Hotel guest satisfaction reaches all-time high

RankingsHotel guest satisfaction has risen to a record high, while the number of guests experiencing problems during their stay has dropped significantly, according to the new J.D. Power 2015 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.

The study, now in its 19th year, measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments: luxury; upper upscale; upscale; upper midscale1; 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. Satisfaction is calculated on a 1,000-point scale.

Overall satisfaction in 2015 reaches an all-time high with a score of 804, up 20 points from 2014. This is the first time satisfaction has surpassed the 800-point mark. The record-high performance is driven by a significant 20 percent reduction from 2014 in the number of guests who report experiencing a problem during their stay, the lowest incidence since 2006. Staff interactions with guests have a great impact on mitigating problems. There is a 50 percent reduction in the average number of problems experienced when staff members greet guests with a smile “all the time,” compared to when guests are only greeted with a smile “sometimes.”

Hotels have an opportunity to substantially improve satisfaction by proactively addressing guest needs. While service recovery is often emphasized as a strategy to regain guest loyalty, it’s even more important to prevent problems from occurring in the first place, which is underscored by a 310-point satisfaction gap between guests who say they “strongly agree” that the hotel staff anticipated their needs and those who “strongly disagree” with this statement (912 vs. 602, respectively).

“Hotels that proactively meet guest needs have the ability to create a positive guest experience,” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “While service recovery is extremely important in the hotel industry, it’s most effective when the entire guest experience is a positive one. Hotel staff members need to maintain a proper balance between proactively addressing needs and responding to problems effectively. Doing so can help guests feel good about their selection of the hotel brand and increase the likelihood they will return for another stay or recommend it to others.”

Key findings

  • Among hotel guests who are “delighted” with their experience (an overall satisfaction rating of 10 on a 10-point scale), 80 percent say they “definitely will” recommend the brand to a friend, relative or colleague, compared with only 2 percent of those who are “disappointed” (ratings of 5 or below). Additionally, among hotel guests who are “delighted,” 66 percent say they “definitely will” stay again, compared with only 4 percent of those who are “disappointed.”
  • There is a strong relationship between guests’ perceptions of how well the hotel brand meets their needs and overall satisfaction. Among Scrutinizers—guests who thoroughly research their hotel choice to ensure it meets their specific needs—56 percent say the hotel brand they selected was “perfect for them.” Satisfaction among Scrutinizers is 898, which is the highest among all guest groups. In comparison, among Price Buyers—guests who select their hotel based primarily on price—only 15 percent say the hotel brand they selected was “perfect for them.” Satisfaction among Price Buyers is 740, the lowest among all groups.

Hotel segment rankings

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

  • Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton
  • Upper Upscale: Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Upscale: Hyatt Place
  • Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels (previously ranked highest in the Midscale segment for 9 consecutive years)
  • Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham
  • Economy/Budget: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham (for a third consecutive year)
  • Upper Extended Stay: Homewood Suites by Hilton (for a third consecutive year)
  • Extended Stay: Candlewood Suites (for a second consecutive year)

The 2015 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study is based on responses gathered between June 2014 and May 2015 from more than 62,000 guests in Canada and the United States who stayed at a hotel in North America between May 2014 and May 2015. 

Overall Customer Satisfaction Index Rankings J.D. Power Circle RatingsTM
(Based on a 1,000-point scale)  For Consumers
The Ritz-Carlton 892 5
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts 875 4
JW Marriott 869 4
Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts 857 3
Luxury Average 857 3
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts 850 3
Loews Hotels & Resorts 850 3
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts 849 3
Grand Hyatt/Park Hyatt Hotels 843 2
W Hotels 840 2
Included in this segment but not ranked due to small sample size are Andaz, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin Oriental, Sofitel, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, Trump Hotel Collection and Viceroy Hotels & Resorts.
Upper Upscale
Omni Hotels & Resorts 860 5
Embassy Suites Hotels 846 4
Kimpton Hotels 844 4
Marriott Hotels & Resorts 843 4
Renaissance Hotels 841 3
Hilton Hotels & Resorts 838 3
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts 838 3
Upper Upscale Average 837 3
Delta Hotels and Resorts 832 3
Westin Hotels & Resorts 832 3
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts 827 2
Sheraton Hotels & Resorts 816 2
Included in this segment but not ranked due to small sample size is Joie de Vivre.
Hyatt Place 847 5
Hilton Garden Inn 846 5
SpringHill Suites 840 4
Hotel Indigo 839 4
Courtyard 833 3
Upscale Average 833 3
DoubleTree by Hilton 830 3
Coast Hotels & Resorts 827 3
Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts 825 2
Aloft 822 2
Radisson 814 2
Four Points by Sheraton 811 2
Upper Midscale
Drury Hotels 885 5
Hampton Inn/Suites 844 4
Fairfield Inn & Suites 834 4
Holiday Inn Express 831 3
Country Inns & Suites 825 3
Comfort Suites 822 3
Upper Midscale Average 822 3
Holiday Inn 815 3
Best Western Plus 801 3
Comfort Inn 796 2
Clarion 785 2
Ramada Plaza 768 2
Wingate by Wyndham 834 5
AmericInn 822 4
Sleep Inn 819 4
La Quinta Inns & Suites 806 4
Best Western 797 4
Midscale Average 787 3
Baymont Inn & Suites 773 3
Red Lion 773 3
Quality 771 3
Ramada 757 2
Howard Johnson 741 2
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham 769 5
Red Roof Inn 746 4
Howard Johnson Express 743 4
Super 8 742 4
Americas Best Value Inn 741 4
Days Inn 739 4
Econo Lodge 728 3
Economy/Budget Average 728 3
Travelodge 709 2
Motel 6 703 2
Rodeway Inn 692 2
Knights Inn 677 2
Upper Extended Stay
Homewood Suites by Hilton 857 5
Staybridge Suites 853 3
Upper Extended Stay Average 852 3
Residence Inn 850 3
Hyatt House 835 2
Extended Stay
Candlewood Suites 829 5
TownePlace Suites 821 5
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham 801 4
Extended Stay Average 763 3
Extended StayAmerica 736 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

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