Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella review

Warning! Owner of Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella REVIEWS his guests… 

Villa Paraiso on the Beach review
Villa owner who reviews his guests!

Tripadvisor is turning the tables on villa guests – by allowing the owners to rate them. I tell how I was rated three out of five stars by villa owner Paul H of Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella on a private holiday…


For those who aren’t aware – and there is currently at time of writing nothing on Tripadvisor website about this – the owner of holiday accommodation can now review you, the guest. The ratings are done on your personal cleanliness, communication skills and over all rating as a guest. These are averaged by Tripadvisor to make a basic score.

My personal opinion about this:  I never expected when I paid £3500 for ten nights to the luxury Villa Paraiso on The Beach villa near Marbella Spain that myself, my husband, 81 year old mother, daughter, 25 and her boyfriend would be reviewed rated and  scored without our knowledge on a private family holiday.

And for me, the thought that this individual Paul H was secretly rating us, scoring us personally, has spoilt what was otherwise a wonderful holiday.

Three star guest review by ower
Paul rated us three stars

Let me say this – I do understand it can be difficult for villa owners to screen guests. But this is not about reviewing someone who trashes a villa.  if someone trashes a villa that is criminal damage and I am quite sure that sort of guest would be banned from using Tripadvisor (or any other holiday accommodation website) and other property owners made aware.

This is about being reviewed, scored and rated as people after paying a substantial breakages deposit (which we got back in full) and on booking a cleaning fee of a massive £200.

Indeed after enjoying what we thought was an uneventful holiday at Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella, we left the villa spotless with Mr Hackner even sending my husband a text to say in three years of letting the villa he had never had it left tidier and cleaner. He added he hoped we would return.

So you can imagine how shocked I was firstly to receive an email from Tripadvisor telling me we’d been rated and scored as guests by this individual and that secondly he had given us three stars out of five.

What had we done for Paul H at Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella to give us such a low rating? It felt horrible and it still feels horrible. I can only think Mr H rated us lower on our ‘communication skills’ as he didn’t give us a map to his villa and because he also gave us the wrong postcode, we initially drove ourselves to the wrong property (which meant he had to come out and find us but at the time he seemed quite happy to do this.) Or maybe we weren’t sociable enough (we did not contact him once while we were there). Perhaps to get five stars with Paul H guests need to tip him, give him flowers or thank you chocolates when they leave.

Whatever his reasons, it seems spiteful and unnecessary.

I have complained to Tripadvisor as I felt as if someone were judging us while we were there. It feels as if our privacy on a holiday when we were relaxing has been invaded. I have also spoken with a lawyer who says as this is not in Tripadvisor’s Terms and Conditions our data has been handled ‘unlawfully’.  At the time of writing nothing is on Tripadvisor to tell guests about this when they book a property. Tripadvisor say this score is only sent to guests to see. But how is this information stored? Will it be used to rate guests so we be looked upon unfavourably in future?

Tripadvisor is not a community such as Airbnb, which does have reciprocal reviews (big difference is also you know at time of booking…) .Tripadvisor accommodation owners are commercial businesses renting out a property often for thousands of pounds and putting it up for public reviews  – and the management can respond to those reviews. But as a paying guest how could you complain if you had a genuine gripe about the villa – you would be too worried the owner will give you one star, other owners would be sent this information when you try and book and you’d never be able to rent a villa again…

In addition it seems unfair that guests can only review the accommodation whereas the owner can personally review guests as people – scoring them on personal cleanliness, communication skills and an over all personality score.

Although the owner can respond to a review a guest places on Tripadvisor – in a management response – there is no way any guest can correct or challenge a review about them. That seems wrong.

Read here how owners review guests rating them low because their kids might be noisy in the pool – and the advice was to check next time they leave their kids at home!!

Before Paul H marked us as three star people, we had all had a super time at his villa and thought we might return. I had written Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella a four star review saying it would be five stars if some minor points were addressed (more lie out sunbeds, ensure people have proper directions to your villa, include info in the villa about doctors, dentists, when shops are shut for Spanish bank holiday).

Reviewing your guests is no way to treat customers paying thousands for your villa. If you want returning guests or recommendations telling them they are worth just three stars is NOT the way to do it …

As for Tripadvisor – they are a massive faceless organisation which refuses to give me any explanation or even an apology, despite the fact I have been a loyal customer booking through them several times a year for years.

I did send Tripadvisor some questions about these ‘secret guest reviews’ they have introduced – you can read them below. They say they are only using it on holiday rentals right now but what next? Restaurants reviewing their paying diners, hotel staff reviewing guests, airplanes rating how you pack your bags?

Judge for yourself: Here is my Tripadvisor review – now removed at my request because I cannot recommend anyone goes to this villa – If Paul H of Villa Paraiso on the Beach near Marbella wishes to put his management response on this then he is very welcome.

Villa Paraiso on the beach near Marbella reviews

Four stars 

Fabulous villa with stunning garden and pool

Five of us enjoyed a truly relaxing and wonderful holiday in this large and welcoming villa. This is a spotlessly clean villa with a beautiful pool set in a very private garden. Bedrooms are large and airy with stunning balconies. Downstairs was a useful bedroom with ensuite leading onto the garden – perfect for my elderly mother. There is a delightful lounge leading onto a kitchen with everything you need and a delightful conservatory. Beds are comfortable.
The accommodation is not as close as we thought it would be to Marbella (a 15 minute drive if there is no traffic) but it is still easy to get to. However, the location is very handy as you can easily access other locations such as Puerto Banus and Estepona. And it’s well served for local supermarkets.
This villa would get five stars if it were a little better organised. For example, if a lie out sunbed for every person were provided – there were only four provided (along with sit out chairs but we had to swap about to tan our backs!). Also the owner contacted us half way through our holiday to ask about our departure plans and thought we were leaving a day earlier than we’d booked. He also didn’t tell us we had arrived on a Spanish bank holiday weekend so on Monday the supermarket was shut (luckily restaurants were not). And he gave us the wrong postcode so we initially drove to a different property… However, he was easily contactable and welcoming.

Would I recommend this holiday rental to my best friend?   Yes.


Was this review helpful? Yes

This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

TripAdvisor answered some of my questions about guest reviews here:

Is asking accommodation owners to review their guests something you are rolling out/have been doing for a while?

In March 2017, we launched a feature that allows homeowners and property managers to review the travellers who stay in their homes.


Will this information about guests be published?

No, owner reviews of guests are, at this time, only visible to the guest themselves. Reviews are sent to the guest directly by email, and are not visible elsewhere.


And do you think it will help guests and accommodation owners?

Yes. We constantly work to improve the experience of our homeowners and travellers.  Reciprocal reviews are a common feature in the holiday rentals space, and we’re currently looking to understand the level of interest and engagement in this amongst TripAdvisor Rentals’ homeowners, property managers and travellers.


We may make changes to the system later, but we’re focusing on testing and learning first.


Will these reviews be available only to holiday rental owners or across the wider TripAdvisor business?

There are no plans to introduce this system outside of holiday rentals.


Bad review about you? If you are a guest who’s been reviewed by an owner contact us using the form to the right of this page>>>

This article is the personal opinion of the author.

Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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