Donna .. you´re far more informed than I about all this . But since i´ve used tripadvisor before ( not always successfully ) I think the rating system is based on client feedback .. not professional feedback .
So , for example , here in Madrid without doubt the Ritz and the Wellington are the best hotels ... 5 star luxury . Whilst I would love to stay in one of those , I wouldn´t just because I think the prices are ridiculous .
I´ve stayed in luxury hotels before , in London , Bahrain , Kuwait etc ... but paid for by my company .
I would never pay out that sort of cash for a hotel room unless I was a man of substantial means .
But Donna , I do agree with you . Tripadvisor can be useful but can be confusing . I took advice to stay in a hotel in Istanbul and it was awful .. I dealt with it because I love that city .. but the hotel was "recommended " .
I would recommend using MadridMan´s site to get information .. It´s always honest comments .