The moment where you get to your hotel and you think: man, this is not what I signed up for. It's an especially painful moment when what you actually signed was a credit card receipt for thousands of dollars. Well, hotel reconnaissance can help you avoid those painful mistakes. Sure, you can Google Earth the beach or the pool all you want, and that might give a clue. But there's nothing like hiring your own investigator. That's basically the service Oyster provides, going behind the scenes to separate the facts from the marketing fiction.
Oyster calls itself "The Hotel Tell-All" site, and their most memorable feature is a series of comparative photos that match up the slick, professionally made marketing shots the hotels show you with what it's really like when you stay there. Oyster calls it "Photo Fakeouts" -- and while it's not always an evil bait-and-switch "fakeout" by the hotels, it's only natural for a business to want to put its best foot forward. So hotels tend to show their most peaceful, beautiful aspects -- and leave out the crowds and chaos. Anybody who has sold (or bought) a house knows that staging and day-to-day living are different things. Oyster specializes in showing the reality. And yes, we knew you'd ask: they're hiring.Most INTERESTING FINDS on Amazon]