In an annual survey conducted by Business Travel News (BTN), Four Seasons was rated as the top luxury hotel brand. Other brands rounding out the Top 5 in the luxury tier category were The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Hyatt, JW Marriott and W Hotels. Mandarin Oriental, which garnered first place in BTN’s 2014 survey, did not appear in the Top 5 on BTN’s 2015 list.
BTN’s 2015 survey was based on responses from 283 readers who are corporate travel decision makers. Respondents rated six tiers of hotels (luxury, upper-upscale, upscale, upper-midprice, midprice and extended stay) on 12 different attributes (such as sales staff, meetings facilities and price/value relationship)—assigning them each a score from one to six.
This year in the luxury brand segment, Four Seasons came out on top in nearly every category, receiving an overall score of 5.44. The Ritz-Carlton, which came in second place, garnered an overall score of 5.23; Grand Hyatt scored 5.04; JW Marriott earned 4.94 and W Hotels received 4.71.
Julie Sickel of Business Travel News notes that the average overall score for the luxury tier this year topped last year’s, and that U.S. demand for luxury hotels is growing. She points out that according to statistics from STR, the leading global provider of competitive benchmarking, information services and research to the hotel industry, the luxury segment reported the largest annual increase in rooms under contract during August 2015. It also saw a 63.5 percent increase of rooms under construction.
In explaining its success, Four Seasons Senior Vice President of Global Sales Jonathan Sicroff told Sickel that the brand is “reimagining the entire guest experience, from a physical aspect, to the bathrooms, to the public space … to interacting with travelers along their journey.” Tech improvements include Four Seasons’ new mobile app and upgraded Wi-Fi designed to offer faster speed on unlimited devices. Other amenities that are pleasing Four Seasons guests include beds with interchangeable mattress toppers and 15-minute room service for select menu items.
Results in Other Tiers
In the upper-upscale segment of BTN’s survey, The Westin brand took top honors with an overall score of 4.82. It was followed in order by Hyatt Regency, Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton, InterContinental, Embassy Suites and Sheraton.
In the upscale category, Hyatt Place came in first with 4.53 points. It was followed by Aloft, Four Points by Sheraton, DoubleTree, Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn, Radisson and Crowne Plaza.
Best Western Plus took top honors in the upper-midprice tier with 4.70 points, while Wingate by Wyndham came out No. 1 in the midprice category, earning 4.16 points. In the extended stay tier, Homewood Suites and Candlewood Suites came out on top, with scores of 4.92 and 4.46 respectively.
Overall, Marriott International had five brands—Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites—ranking in the Top 3 in their respective tier categories. Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels each had three brands finish in the Top 3 of their tiers, while IHG and Hilton Worldwide each had two.
For results of the entire survey, click here.