Hotel Satisfaction Up, but Internet Still an Issue for Guests

PHOTO: Hotel receptionist smiles at guest

After two years of declines, hotel guest satisfaction has increased significantly, reaching its highest levels in the past seven years, according a study released Wednesday.

The J.D. Power 2013 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study 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.

Satisfaction has increased in all seven factors.

Internet complaints top the list for hotel guests. Among guests who experienced a problem during their hotel stay, 31 percent had an issue with their Internet service in terms of connection and/or speed.

These hotel brands ranked 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

"The fact that guest satisfaction has turned a corner is great news for an industry that has struggled to sufficiently meet guest expectations in the past few years," said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. "Many hotel chains are finally benefitting from the long-term investments they have been making to improve their properties in terms of staffing, rooms and facilities."

The study also found among guests who choose a hotel primarily because of price, satisfaction is significantly lower than when they choose a hotel based on other criteria. Among the most satisfied guests overall are the 7 percent categorized in the study as "scrutinizers," those who seek out information through online hotel review sites and use it as the basis for their booking.

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