J.D. Power study shows hotel guests happier than ever

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The Conservatory at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in Northern California.
The Conservatory at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay in Northern California.

Hotels are making their guests happier than ever with nicer rooms, advanced technology and better service.

That's the conclusion of the 2018 J.D. Power 2018 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, which showed the overall guest satisfaction rate increased 8 points from last year to 825 on a scale of 1,000.

Leading the pack is Ritz-Carlton, which scored 902, up 14 points from last year and the highest ever for a brand in the study. It's the fourth year Ritz-Carlton has scored the highest in the luxury sector.

In the upper midscale segment, Drury Hotels scored 895, up 15 points from last year and the third-highest score of any brand. That segment also showed the greatest improvement overall, showing a 12-point increase compared to 7-point increases for luxury, upper upscale, upscale and midscale segments and a 6-point improvement for upper extended stay, extended stay and economy segments.

"Hotels in all price ranges have excelled 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, particularly when it comes to direct booking."

Service areas also are improving, but at a slower rate, she said. In consideration of economic cycles, Corwin said hotels should emphasize further refining their service efforts, which represent greater opportunity for improvement and require less investment than capital improvements.

The following hotel brands ranked highest in guest satisfaction in their respective segments:

Luxury: The Ritz-Carlton (fourth consecutive year)

Upper Upscale: Kimpton Hotels

Upscale: Hilton Garden Inn (third consecutive year)

Upper Midscale: Drury Hotels (13th consecutive year)

Midscale: Wingate by Wyndham (fourth consecutive year)

Economy: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham

Upper Extended Stay: Staybridge Suites (second consecutive year)

Extended Stay: Home2 Suites by Hilton

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