Where’s the sexy lady by the pool? Oh no, it’s a photo fakeout

By | August 25th, 2009

riuYou don’t have to read Federal Trade Commission rulings for a living to enjoy this guilty pleasure.

My friends over at the hotel review startup Oyster.com have an irresistible new feature called Photo Fakeout that compares reality with a hotel’s brochure.

It’s jarring, funny, sad — and often, infuriating.

My favorite is the missing “sexy lady” (their words, not mine). The RIU Negril wants to believe lithe models hang out at its pool.


In fact, this is what you’re likely to see …


Where did the woman go?

There’s more. Here’s a before-and-after of a buffet at a Dominican Republic resort. Yuck.

Destination wedding anyone? You probably want to avoid the drunken, sunburned people who will be joining you at this hotel.

Here’s a resort that learned how to use Photoshop. Wow. My seven-year-old could do that.

This feature is an inspired idea. I hope travelers will read it — if not for the warnings, then for the laughs.

(Photo of the Riu Negril beach … I think. Hat tip to Paul.)

We want your feedback. Your opinion is important to us. Here's how you can share your thoughts:
  • Send us a letter to the editor. We'll publish your most thoughtful missives in our daily newsletter or in an upcoming post.
  • Leave a message on one of our social networks. We have an active Facebook page, a LinkedIn presence and a Twitter account. Every story on this site is posted on those channels. The conversation ranges from completely unmoderated (Twitter) to moderated (Facebook and LinkedIn).
  • Post a question to our help forums or ask our advocates for a hand through our assistance intake form. Please note that our help forum is not a place for debate. It's there primarily to assist readers with a consumer problem.
  • If you have a news tip or want to report an error or omission, you can email the site publisher directly. You may also contact the post's author directly. Contact information is in the author tagline.