J.D. Power: Overall guest satisfaction down


Drury Inns & Suites is listed as one of the top perfromers in J.D. Power's survey on hotel guest satisfaction.

NATIONAL REPORT -- J.D. Power and Associates released the results of its annual hotel guest satisfaction survey today. The survey shows a decline in overall satisfaction among hotel guests despite an improvement in guest satisfaction in regards to hotel costs and fees.

Stuart Greif, VP and GM of global travel and hospitality at J.D. Power, put that guest satisfaction with costs and fees in context: He said that when guests see high airline prices, hotel prices can seem lower by comparison.

“A six or seven percent rise in prices sounds bad, but customers saw the price inflation in the airline industry and expected the hotel prices to be much worse, and so you see the rise in satisfaction,” Greif said.

But while guests didn't seem to mind rising costs for the most part, they did indicate in this year's survey that they are not satisfied with paying for Internet access. Customers were more likely to be satisfied if the costs for Internet access were included in the room rate, and very frustrated when a hotel’s wireless connection was slow, Greif said.

“It would never be acceptable for a hotel to run out of hot water,” Greif explained. “Customers want a continuity in their experience. If the McDonalds across the street has fast, free wi-fi Internet then they expect it in the hotels as well. And it better work. At this point, Internet access is on the same level of importance as parking and food and beverage.”

Counterintuitively, however, overall satisfaction with the hotel experience is down. Greif attributed this to a return to customers being able to afford hotel stays. “Some of the luxuries are lost when a hotel is at capacity. Less attention can be given to individual guests, there is more congestion. It isn’t as easy to get a seat at breakfast if the hotel is full, which is not what people have been used to in the past few years.”

The following hotel brands rank highest in the guest satisfaction survey within their respective segments:
Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (for a second consecutive year)
Upper Upscale: Embassy Suites Hotels
Upscale: Hotel Indigo
Mid-Scale Full Service: Holiday Inn
Mid-Scale Limited Service: Drury Inn & Suites (for a sixth consecutive year)
Economy/Budget: Microtel Inns & Suites (for a 10th consecutive year)
Extended Stay: Homewood Suites (for a second consecutive year)

Greif said service is what continues to set the top-scoring brands apart. “When hotels all [offer] the same technology and the same high-quality food and amenities, the main thing that differentiates top performers is the quality of their hotel staff,” he said. “Human interaction is the main factor that differentiates service.”

Click here to see the complete results of this year's J.D. Power and Associates hotel guest satisfaction survey. 


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