Ritz-Carlton Ranked Top Luxury Brand by J.D. Power

by Jessica Montevago
Ritz-Carlton Ranked Top Luxury Brand by J.D. Power

For the fourth consecutive year, the hotelier topped the J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index. Photo: Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara

Travelers are happier than ever with their hotel accommodations, as overall satisfaction for the industry has increased, according to the annual J.D. Power hotel satisfaction study.

The J.D. Power 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index showed that overall satisfaction for the industry increased 8 points to 825 (on a 1,000-point scale), driven by increased approval of guest rooms and hotel facilities.

Scoring the highest ever for a brand in the study, Ritz-Carlton earned 902 points (up 14 from last year). At the top in five of the seven factors in the luxury segment, Ritz-Carlton has high levels of consumer loyalty and advocacy, with 70 percent or more of guests stating they “definitely will” recommend the chain to someone else and more than half of guests saying they “definitely will” book with Ritz-Carlton again.

In the upper-upscale segment, IHG’s boutique Kimpton Hotels ranked the highest in guest satisfaction, with a score of 872. Hilton Garden Inn ranked the highest, for the third consecutive year, among upscale hotel brands, with a score of 867.

For the 13th consecutive year, Drury Hotels led the upper-midscale segment with 895, up 15 points from last year and the third-highest score of any brand. The Missouri-based hospitality company also ranked the highest in the upper-midscale segment across all seven factors.

Compared with 2017 results, the greatest improvement in overall satisfaction occurred in the upper-midscale segment (+12 points on a 1,000-point scale). A 7-point increase was posted in the luxury, upper-upscale, upscale and midscale segments, while a 6-point improvement was found in the upper-extended stay, extended stay and economy segments.

“Hotels in all price ranges have exceled at ensuring their customers have a top-notch experience,” said Jennifer Corwin, associate practice lead for the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power. “Years of capital investment in offerings such as higher-end televisions and in-room tablets have left their mark. Now, as hotels look to push customer satisfaction levels higher, their focus should turn to service areas.”

The study pointed out that while providing an authentic local experience in food and beverage is important to guests, focusing on delivering a location-specific feel through décor and facilities can cause a greater lift to overall satisfaction.

Now in its 22nd year, the J.D. Power North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index measures overall guest satisfaction across eight hotel segments, tracking seven key factors to determine overall satisfaction: reservation; check-in/check-out; guest room; food and beverage; hotel services; hotel facilities; and cost and fees. This year’s study is based on responses from approximately 55,000 hotel guests who stayed at a hotel between May 2017 and May 2018.

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