Marriott Hotels was ranked as the best digital brand among upper-upscale and luxury global brands, and Starwood had the most brands in the top 12 in a recently released survey by a New York-based consultancy firm.
Marriott, which took top honors for the second straight year, was the only brand to receive a genius level in L2’s annual Digital IQ Index: Luxury Hotels 2016. It was singled out for its Travel Brilliantly microsite—which encourages guests to submit user content—as well as its mobile site, mobile app and online Marriott Traveler magazine.
Each brand was given a numerical score, which fell into one of five categories: genius (140 and above), gifted (110–139), average (90–109), challenged (70–89) and feeble (69 and below). Marriott received a 140 score, followed by Hilton Hotels & Resorts (137) and Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (132).
Starwood’s top-ranked brands, all in the gifted category, were W Hotels, Westin Hotels and Resorts, St. Regis Hotels and Resorts, Le Meridien Hotels and Sheraton Hotels & Resorts.
All brands were ranked by digital marketing (30 percent), mobile (30 percent), site and e-commerce (30 percent) and social media (10 percent). The top brands were:
1. Marriott Hotels (140)
2. Hilton Hotels & Resorts (137)
3. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group (132)
4. InterContinental Hotels & Resorts
W Hotels Worldwide (tied with 128 each)
6. The Ritz-Carlton (127)
7. Westin Hotels & Resorts (122)
8. Waldorf-Astoria Hotels & Resorts (121)
9. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts
St. Regis Hotels & Resorts (all tied with 120 each)
The survey also revealed trends that point to increased mobile access for guests at the 55 worldwide luxury brands that were studied. Approximately 91 percent of brands now have a mobile-optimized site via smartphone, compared with 84 percent in 2015. Also, at least half of all brands now offer a local online destination guide, compared with 42 percent last year.