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How to Get Some Hotel Satisfaction


Guests are starting to expect special hotel perks rather than being impressed by them.

Lifestyle, Travel

If you can’t get any satisfaction from work or your home life, then check into a Ritz-Carlton hotel. Everyone at the Ritz will be nice, your accommodation will be oversized, and room service (my favorite hotel indulgence) will be reasonably prompt and impeccably served. The Ritz-Carlton chain, for the second consecutive year, ranks highest in delivering guest satisfaction, according to the recently released J.D. Power 2016 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study. The only problem at the Ritz-Carlton: the room price requires deep pockets.

While luxury costs money, satisfaction does not. Ritz-Carlton received the unprecedented score of 896 out of a possible 1000 points; however, the Power study analyzed eight property categories. In the economy/budget segment, Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham scored 779, coming in first in the lower-priced group for the fourth consecutive year.

Most satisfying hotel chains

  • Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, for two consecutive years, 896
  • Upper Upscale: Omni Hotels & Resorts, for two consecutive years, 856
  • Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn, 844
  • Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels, for 11 consecutive years, 871
  • Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham, for two consecutive years, 834
  • Economy/Budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham, for four consecutive years, 779
  • Upper Extended Stay: Hyatt House, 856
  • Extended Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton, 863

Most important amenities cited by guests:

  • Free Wi-Fi — 71% of guests said they stay in places that provide this
  • Complimentary breakfast — 56% received this
  • Free parking — 61% received this
  • Fourth amenity, luxurious bedding and linens are becoming more important, yet only 37% of guests said their room featured this.

Interestingly, because of the relatively high satisfaction scores, guests may be getting blasé about their perks, expecting them rather than being impressed by them. That would account for the small increase of just 2 points in the overall satisfaction rate from 2015 to 2016. From 2014 to 2015, the overall satisfaction rate increased by 25 points.

“Customers have responded well to the enhanced offerings provided by some hotel brands to create value, but as these perks become standard, customers are quick to ask, ‘What have you done for me lately?’” says Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “When guests no longer see added value in the quality of amenities they receive, the only option to truly differentiate a brand is to develop a strong service culture that makes guests feel special and appreciated.”

I can’t wait. How about you?

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice