Industry Guest Satisfaction Up

Hotel Satisfaction Reaches Record High

Gen Y Guests Are More Critical But Not Necessarily Less Loyal

J.D. Power and Associates

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts; Kimpton Hotels; Hilton Garden Inn; Holiday Inn; Drury Hotels; Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham; Homewood Suites by Hilton; and Candlewood Suites Each Rank Highest in Guest Satisfaction in Their Respective Segments

Hotel guest satisfaction has reached its highest level since J.D. Power revised its methodology in 2006, according to the J.D. Power 2014 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM released yesterday.

The study, now in its 18th year, 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 in each segment to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees.

Overall satisfaction in 2014 averages 784 points on a 1000-point scale, up 27 points from 2012, with significant improvement in all segments except upper extended stay and extended stay, where satisfaction remains stable. The midscale segment posts the largest year-over-year improvement, increasing by 10 points to 801, which is the first time satisfaction in the segment has surpassed 800 points. 

The study finds that Gen Y guests[1] (Millennials) are more critical of their hotel stay but, despite popular sentiment, not necessarily less loyal. Among Gen Y guests whose stay at the hotel they evaluated was their first experience with the brand, overall satisfaction is 29 points lower than among those who have a previous experience with the brand they evaluated (758 vs. 787, respectively).

"By improving the brand experience for first-time Gen Y guests, there is a substantial opportunity for hotels to gain a pool of satisfied, committed guests who will be loyal for years to come," said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. "We also find that satisfaction is more than 300 points lower among Gen Y guests who have a low opinion of staff than among Gen Y guests who have a high opinion of the hotel staff, while that difference is much smaller among those in other generation groups.  Hoteliers have the opportunity to improve both satisfaction and loyalty rates by simply focusing on improving their staff interactions with Gen Y guests."

KEY FINDINGS

  • Hotel brands that are perceived as being exciting and trendsetters receive the highest number of positive recommendations, while those perceived as environmentally careless receive the highest number of negative comments. 
  • The proportion of Price Buyers—hotel guests who select their hotel brand primarily based on price—has fallen by a significant 7 percentage points from 2013 (19% vs. 12%, respectively). Price Buyers are among the least satisfied of the guest groups.
  • The proportion of Scrutinizers—those who thoroughly research their hotel choices through online travel review sites and other sources—has increased to 10 percent in 2014 from 7 percent last year. Notably, the Scrutinizer group has the largest number of highly committed guests to a hotel brand.
  • Among all the problems experienced by guests, rooms that are not clean has the greatest negative impact on satisfaction (213 points). 
  • Challenges with Internet connectivity remain twice as prevalent as any other guest problem. The negative impact of these problems is relatively consistent regardless of whether Internet access is complimentary or guests have to pay an additional fee for it.

Hotel Segment Rankings

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

  • Luxury: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
  • Upper Upscale: Kimpton Hotels (for a second consecutive year)
  • Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn
  • Midscale Full Service: Holiday Inn (for a fourth consecutive year)
  • Midscale: Drury Hotels (for a ninth consecutive year)
  • Economy/Budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham (for a second consecutive year)
  • Upper Extended Stay: Homewood Suites by Hilton (for a second consecutive year)
  • Extended Stay: Candlewood Suites

Customer Satisfaction Index Ranking

J.D. Power.com Power Circle Ratings

(Based on a 1,000-point scale)

For Consumers

Luxury Segment

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

886

5

The Ritz-Carlton

879

4

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

854

3

Luxury Average

849

3

JW Marriott

846

3

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

845

3

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

842

3

Grand Hyatt/Park Hyatt Hotels

831

2

W Hotels

830

2

Loews Hotels & Resorts

827

2

Included in this segment but not ranked due to small sample size are Andaz, Mandarin Oriental, Sofitel, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts

Upper Upscale Segment

Kimpton Hotels

847

5

Omni Hotels & Resorts

843

5

Embassy Suites Hotels

830

4

Marriott Hotels & Resorts

830

4

Renaissance Hotels

828

4

Hyatt Hotels & Resorts

821

3

Upper Upscale Average

819

3

Hilton Hotels & Resorts

818

3

Westin Hotels & Resorts

809

3

Wyndham Hotels and Resorts

805

2

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts

795

2

Included in this segment but not ranked due to small sample size is Joie de Vivre

Upscale Segment

Hilton Garden Inn

836

5

Hotel Indigo

835

5

Hyatt Place

832

5

SpringHill Suites

828

4

Aloft

822

4

Upscale Average

815

3

Courtyard

814

3

DoubleTree by Hilton

814

3

Delta Hotels and Resorts^

800

2

Radisson

794

2

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

791

2

Coast Hotels

784

2

Four Points by Sheraton

778

2

^Delta Hotels and Resorts will be included in the upper upscale segment in 2015.

Mid-Scale Full Service Segment

Holiday Inn

793

5

Midscale Full Service Average

765

3

Clarion

756

3

Ramada/Ramada Plaza

723

3

Howard Johnson

721

2

Mid-Scale Service Segment

Drury Hotels

855

5

Hampton Inn/Suites

835

4

Holiday Inn Express

816

4

Fairfield Inn & Suites

815

4

Country Inns & Suites

810

3

Midscale Average

801

3

Comfort Suites

797

3

Wingate by Wyndham

796

3

Best Western Plus

791

3

La Quinta Inns & Suites

790

3

Sleep Inn

782

3

Comfort Inn

774

2

Best Western

772

2

AmericInn

764

2

Baymont Inn & Suites

750

2

Quality

748

2

Ramada Limited

726

2

Economy/Budget Segment

Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

751

5

Red Roof Inn

723

4

Days Inn

710

4

Economy/Budget Average

697

3

Super 8

697

3

Howard Johnson Express

695

3

Travelodge

694

3

Americas Best Value Inn

692

3

Econo Lodge

691

3

Motel 6

690

3

Rodeway Inn

652

2

Knights Inn

645

2

Upper Extended Stay Segment

Homewood Suites by Hilton

843

5

Upper Extended Stay Average

836

3

Hyatt House

834

3

Residence Inn

834

3

Staybridge Suites

832

2

Extended Stay Segment

Candlewood Suites

804

5

TownePlace Suites

802

5

Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham

797

5

Extended Stay Average

752

3

Extended StayAmerica

722

2

Included in this segment but not ranked due to small sample size are InTown Suites, Studio 6 Extended Stay, Suburban Extended Stay and Value Place.

Power Circle Ratings Legend: 

5 – Among the best 

4 – Better than most 

3 – About average 

2 – The rest

The 2014 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses gathered between June 2013 and May 2014 from more than 67,000 guests in Canada and the United States who stayed at a hotel in North America between May 2013 and May 2014.

[1] J.D. Power defines Gen Y as those born between 1977 and 1996.



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