Results are in for the latest J.D. Power and Associates consumer survey of hotel guest satisfaction, and they include some pleasant (and not so pleasant) surprises for specific Marriott and InterContinental brands.
In the luxury hotels category – the highest of the eight segments in the survey – the leaders in guest satisfaction are two Marriott brands – JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton, which tied for the #1 spot. What do you think about that? Which brand do you prefer? Four Seasons is close behind at #3. Four Seasons beat by JW Marriott? Yep. The trendy W brand ranks at the bottom, tied with InterContinental Hotels. Remember when W hotels was the spunky fun new kid in town that everyone loved? (See JD Power Luxury rankings here)
Hyatt was the most highly rated brand for 2017 in the “upper upscale” category, but in second place was a relatively new InterContinental Hotels Group brand – Kimpton. That brand won highest ratings for its food and beverage, the quality of its guest rooms, and its check-in/check-out experience. (I love Kimpton because it’s so good at getting so many “little things” right. See 10 little things few hotels get right.) Ranking dead last in the upper upscale segment, however, was Marriott’s Sheraton brand, which like W was part of its Starwood acquisition – despite the millions of dollars spent in recent years to upgrade and modernize Sheraton properties. Could this lead Marriott to start thinking about eliminating Sheraton from its portfolio of 30 brands? See upper upscale rankings here.
Taking the guest satisfaction trophy in the upscale segment was Hilton Garden Inns – the only first-place finish for a Hilton brand in the whole guest satisfaction survey. Hilton Garden Inns outscored Marriott/Starwood’s Aloft, Hyatt’s Hyatt Place and Marriott’s Springhill Suites brands. Coming in at the bottom of the 10-brand category were tired old Radisson and Four Points by Sheraton (another brand that could be on Marriott’s chopping block). See the upscale rankings here.
What is it about Drury Hotels? It’s hardly a household name, and unaffiliated with the major chains, but it ranked highest in the survey’s upper midscale category – as it does almost every year. (Have you ever stayed at a Drury property? What’s so great about them?) Winning the midscale category was Wingate by Wyndham, a group of independently-owned hotels that is part of the Wyndham family, with Best Western finishing a close second. At the bottom of the nine-brand midscale group were Ramada and Quality.
The 2017 survey – which polled 63,000 hotel guests in the U.S. and Canada – also found that use of a hotel company’s app both for booking and for various tasks at the property leads to higher guest satisfaction. But who really uses them? J.D. Survey said: “Among guests who have a hotel’s app on their mobile device, 38% don’t use it during their stay. Only a tiny percentage of check-ins (4%) and check-outs (1%) occurs through mobile apps, but when it is used, it is associated with higher guest satisfaction.”
Are you a regular user of hotel apps? I have become one over the last year and watched those apps improve immensely, but wonder about other frequent travelers. Please leave your comments about the survey and app usage below.