Luxury Hotels Fall Short of Travellers’ Expectations

When it comes to hotels, premium pricing doesn’t necessarily mean a premium experience, with a new study revealing how four in ten business travellers say the luxury market fails to meet their needs.


ÊA poll of Confex attendees by Guoman Hotels, the new global upscale hotel brand offering from UK hotelier Thistle Hotels, highlights how only 55% of respondents believe luxury hotels offer value for money.Ê When it comes to food and beverage service, half (51%) say a better standard can be found at local premium bars and restaurants than on hotel premises.

While the majority agree that luxury hotels provide the best technology (82%) and nearly two thirds (61%) agree they provide an inspiring and motivating setting for meetings and events, the survey highlighted the need for a greater emphasis on style.Ê Three quarters agreed that luxury hotels often feel the same, no matter what city you are in, and only six out of ten (61%) agreed that luxury hotels feature exciting, contemporary design.

Business travellers agree that luxury hotels are situated in the best locations (84%) and offer an attentive, personalised service, but it’s clear there is high value placed on a good bed and comfortable furnishings with only half (52%) agreeing that luxury hotel rooms provide home-from-home comforts.

The emphasis on location, personal touch, and a quality experience from the dining room through to the bedroom, is also highlighted, when business travellers were asked to rank their priorities when booking a hotel (see table).

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Despite business travellers’ misgivings, it’s good news for the industry, with seven out of ten (68%) confirming they intend to spend more on hotel bookings over the next 12 months.Ê Only 10% expect to spend less than last year’s budget.

Commenting on this survey, Beverly King (pictured), Chief Operating Officer of Thistle Hotels, “With the level of competition in the hotels industry rising and the standard of quality increasing exponentially it’s not surprising that people, particularly the business sector, are expecting more for their money. We feel that the recent introduction of our global luxury hotel brand, Guoman, will place us in a very strong position to meet these needs of the discerning business traveller. Quite simply, the vision of our new Guoman brand is to offer exceptional comfort, state of the art meeting and event facilities, superior service and contemporary design.”

Setting the Guoman Standard
The first offering under the Guoman brand, is The Cumberland, which opened in October 2004.Ê Located at London’s Marble Arch , at the top of Park Lane and on the doorstep of some of the capital’s premium hotel offerings, it embodies all the qualities of the brand by providing exceptional comfort, superior service and contemporary design, all underpinned with the latest technology.Ê

Richard Adler adds; “Guests at The Cumberland are struck by the ‘wow’ factor from the moment they enter the foyer.Ê We’ve tried to turn expectations on their head by combining striking architectural design with inspiring art installations and looking ahead to future Guoman openings, we intend to give every property a unique quality, a million miles away from the usual ‘identikit’ norm you often see in the luxury hotel market.Ê The guest experience combines the intimate, design-focused offering of a boutique hotel with the excellent service reputation you would expect from a major global deluxe operator and we want the chain to be renowned for the best bed, TV system and shower facilities.Ê We also plan to make our hotels the prime destination for Meetings and Events, and The Cumberland sets the Guoman standard with its self-contained complex of 26 flexible, multifunctional, air-conditioned meeting rooms.”

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