Does This Hotel Charge Guests Extra For Bad Yelp Reviews?

A tiny hotel in Hudson, New York is making waves for all the wrong reasons. Allegations have been made against the Union Street Guest House for supposedly making guests who host weddings and other private events at the hotel agree to a $500 fee tacked on to their bill if they post any negative online reviews. Soon after Page Six reported the hotel's unusual policy, hundreds of negative reviews have been written on the tiny inn's Yelp profile, lowering their score to a meager 1.5.

The written policy, which has since been removed from Union Street's website reads: "Please know that despite the fact that wedding couples love Hudson and our inn, your friends and families may not. If you have booked the inn for a wedding or other type of event . . . and given us a deposit of any kind . . . there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review . . . placed on any internet site by anyone in your party."

Since then, Union Street Guest House owner Chris Wagoner has said that the policy was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, and was not actually enforced. However, one Yelp reviewer, who posted about his wedding at the Guest House last year, stated: "The management of this hotel had the gall to email us twice to threaten us financially about the negative review," after his initial review which complained of a broken hairdryer.

We reached out to Union Street Guest House for comment, but have not heard back.

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi