Hotels Are (Mostly) Doing it Right

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Travelers are happier with hotels than they have been in years.

That’s according to the latest North American hotel guest satisfaction survey by J.D. Power. The annual survey shows that improvements in facilities and services have helped boost hotel guest satisfaction to its highest level since 2006. More than 67,000 hotel guests in Canada and the U.S. were surveyed for the report.

On a 1,000-point scale, overall guest satisfaction for 2014 is at 784, up 27 points from 2012. Hotel guests rank their satisfaction in eight hotel categories, including luxury, midscale and budget, as well as seven factors: reservation process, check-in/checkout, guest rooms, food and beverages, hotel services, hotel facilities, and rates and fees.

The survey shows that the millennial crowd (Generation Y) is the most critical of hotels, especially when it comes to interactions with hotel staff. In a press release, Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, said:

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.

According to USA Today, Garlick said hotel guests are increasingly happy with hotels that have upgraded their facilities and amenities. “We’ve just seen a lot of rebounding from the recession when renovations were put off and service cuts were realized by the guests,” Garlick said.

Somewhat surprisingly, just 12 percent of people said they select a hotel primarily based on price, a 7 percentage point drop from 2013. Hotel guests’ biggest complaints are dirty rooms and issues with Internet connectivity.

The top-scoring hotel brands in each category are:

  • Four Seasons (luxury) — 886.
  • Kimpton (upper upscale) — 847.
  • Hilton Garden Inn (upscale) — 836.
  • Holiday Inn (midscale full service) — 793.
  • Drury Hotels (midscale) — 855.
  • Microtel (economy/budget) — 751.
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton (upper extended stay) — 843.
  • Candlewood Suites (extended stay) — 804.

Click here to see how other hotel brands stacked up on the survey.

Polite and helpful staff and cleanliness can make or break a hotel stay for me.

What about you? What is your biggest hotel gripe? And what’s your favorite hotel? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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