You should never trust the pictures hotels post online

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What you see is not what you get.
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Courtesy of Oyster

We recently learned that hotel stars can’t be trusted, but you probably shouldn’t fall for their photos, either.

Often, hotels find clever angles and smart ways to tweak the photos they post online to make them appear nicer than they actually are.

Hotel-review-website Oyster sends professional reviewers around the world to check out vacation properties – and sometimes, these reviewers come across hotels that are vastly different than the photos on their websites suggest.

Here are some photos they took that didn’t quite match up with the online fantasy – let these “photo fake-outs” serve as a cautionary tale against relying solely on hotels’ marketing materials.


FANTASY: Chilling at the Delfino Beach Hotel’s private beach in Sicily, blissfully devoid of other people.

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Courtesy of Oyster

REALITY: Feeling like a sardine.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the Delfino Beach Hotel’s full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Sleeping like a baby in a giant, plush bed at Hotel Athena in Tuscany.

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Courtesy of Oyster

REALITY: Falling through the giant crack between two twin beds that were shoved together.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read Hotel Athena’s full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Swimming laps at the Inn at Seaside in Oregon.

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Facebook/Inn at Seaside

REALITY: Stewing in a pool that’s hardly bigger than a hot tub.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the Inn at Seaside’s full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Getting the perfect Instagram shot of the Amata Resort’s infinity pool, where there’s nothing between you and the roofs of Phuket.

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Courtesy of Oyster

REALITY: Getting said Instagram shot ruined by a metal fence.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the Amata Resort’s full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Relaxing in this plush, swanky suite at the Centrale Palace Hotel after a day of lugging that Birkin bag around Palermo.

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Courtesy of Oyster

REALITY: Wanting to spend as little time as possible in this bare, mostly empty room.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the Centrale Palace Hotel’s full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Having a super serene stay at this secluded beach at the La Plage resort in Sicily.

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Courtesy of Oyster

REALITY: Sharing it with half the town and lying on rocks.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the La Plage Resort’s full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Engaging in a romantic nighttime swim in the indoor pool at the Norfolk Royale in Dorset, England.

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Courtesy of Oyster

REALITY: Slipping over mildewed tiles and toward a non-functioning hot tub.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the Norfolk Royale full review at Oyster »


FANTASY: Having a pool that’s empty save for beautiful women at the Crown Reef at Myrtle Beach.

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Courtesy of Oyster


REALITY: Kids. Everywhere.

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Courtesy of Oyster

Read the Crown Reef’s full review at Oyster »