7/25/2013 10:22:00 AM

Hotel Costs and Fees Have Increased, But Guests Are Happy

Photo courtesy of Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Hotel guests are a happy bunch these days. After years of decline, customer satisfaction rates have reached a seven-year high, according to a study released this week by J.D. Power. Travelers reported increased satisfaction across all seven areas of the hotel experience (reservations, check-in/check-out, rooms, food/beverages, services, facilities and costs/fees). So what floats travelers' boats? Service. The study found that the greater the number of interactions guests have with staff, the more satisfied they generally are. Chains like the Ritz-Carlton, Kimpton and Hyatt Place led the way in their respective price categories.

The study also found that travelers can be masters of their own hotel happiness by putting in some legwork. Satisfaction is significantly lower for guests that book primarily based on price and is much higher for savvy types that research stays online before booking. So where are hotels still disappointing guests? Connectivity. Thirty-one percent of people who reported having a problem during their stay said the problem was related to Internet service, making it the top gripe in the survey. What have been your biggest issues with hotel stays? Do you agree that hotels have stepped up their game?

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