Never believe a photo if someone's trying to sell you something. Fashion models are airbrushed. Fast food restaurants actually have "food stylists." And unsurprisingly, the photos you see in a hotels' brochures or websites aren't always true-to-life. See this guy with a surf board in the pool of South Beach's Aqua Hotel? It's from the hotel's website, and it seems to imply that their pool is so big you can surf in it.
Too bad the thing is actually about the size of a glorified bath tub.
The comparison of advertising and real life comes from an ongoing project of travel site Oyster.com. The Aqua is far from the only hotel in town that's using trickery.
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The Townhouse Hotel's rooftop has been Photoshopped within an inch of its life, and notice that entire buildings (not to mention construction cranes) in the background have been eliminated.
The Hotel Nash meanwhile seems to have a world class gym, when in actuality it looks like the one your aunt has (and never uses) in her basement.
The Essex House apparently lives in a land free of traffic lights. The Four Season did some redecorating, but they only used Photoshop. The Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove seems to have deforested their rooms.
Maybe the next time a friend comes in to town and books a hotel while raving about how it looks in the photos you should check that those snapshots actually represent reality. Because the last thing you want is them being so upset by being tricked that they end up staying at your place.