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The Top Hotels for Customer Service

SmarterTravel

Looking for a lodging option with more than just a comfortable bed? The top hotels for customer service in the U.S., according to the new American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), are Hilton and Marriott. Hilton won overall with a customer satisfaction score of 82, followed closely by Marriott at 81, while Marriott’s sleek AC Hotels had a top score of 84.

America’s Top Hotels for Customer Service

Hyatt and Starwood tied for the third spot at 79, followed by Best Western and InterContinental at 77, and La Quinta at 76. The top hotels report marks “all others” at 75, with only Choice (73), Wyndham (70), and Motel 6 (65) scoring below the “all others” group, which consists of smaller chains and independents. The eight top chains account for about half the total U.S. hotel market—a much lower concentration than in the airline sector, where the report notes customers are less satisfied overall than hotel customers.

Six of the nine top hotels include their own segmented brands, tailored to some travel styles or price point. Among those smaller brands, top scorers are AC Hotels by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton, and JW Marriott, with scores ranging from 81 to 84. At the bottom are Ramada, Super 8, Quality, Days Inn, and Motel 6, scoring 65 to 67.

Although the data signal that the more upscale brands outscore budget brands, some brands seem to do better than their market position would indicate. The two top brands, AC Hotels and Hilton Garden Inn, are in just the middle-range “upscale” category, and outscore all the “luxury” and “upper midscale” brands. The top “midscale” brand, Candlewood Suites, scores close to the top at 79. Those boast some good value for top hotels.

Among the various factors that contribute to customer satisfaction were “ease of check-in process” and “ease of making a reservation,” which earned scores of 85 and 86. “Room quality” was next at 82; then in-room Internet at 77, and then in-room entertainment at 76. Hotel guests are less satisfied with the chain’s loyalty program, amenities, and food service, at 74.

Hotels in general ranked 32nd among the 44 industries that ACSI covers, scoring 78. By comparison, Televisions and video players score a top 85, Internet service providers and subscription television services score a bottom 64, and airlines score a low 73 tied along with, among others, the Post Office.

ACSI is a highly regarded source of data on customer satisfaction. You can view the full 2018 report here.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

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