TRUE 5 STARS Luxury Hotel Brand Guest Review Analysis – August 2017

TRUE 5 STARS (T5S) features the world’s top 1,550 branded and unbranded hotels.

As the only platform that focusses on true luxury hotels T5S is 100% independent of the hotels since it charges and receives no listing fees. As a result, T5S‘s hotel selection is the only one 100% unbiased featuring the entire luxury sector and as such is ideally suited for an analysis that compares the same with the same and not apples and oranges.

Included in the analysis are 1,078 branded hotels within 156 luxury hotel brands. Hotel brands comprise 1 to 96 hotels. Featuring only one hotel means that the brand typically comprises more than just one hotel, however, their standard is not sufficiently high to be listed on T5S. One of the major challenges for hotel brands is to keep the standard consistent across the entire portfolio. Therefore T5S lists only the hotels that match or exceed the desired standard regardless of chain or marketing affiliation. Only very few brands manage to deliver a consistently high quality throughout their entire hotel portfolio.

The study is based on 1,074,265 verified guest reviews or more than 996 per hotel aggregated from a variety of different sources, provided by TrustYou, the inventor and world market leader of “meta” guest reviews.

While the branded hotels average about 123 bedrooms, branded and unbranded properties feature a combined average of 100 rooms. The average starting room rate is 567 USD for the branded vs. 591 USD for branded and unbranded hotels combined.

The average score over all 1,377 hotels with a TrustYou score is 91.94%. The average score of all branded hotels is at 91.76% only slightly lower.

The 156 hotel brands scored between 86.0% and 98.0%.

The top scoring 42 brands are smaller local brands with up to 6 hotels listed on T5S while the 28 lowest performing brands are also smaller local hotel groups with up to 4 hotels.

The best performers are The Huka Retreats (98.0), Tintswalo Lodges (97.0) and Inkaterra (96.7).

The global luxury brands performed as follows:

Ritz-Carlton Reserve (95.0), Como (94.3), Sofitel Legend (94.2), Regent (94.0), Capella (93.6), Peninsula (93.5), Andaz (93.5), GHM (93.3), Langham (93.2), Six Senses (93.1), Belmond (93.0), Oetker (93.0), Oberoi (92.8), Dorchester (92.5), Rosewood (92.5), Four Seasons (92.5), JW Marriott (92.4), St. Regis (92.3), Shangri-La (92.2), Mandarin Oriental (92.1), Raffles (91.9), Banyan Tree (91.8), One&Only (91.8), Rocco Forte (91.7), Waldorf Astoria (91.7), Conrad (91.6), Park Hyatt (91.6), Taj (91.5), Sofitel (91.3), InterContinental (91.3), Luxury Collection (91.3), Ritz-Carlton (91.2), Fairmont (91.0), Royal Meridien (91.0), Gran Melia (91.0), Okura (91.0), Jumeirah (91.0), Wilderness Safaris (91.0), Anantara (90.9), Aman (90.4), Westin (90.2), Kempinski (90.2), So Sofitel (90.0), W (89.6), Alila (88.7), andBeyond (87.0).

The most exclusive small and/or regional brands performed as follows:

Inkaterra (96.7), The Royal Portfolio (96.0), Lungarno Collection (95.5), 137 Pillars (95.0), Swire (94.7), Lotte (94.0), Cheval Blanc (93.8), Virgin Limited Edition (93.5), La Reserve (93.5), Constance (93.0), Bulgari (92.7), Fasano (92.5), Tschuggen (92.3), Armani (92.0), Maybourne (92.0), Explora (91.7), Monte-Carlo SBM (91.3), Beachcomber (91.0), Sacher (91.0), Soneva (90.3), Per Aquum (90.3), Hotel Barriere (89.7), Victoria-Jungfrau Collection (88.8), Elounda (87.5), Versace (87.5), Resplendent Ceylon (87.5).

Here are my findings and conclusions:

I. All rating scores are within a relatively narrow range of 12% (86% – 98%).

Conclusion: All the hotels are of relatively high quality or the methodology to ascertain the rating scores is not detailed and/or differentiating enough.

II. Most of the larger well-known brands scored within a very narrow range of just about 3% (90% – 93%).

Conclusion: Brands are apparently very similar in their product and service offering and not really differentiating for the guest. As a matter of fact, their quality assurance audits are in most cases executed by the same provider.

III. The average rating score of 91.76% is about 5% higher than the 87% worldwide average score of the expert reviews of a very large quality assurance provider and about 18% higher than my own quality assurance findings.

Conclusion: Whose findings reflect reality (more)?

IV. While guest review scores are post-stay results of spotty and random reflections aggregated from many (verified) guest expectations – derived pre-stay from images, descriptions, guest reviews and price – expert reviews are more or less comprehensive compilations based on a 2-3 day on-site audit executed by a hotel expert. Relative vs absolute approach.

Conclusion: Are guest review results and expert review findings comparable? Are they complimentary?

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