Road Warrior

Hotel Satisfaction Drops as Rates Climb: Survey

Unsatisfied with your hotel experience? You're not alone.

Hotel room keycard on table
Altrendo Travel | Getty Images

The latest hotel guest satisfaction survey reveals expectations aren't being met even as hoteliers continue to charge more for stays than in previous years. The J.D. Power and Associates 2012 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study released last week shows overall guest satisfaction has declined to 757 on a 1,000-point scale, down 7 index points from 2011. But that's not the worst news.

Satisfaction with check-in/check-out, food and beverage, hotel services and hotel facilities are at their lowest levels since 2006. And satisfaction with guest rooms have declined to within one point of its lowest level in the past seven years.

"As the industry continues to recover and rates increase, hoteliers need to get back to the fundamentals and improve the overall guest experience," says Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice at J.D. Power and Associates, in a press release. "Charging guests more and providing less is not a winning combination from a guest satisfaction perspective, much less a winning business strategy."

One factor in lower ratings are hotels that charge extra for Wi-Fi access. Guests who are charged a fee have an average "costs and fees" satisfaction score of 688, 76 index points lower than those who were not charged a fee.

"When guests learn they have to pay for Internet, or when connection speeds are slow at a hotel, they are much more dissatisfied than they were in the past," says J.D. Power Senior Manager Jessica McGregor, in the release.

The hotels with the highest scores in each category surveyed are as follows:

  • Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (for a third consecutive year)
  • Upper Upscale: Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn and Marriott SpringHill Suites (in a tie)
  • Mid-Scale Full Service:Holiday Inn (for a second consecutive year)
  • Mid-Scale Limited Service: Drury Hotels (for a seventh consecutive year)
  • Economy/Budget: Jameson Inn
  • Extended Stay: Homewood Suites (for a third consecutive year)

For more information about the results and a detailed breakdown within each category, click here.