hotel.info, the free online hotel reservation service with 210,000 hotels around the world, has published a “hit list” for the first time of what its guests consider to be the most important aspects of a good hotel rating. In first place on the list is the quality of breakfast which is considered to be significantly more important than friendly service, room size or parking charges.
Just a few years ago a single complaints’ box for guests was usually the only discreet method of registering dissatisfaction with problems experienced in a hotel. No guest could ever be certain that their complaint would be read, let alone that it might lead to an improvement in the reported area.
Such attitudes now belong in the past - the Internet has revolutionised the way in which the hotel industry deals with complaints. Nowadays many hotel guests write about their experiences online, and booking portals publish these reports on their websites on the Internet.
hotel.info publishes the opinions of its customers not only as a standardised scale of marks, but also uses the comments written by the guests themselves. “These shed considerably more light on the actual situation in the hotel - whether in positive or negative terms,” reports Timo Vavrinec, Head of Corporate Communication at hotel.de AG.
“We have studied guests’ comments relating to around one million hotel ratings, and for the first time can now reveal what guests consider to be the ten most important aspects of a good rating. The fact that the value for money of the breakfast on offer is the most often mentioned topic is a clear indicator that a good start to the day is high on the guests’ agenda. Hotel managers who take this to heart have already gone a long way in winning over the minds of their guests.”
The top 10 criteria are:
1. Breakfast: a breakfast that justifies the frequently high price in respect of both quality and quantity. Generous and wide-ranging selection. Fast seating and service for new guests.
2. Service/friendliness: guests from abroad attribute less importance to this factor. Domestic visitors who demand a high quality of service are more critical in this area.
3. Parking: appropriate parking or underground parking fees, the accuracy of the hotel’s web site in relation to price and availability.
4. Noise: guests are less interested in a central location with corresponding levels of traffic, than in the sound-proofing of the room and windows.
5. Room size: sufficiently large rooms and bathrooms are important for North American guests in particular.
6. Internal/Wireless: availability of Internet and wireless connectivity, as well as moderate fees for usage.
7. Cleanliness: Clean rooms, especially bathrooms.
8. Comfort: Comfortable mattresses. Contemporary interior design.
9. Non-smoking/smoking: Clear distinction between smokers and non-smokers (smell of smoke on non-smoking floors). If non-smoking rooms are requested they must also be available.
10. Category/Stars: Each hotel’s overall impression must reflect the stated star rating/category. This plays a relatively large role in the guests’ perception of value for money.