In hospitality, consistency remains key

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Jeri Clausing
Jeri Clausing

Much of the buzz in luxury circles these days is focused on the unique, the experiences and a sense of place. But a new study is a good reminder that we shouldn’t discount that key hospitality mainstay: consistency.

The analysis by Luxury Branding of more than 2 million reviews on TripAdvisor ranks Ritz-Carlton at the top of the world’s most popular high-end resorts and hotels by a fairly substantial margin.

Ritz-Carlton has spent the past few years working hard to shed its cookie-cutter image to remain relevant in this new age of luxury. The good news is that in doing so it apparently hasn’t lost its core.

“The pole position for The Ritz-Carlton is testament to a truly remarkable level of consistency and proof positive of a deeply entrenched commitment to delighting guests wherever they operate,” said Piers Schmidt, founder of Luxury Branding, a London-based consultancy that specializes in the global luxury market.

“In the opinion of the paying guest, The Ritz-Carlton is without doubt the gold standard."

Other traditional luxury marks like Oberoi Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts dominate the Top 10.

Surprisingly absent, however, was the Four Seasons, which traditionally jockeys with Ritz-Carlton for top spots in rankings. Four Seasons did come in at 13, better than the Peninsula Hotels at 20, St. Regis at 26 and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts at 50.

And so-called luxury “lifestyle” brands Morgans Hotel Group and W Hotels Worldwide were missing from the top 50.

The study analyzed 2.3 million TripAdvisor reviews of what Luxury Branding said were the 59 most popular luxury hospitality brands. Following Ritz Carlton was Oberoi; Raffles was third, while Langham Hotels and Resorts took the fourth spot. The rest of the top 10, in order, were Rocco Forte Hotels, Dorchester Collection, Capella Hotels and Resorts, Park Hyatt, Shangri-La and Armani Hotels & Resorts.

The report, including background on the methodology, is available for download.

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