10 Ways Hotels Use Promo Photos to Fake You Out

It's amazing what a little cropping, staging, and retouching can do to make these hotel photos look much better than the real thing.

Mandarin Oriental, Miami

The Mandarin Oriental's pool is small in real life, suitable only for a quick dip…nothing like the vast, blue expanse of water in the marketing photo.

Aqua Hotel, Miami

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

California Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas

This hotel’s website promises rooms that feel like a tropical island paradise, and backs up the claim with colorful photos. The real room—while clean and comfortable—looks bland in comparison.

Gran Bahia Principe Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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 in the Dominican Republic. Crowded with lots of chairs and lots of people, it's the opposite of deserted.

Content continues below ad

Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort and Spa

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

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

The Hyatt Regency Washington D.C. 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.

JW Marriott Ihilani, Hawaii

The quiet beach paradise depicted in the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort Oahu marketing photo does not seem to be quite so serene with ongoing construction from the Disney Vacation Club Resort next door.

Riu Palace Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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

Content continues below ad

Sofitel Los Angeles

The framing of the Sofitel Los Angeles' website photo hides the looming presence of Macy's.

The London West Hollywood, Los Angeles

When a hotel stages a photo with everyday items—a laptop, say—it's easy to forgive. But this artfully staged photo of a terrace goes beyond the realm of probability.

View as Slideshow

Become more interesting every week!

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.