American travelers are more satisfied with their hotel options than ever, according to a new study by J.D. Power. Consumers’ happiness with major hotel chains has reached an all-time high, according to the 19th-annual North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study.
The study looked at how pleased travelers were with various aspects of their recent hotel stays, including satisfaction with the reservation and check-in/check-out process, guest room, food and beverage service, on-site services and facilities, and cost. Hotels were then ranked in their respective categories, from luxury to economy, based on how many total points they received out of 1,000. The average score across all categories was 804.
Here are America’s five favorite hotel chains in the luxury to midscale categories, as well as a stand-out property in each chain’s portfolio.
1. Favorite Luxury Hotel Chain: The Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton name has long been synonymous with luxury, and today’s travelers agree that’s still the case. The chain, which operates 89 hotels around the world, scored 892 out of 1,000 in J.D. Power’s luxury segment, trouncing high-end competitors like the Four Seasons, JW Marriott, and Waldorf-Astoria chains.
Signature property: The Ritz-Carlton Central Park
The Ritz-Carlton Central Park is a AAA Five Diamond hotel and earned a five-star rating in 2015 Forbes Travel Guide. The hotel, located at the corner of Central Park South and Sixth Avenue, has views of the park, and guestrooms come with amenities like Asprey toiletries, telescopes for bird watching, and high-thread-count sheets. Stressed-out travelers can enjoy some pampering at the intimate La Prairie Spa. The 60-minute Gentleman’s Retreat includes a facial, manicure, and pedicure and costs $340.
2. Favorite Upper Upscale Hotel Chain: Omni Hotels and Resorts
Omni Hotels came out on top in the “upper upscale” category, ahead of Embassy Suites, Kimpton, and Marriott. The chain has 60 properties across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, and offers special programs for kids like special suites with bean bag chairs and an art table in select hotels, milk and cookies for the first night’s stay, and backpacks filled with fun stuff like crayons and a magnifying glass.
Signature Property: Mokara Hotel & Spa, San Antonio
The Mokara Hotel & Spa is conveniently located in the city center, not far from San Antonio’s famed Riverwalk (some rooms overlook the water). There’s a rooftop pool at this comfortably luxurious property, which was included on Conde Nast Traveler’s 2014 Gold List of readers’ favorite hotels, as well as 17,000-square-foot spa and a AAA four-diamond restaurant, Ostra.
3. Favorite Upscale Hotel Chain: Hyatt Place
Travelers looking for upscale but not luxurious accommodations favor Hyatt Place. The chain earned 847 points on J.D. Power’s 1,000 point customer satisfaction, narrowly beating Hilton Garden Inn (846 points) and Springhill Suites (840 points).
Signature property: Hyatt Place Marathon/Florida Keys
Chains like Hyatt Place offer comfortable and predictable accommodations for business travelers and families rather than wowing them with high-end amenities. Still, the Hyatt Place Florida Keys stands out among this chain’s properties. This hotel, which opened in December 2014, has views of the Gulf of Mexico, a full-service slip and marina, and waterside pool. The hotel has high ratings on TripAdvisor, and guests can take advantage of a complimentary hot breakfast, on-site cafe, and 24-hour fitness center.
4. Favorite Upper Midscale Hotel Chain: Drury Hotels
Drury Hotels earned 885 points out of 1,000 for customer satisfaction in the upper midscale category, significantly more than the average (822 points) or its closest competitors, Hampton Inn & Suites (844 points) and Fairfield Inn & Suites (834 points). Amenities like free evening snacks and drinks (including cocktails) set this chain apart from others in its class.
Signature property: Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch
The downtown Saint Louis location of this family-owned hotel chain is perfect for budget-conscious travelers who don’t want sacrifice amenities or convenience. Ranked one of the top hotels in Saint Louis by TripAdvisor users, visitors stay in a historic building that was once a hat factory. Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch are within walking distance, and perks include both free hot breakfast and the chain’s signature 5:30 p.m. Kick back with free food like chicken strips and mac and cheese, plus beer, wine, cocktails, and soda.
5. Favorite Midscale Hotel Chain: Wingate by Wyndham
Wingate by Wyndham scored 834 out of 1,000 on J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction ranking, well above the average score of 787. Other hotels in this category include Americinn, Sleep Inn, and Best Western.
Signature Property: Wingate by Wyndham Missoula
The Wingate in Missoula features all the standard amenities you’d expect in a hotel of this class, like a fitness and business centers and free WiFi and breakfast. But extras like an indoor water park that’s free for hotel guests and a complimentary shuttle to downtown shops and restaurants make it an especially appealing location.
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