Prices up, service & satisfaction down at hotels

We’re writing this post from a hotel where we’re paying more than we’d planned to and getting way less comfort and service than we expect.

And that seems to be the travel experience many others are having in this easing-out-of-the-pandemic season.

According to the recent J.D. Power 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, while demand for hotel rooms is on the rise, and prices for hotel rooms are way up, there is no improvement in amenities or service.

The study found that overall hotel guest satisfaction declines 8 points – on a 1,000-point scale – from 2021, driven primarily by dissatisfaction with cost and fees, and guest rooms.

“During the period of the study—June 2021 through May 2022—the average daily rate for branded hotels has risen 34.8%,” said Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power. “Many hotel owners and operators are using this post-pandemic surge in travel to get back on a steady financial footing, yet they held back on investing in upgrades and improvements during the pandemic.

Here are some other findings from the 2022 study:

Does that sound like what you’re experiencing with your recent hotel stays?

• The single biggest factor driving the decline in overall satisfaction is hotel cost and fees.
• While hotels still get relatively high satisfaction scores for guest room cleanliness, scores for décor and furnishings, in-room amenities, and quality of bathrooms have declined from a year ago.
• More guests are paying for internet access.
• Fewer staff interactions: frontline hotel staff are spread thinner this year due to the industry labor shortage.

Image courtesy Joel Ross – Room 28

Where to stay?

Hoping to stack the deck in terms of satisfaction with your next hotel stay?

Here are the hotel brands that rank highest in the J.D. Power study for guest satisfaction in their respective segments:

Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (885) (for a second consecutive year)
Upper Upscale: Hard Rock Hotels (883) (for a second consecutive year)
Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn (868)

Upscale Extended Stay: Hyatt House (857)
Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels (877) (for the 17th consecutive year)

Upper Midscale/Midscale Extended Stay: Sonesta Simply Suites (852)
Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham (849)
Economy: WoodSpring Suites (798)

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