Best Rated Reviews

Best Rated Reviews features the “best of the best” in travel, leisure and related products.  Our primary audience is high-end luxury travelers who are looking for optimal travel and leisure experiences. Our travelers want to know, “What is the best lodging, attraction, or product for my money?”  We help them bypass the massive overload of online reviews and give them targeted recommendations from a source they know and trust based on our five-star standard at Best Rated.

The need for authentic, genuine, quality reviews is ever-increasing in today’s online marketplace where indiscriminate reviews abound that are not based on any clear standard related to the guest’s targeted travel and leisure values or preferences.  We cater to a growing travel and leisure clientele who do not have time or wherewithal to sift through endless online reviews to find what they want and need.  Instead, they are looking for a straight and efficient way to find the “best of the best” in travel, leisure and related products.  

“Best of The Best”

At Best Rated Reviews, we focus on the “best of the best” in travel, leisure and related products.  Our recommendations consist of good, better and best.  We recommend products  and services which meet our Five-Star Standard with a rating of good (3 stars), better (4 stars), or best (5 stars).  We focus on this standard exclusively because no one who is truly serious about travel ever sets out to make travel or leisure plans and says, “I just want to have a mediocre experience”.  Instead, they look for superlative, quality, memorable, highly-enjoyable experiences, places and products.  In short, they desire “the best of the best”.  

Our Five-Star Standard

Our five-star standard evaluates the following when we are making a recommendation:

  1. High quality – Lodging/acomodation evaluations: Does this lodging/acomoodation provide a high-quality experience for a luxury or experienced traveler?  Does it offer a delicious breakfast or fare made from fresh ingredients? Product evaluations: Is this product well-made?  Is it made of quality material?  Is it made to last?  Will it hold up for the purposes for which it was designed?
  2. Practicality – Lodging/accommodations: Is the lodging practical and conveniently located in relation to activities the guest intends to experience geographically?  Product: Is the product practically designed to meet the need for its intended use?  Is it well-thought out?  Is this product useful?  Is it well-designed to meet the traveler’s need or desire?
  3. Memorability — Lodging/accommodations: Is this accommodation memorable?  Does it stand out from its competitors?  Does it offer the guest or user a memorable experience when staying?    Products: Is this product memorable?  Does it stand out from its competitors?  Does it offer the user a memorable experience?  Events: Is this event memorable?  Does it stand out from its competitors?  Will a person be glad they spent their hard-earned money on it?
  4. Customer Service – Lodging/accommodations: Does this place offer good customer service?  Does this lodging have good hospitality?  If you encounter a problem, is the staff polite and professional in resolving it?  Do they take pride in their customer service?  Is staff genuinely engaged with travelers, making them feel glad they have visited?  Products: Does this company offer good customer service?  If something goes wrong with the product, does this company’s staff act efficiently, effectively and professionally to resolve it?
  5. Overall Satisfaction – Does this place or product offer lingering travel and leisure satisfaction?  Do you feel fulfilled by it when you think back to your experience?  Would you recommend it to others who share in high-quality travel and leisure values?

We are your online source for the “best of the best!” In travel, leisure and related products.  Experience the 5-star difference in recommendations! Visit us at

Hammock Happiness

“Hammock Happiness is the feeling you get when you find a great hammock and it becomes your R & R go-to place.” – Mandy Seymour

If you are looking for a “best of the best” way to enjoy your Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring in Texas, buy a hammock.  We have discovered the joy of what we affectionately call Hammock Happiness.  Hammock Happiness is the feeling you get when you find a great hammock and it becomes your R & R go-to place.  You rest in it.  You relax in it.  You rejuvenate in it.  In short, when you find a hammock that’s right for you, you live your best life in it!

We have discovered that hammocks that are made with a breathable fabric can nicely accommodate Texas’ hot weather and also acclimate to the other seasons as well.  

Here are some ways we found hammock happiness and you can too!

Enjoying much-needed R&R!

Do you ever wish you had a place you could go all to yourself to “get away from it all”?  Where you could relax and rejuvenate in the solace of nature?  If you have a hammock, you can relax and rejuvenate anytime – at home or when traveling!

Watching The Sunset!

A hammock is a great place to enjoy the sunset – anywhere, anytime, any season!

Enjoying together time with loved ones!

Spending time with your dog!

Our dog Beaux loves to spend relaxing quality time with us wherever we are – at home or traveling.  Pets love hammocks.  They love to snuggle with you in a hammock.  When we are at home, we snuggle with our dog, our bunny and even baby chicks in our hammocks!

And glamping!

Here are some breathable hammocks we recommend.  We have thoroughly tested the following brands and they meet our five-star standards and received a 5-star “Best of The Best” rating:

Best of The Best: Hang Loose Hammocks – These colorful hammocks are made in Maui and are built to last.  They are breathable, fray-resistant and stretchably comfortable to your body type.  They are made with 100% authentic Ecuadorian textile fabric.  They hold up nicely in inclement weather as well. 

Find Hang Loose Hammocks here

If you are looking for a second, option for your budget, we recommend Made By Nativos.  They carry  hammocks which are well-made, breathable and flexible.  They will hold up in various weather conditions.  

Find Made By Nativos Hammocks here

Everyone in our family enjoys Hammock Happiness! 

Beaux The Boykin love Hammock Happiness!

