Hard Rock Finishes Out 50th Anniversary Year With Worldwide Activations

The Latest Trends in Hotel Guest Satisfaction


J.D. Power released its 2022 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study on Wednesday, revealing a slight dip in guest satisfaction as demand and occupancy return to pre-pandemic levels.

The study found that while pricing is up across all segments, travelers don’t necessarily feel that they’re getting their money’s worth. This year’s 8-point decline (1,000 point scale) in overall satisfaction is the result of several factors, none bigger than hotel cost and fees.

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Satisfaction with guest rooms is also a contributing factor. J.D. Power points out that while hotels still get relatively high satisfaction scores for guest room cleanliness, scores for aspects such as décor and furnishings, in-room amenities and the quality of bathrooms are down compared to 2021.

Guest satisfaction is also being impacted by Wi-Fi costs. More than eight in 10 (81 percent) guests surveyed accessed the internet in their hotel rooms and the percentage who paid extra for Wi-Fi increased four percentage points compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

The study also uncovered the trend of fewer staff interactions amid an industry labor shortage. According to J.D. Power, fewer guests are interacting with front desk staff and breakfast attendants this year compared to 2019. Nonetheless, they still give staff high ratings for courtesy.

“The phenomenon we’re seeing this year tracks closely with the rise in average daily room rates since late 2021, putting hotel property owners squarely in recovery mode,” Andrea Stokes, hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “During the fielding period of the study—June 2021 through May 2022—the average daily rate for branded hotels has risen 34.8 percent. 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. Hotel operators must carefully balance a focus on recovery with the heightened guest expectations that come with higher room rates.”

For this year’s index, J.D. Power added the Upscale Extended Stay and Upper Midscale/Midscale Extended Stay segments, which were won by Hyatt House (857) and Sonesta Simply Suites (852), respectively. Meanwhile, The Ritz-Carlton (885) was awarded the best luxury brand for a second consecutive year and Hard Rock Hotels (883) conquered the Upper Upscale segment for the second year in a row.


Exterior of The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner.
Exterior of The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. (photo via The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner)

Hilton Garden Inn (868) was named the best Upscale brand while perennial Upper Midscale champion Drury Hotels (877) maintained its spot atop the throne for an incredible 17th consecutive year. Finally, Wingate by Wyndham (849) won the Midscale segment while WoodSpring Suites (798) was awarded the best Economy brand for 2022.

The North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, now in its 26th year, analyzes guest responses to more than 150 different questions regarding branded hotel stay experiences and measures the performance of as many as 101 brands across the eight aforementioned market segments. 2022’s study is based on responses from 34,407 hotel guests for stays taking place between May 2021 and May 2022.


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