Meet TripAdvisor's top reviewer, who has contributed to the site more than 65,000 times
If TripAdvisor had an arcade game-style high score, then you’d see Brad Reynolds’ initials beside it. The Hong Kong-based American man has been outed as the site’s top reviewer, sharing his opinion about 3,323 different hotels, restaurants and attractions (and by the time you read this, he’ll probably be assigning a three-dot rating to something else). Reynolds submitted his first review in 2010, which means that for the past five years, he’s been writing almost two posts every day.
Posting under the name BradJill (Jill is his wife), he has rated 115 hotels, 1,165 restaurants and 2,031 attractions on the site, reviews that TripAdvisor says have helped and guided more than 2.7 million (!!!) travelers. Although the majority of his reviews are in and around Hong Kong, he’s posted about things to do, see or avoid in an impressive 140 different cities.
His obsession (and since he’s posted in their forums almost 21,000 times, it’s probably fair to call it an obsession) started after he and Jill found themselves turning to TripAdvisor to give them suggestions for their own travels. He told Road Warrior Voices:
“I wouldn’t call myself a super reviewer, maybe just a consistent reviewer. Jill and I research our vacation trips quite a lot on TripAdvisor and do our best to come up with a bucket list of things we want to see and do that are meaningful to us. These are the places that I tend to review from our travels.”
But just being consistent doesn’t even begin to describe it, not when you’ve posted more than 30,000 photographs to one website. (And Reynolds is not compensated by the site for his time or his ever-increasing pile of contributions.) Some of his most recent reviews have been for the Wong Tai Sin Temple in Hong Kong (not “amongst our personal favorite temples”) and the Agave restaurant, where he was displeased with the cheese distribution on his Gringo Nacho plate. Reynolds said:
“While at home in Hong Kong and Macau, there are interesting places to visit or eat at which unfortunately have not been reviewed by many – or any – TripAdvisor members. I will sometimes purposely visit these and take pictures so that I can post a review.”
Obviously, Reynolds is nothing if not thorough; in the months that have followed his trip to New York City, he has posted 42 reviews about everything from the Grand Central Terminal to Times Square to the statues in Central Park (Although he loved Sting’s performance in The Last Ship, so there goes his credibility). Reynolds said:
“I’ll go ahead and take notes on certain places we visit, especially restaurants, as I find it more difficult to remember all of the details and specifics after a few weeks. I used to keep travel journals before, so perhaps this has been replaced by my writing reviews, which I do very much enjoy. Although I try to keep my reviews informative and objective and not so much a reflection of my personal feelings.”
As monumental as his TripAdvisor contributions might be, the most impressive part is that he still seems to have time to leave his house every single day. He puts on actual pants and shoes and goes outside. Who does that?