Goldie Girl loves hammock happiness!

And even the turkeys, Stagecoach and Tejas!  Hammock Happiness makes everyone happy because we are spending time outside together which is what we love most in our family!

The best part of having a hammock for any occasion is the memories you make and the people you share it with! Even when it’s your little sister! Family fun is for everyone! Especially when you have a great hammock!

Yours for the best! – Mandy and Sarah

Mandy Seymour and Sarah Seymour are a mama-daughter travel duo who traverse the world to find and share the “best of the best” in travel, leisure and related products.  

Mandy Seymour

Mandy Seymour is the Managing Editor of Best Rated Reviews.  Mandy is an award-winning travel writer, photojournalist and author who has traveled the world in search of the “best of the best” and strives to help people know the deeper fulfillment of a life well-lived personally and professionally.  She received the William N. Garrison award for the impact she makes on others in her daily life and work.

Sarah Seymour

Sarah Seymour is a photojournalist with Best Rated Reviews.  She is a photographer and award-winning writer who has a keen eye for Instagram-worthy shots and is a powerful storyteller with a strong ability to convey the essence and enjoyability of places and products through writing and photography.  Sarah won the Scholastic Gold Key writing award for short stories in 2023.  

Ragin Cajun in Houston, Texas

Everyone knows that Southern hospitality is a special quality displayed for the world to see.  However, Southern hospitality is only the tip of the iceberg when you reach into the heart of Louisiana and discover “Cajun Country”.  The French ancestry intertwined with southern hospitality creates the unique experience of life in Southern Louisiana.  Being called Cajun is a badge of honor for those unique and friendly people that wear it. Great food, family, and festivities and a deep sense of religious conviction are what make the Cajuns a joy to be around.  They work hard and they play hard.  

This Cajun experience is proudly on display at Ragin Cajun restaurant.  With four locations in the Houston area, Ragin Cajun offers real Cajun cooking and the Cajun lifestyle.  Recently, we visited the Westheimer location, where we were warmly greeted by the staff. 

If you are not familiar with Cajun cooking, be prepared for food that is seasoned like no other.  Though many restaurants claim to have authentic Cajun food, we find that outside of Louisiana, most only dream of having that unique flavor that only a true Cajun can prepare.  Ragin Cajun offers authentic Cajun fare.  Ragin Cajun is not only authentic.  It is a Cajun family proudly serving the Houston market with family recipes steeped in the authentic world of the Cajun. Family traditions and family pride run deep in the heart of the Cajun people.   The food was plentiful.  The portions were generous

With a packed house and live zydeco music, the old, familiar festive Cajun atmosphere electrified the room with excitement. Whether two people at a table or ten, everyone was laughing, enjoying the music, singing, or dancing.  The expression of “Let the good times roll” was alive and well at Ragin Cajuns.

Not only is the atmosphere festive, it is also wholesome and family oriented.  You can feel free to bring children or mom and dad.  Everyone will love the party you’ll experience when you go to Ragin Cajun.  Let the good times roll!

We Recommend:  the boiled crabs, bread pudding, the authenticity of Cajun food, and live zydeco music.

Best Time To Visit:  Zydeco night on Thursday evenings or any time live music is available.

Contact Info: Ragin Cajun 9600 Westheimer Rd, Houston – (832) 251-7171

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Alexander The Great Greek in Houston, Texas

Located in Houston’s Galleria area, Alexander The Great Greek has great food and people, is easy to find and offers valet parking.  Although unassuming on the outside, it is a world apart on the inside.  Upon entering, we stepped into the festive nature of Greek culture.  We were transported into the very heart of Greece and were met as though we were family as we were ushered to our table.  We were seated near the bandstand and were immediately greeted by an enthusiastic and completely knowledgeable server.We had just settled in when the band appeared and began to play authentic  Greek music that completed transporting us back to the Old Country.

 As we sat and enjoyed the atmosphere, I closed my eyes for just a moment and fully expected that when I opened them again, I would be staring out into the Mediterranean.  It felt just like we had traveled thousands of miles  and we were sitting with a large family overlooking the azure sea. The festive word “Opa!” was constantly being shouted out by someone having a good time, enjoying the festivities.  Opa is a term used for happiness and joy, like “hooray” in English, but better! As our food began to arrive, one sumptuous dish after another continued to amaze us with the quality, presentation, and incredible taste. 

The staff at Alexander The Great Greek was so proud of every dish they served us, their enthusiasm made eating a delight.  From salad to desert, everything was brought to us as if it were an expensive gift and carefully presented to show the absolute pride in what they serve and are. As we dined at this feast, we were suddenly entertained by a professional belly dancer.  Not only did she perform perfectly, the authentic music played by the band completed the transformation and left us thinking that we were thousands of miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.   

Before we realized it, over two hours had passed.  And it was time to go back to the world as we know it.  But for just over two hours, we got to see the heart of Greece  and made a new family of friends that will remain in our hearts for a long time.  Do not miss an opportunity to visit Alexander The Great Greek.  

We especially enjoyed the Grilled Red Snapper (which was so fresh and delicious, it seemed as if someone had just come in from the seashore and delivered the catch of the day and wanted us to have their best).  Mousakka, the live music, and the bellydancer.

Visit Alexander The Great Greek  on Friday or Saturday night for live music and bellydancing from 8-10 p.m.