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New study shows hotel guest satisfaction at a seven-year high

Posted by Melanie Nayer  July 24, 2013 08:09 AM

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ritz-carlton-boston-common.pngAfter two years of decline, hotels are gaining an edge on guest satisfaction with seven-year high, according to the 2013 J.D. Power & Associates Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

The Ritz-Carlton ranked highest in guest satisfaction in the luxury hotel segment for the fourth consecutive year.

The J.D. Power 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study released today measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; midscale full service; midscale; economy/budget; upper extended stay; and extended stay. Seven key factors are examined within each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees.

The following hotel brands rank highest in guest satisfaction in their respective segments:

  • Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton
  • Upper Upscale: Kimpton Hotels
  • Upscale: Hyatt Place
  • Midscale Full Service: Holiday Inn
  • Midscale: Drury Hotels
  • Economy/Budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
  • Upper Extended Stay: Homewood Suites
  • Extended Stay: TownePlace Suites

Other key findings from the study showed that overall guest satisfaction has improved to 777, up 20 points from 2012 and the number of interactions a guest has with the hotel staff may have a significant impact on overall satisfaction, which includes reservation, cost and fees, and check-in/check-out. The study showed that the number of interactions guests have with the hotel staff may have a significant impact on satisfaction.

It will be interesting to see what hotels do with this piece of information. As more hotels are moving to automated check-ins and relying on technology to do typical guest relations things like make spa appointments and reserve a restaurant table, will that result in a lesser guest satisfaction rating? Is the human component as strong as we always assumed?

"As hoteliers experiment with automated methods of check-in and check-out that tend to reduce the number of human touch points, it is important that they use the additional staff time gained to offer a warmer, more personalized experience for their guests," said Ramez Faza, senior manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power. "Hotels should never underestimate the power of the human element."

Internet usage (or lack thereof) still remains a key factor in guest satisfaction, according to the study, as does price and proximity.

For hotel guests, J.D. Power offers the following tips:

  • Make the hotel work for you. Contact the property ahead of time and ask for suggestions for things to do; have them book restaurant reservations; and get all the directions you need before you arrive.
  • If you are a frequent guest of a particular hotel, know the name of the front office manager and communicate to them ahead of your arrival to ensure they are aware of your visit. Loyalty still goes a long way in the hotel business.
  • If you have special requests, call the hotel directly, talk to the front office manager, or email them with your needs. They are usually willing to work with you when given ample time. Don't wait until you arrive to make complicated requests.
  • Don't assume all hotels are alike. Take advantage of all the information available to make an informed choice. If you know what you are getting ahead of time, you are less likely to be disappointed with your stay.

Read the entire 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study

Readers: How satisfied were you with your last hotel stay?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Melanie Nayer is a travel writer who spent many years in the newsroom before jetting off to see the world. Her goal is to bring readers the best insider information More »

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