Top Luxury Hotel Brands

July 18, 2014
Laura Joszt

A bad hotel experience can put a damper on an otherwise good vacation. Luckily for travelers, hotel guest satisfaction has reached its highest level since 2006.

A bad hotel experience can put a damper on an otherwise good vacation, but luckily for travelers, hotel guest satisfaction has reached its highest level since 2006, according to J.D. Power.

The recently released J.D. Power 2014 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study measures guest satisfaction across 8 hotel segments using 7 key factors: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees.

A room that has not been cleaned has the greatest negative impact on satisfaction (213 points) among all the problems guests experience. Meanwhile, internet connectivity challenges remain twice as prevalent as any other problem and are consistently a problem regardless of whether the access is complimentary or costs an extra fee.

Overall satisfaction (on a 1,000-point scale) averaged 784 points and almost all hotel segments experienced segment improvement. However, the study found that Gen Y guests (aka, millennials) are typically most critical of their hotel stays. Despite this, they are not necessarily less loyal. Satisfaction was 29 points lower among millennials evaluating a stay based on their first experience with the brand compared to those who have previous experience with the brand they evaluated.

“By improving the brand experience for first-time Gen Y guests, there is a substantial opportunity for hotels to gain a pool of satisfied, committed guests who will be loyal for years to come,” Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “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.”

According to the study, hotel guests who choose their brand primary based on price has fallen from 19% to 12%. These guests, known as Price Buyers, are among the least satisfied of guest groups.

9. Loews Hotels & Resorts

Score: 827

Rating: 2 (out of 5)

Properties: 20 in the United States and Canada

Rewards Program: YouFirst Rewards

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in Nashville. Photo from loewshotels.com.

8. W Hotels

Score: 830

Rating: 2 (out of 5)

Properties: over 50

Rewards Program: Starwood Preferred Guest (the W Hotels chain is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide)

W Retreat & Spa Bali. Photo from starwoodhotels.com

7. Grand Hyatt/Park Hyatt Hotels

Score: 831

Rating: 2 (out of 5)

Properties: 42 Grand Hyatt/38 Park Hyatt

Rewards Program: Hyatt Gold Passport

Grand Hyatt Melbourne. Photo from grand.hyatt.com

6. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

Score: 842

Rating: 3 (out of 5)

Properties: 81

Rewards Program: Fairmont’s President’s Club

Fairmont La Chateau Frontenac. Photo from fairmont.com

5. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

Score: 845

Rating: 3 (out of 5)

Properties: 183

Rewards Program: IHG Rewards Club

Intercontinental Tokyo. Photo from ihg.com

4. JW Marriott

Score: 846

Rating: 3 (out of 5)

Properties: 64

Rewards Program: Marriott Hotel Rewards

JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa in Thailand. Photo from marriott.com

3. Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

Score: 854

Rating: 3 (out of 5)

Properties: 30

Rewards Program: Hilton HHonors

Waldorf Astoria New York. Photo from waldorfastoria3.hilton.com

2. The Ritz-Carlton

Score: 879

Rating: 4 (out of 5)

Properties: 84

Rewards Program: The Ritz-Carlton Rewards

Ritz London. Photo from ritzcarlton.com

1. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Score: 886

Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Properties: 92

Rewards Program: By invitation loyalty program

Seychelles. Photo from fourseasons.com