of what it's like to sunbathe among the swarms of swimmers splashing about.

Read the full Riu Negril Club review here.

FANTASY: Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana

REALITY: The myth of mega-resort serenity

All too often, mega resorts market their beaches as pristine, serene, and romantic; in reality, most are anything but. Take, for example, the above photo of Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana. Crowded with lots of chairs and lots of people, it's anything but deserted.

Read the full Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana review here.

FANTASY: The Riu Negril Club King Bed

REALITY: Under the covers

Hotels can be good at hiding things under the covers. The Riu Negril Club website photo would be pretty accurate, if it didn't camouflage one very important fact: The 'king bed' is really two double beds pushed together.

Read the full Riu Negril Club review.

FANTASY: The Grand Palladium Bavaro's Buffet

REALITY: This buffet looked more delicious in 1988

The Grand Palladium Bavaro's buffet looks a lot more appetizing in the resort's 1980s-era website photo.

Read the full Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort & Spa review.

FANTASY: The Essex House Hotel

REALITY: Traffic light violation

In this Expedia photo of the The Essex House Hotel in Miami, the traffic light and street lamp have been conveniently Photoshopped out . Talk about a traffic violation.

Read the full Essex House Hotel in Miami review.

FANTASY: The Townhouse Hotel

REALITY: Fake lights at night

The Townhouse Hotel's rooftop lounge can be a fun place to party, but unless you're taking hallucinogenic substances, you're probably not going to see the gazebo glowing the way it is in the marketing photo. You also won't see a building-free skyline.

Read the full Townhouse Hotel review.

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