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?

Feel free to comment!


Postcard from…..Bangkok!

Hello from steamy Bangkok, proud capital of Thailand,

did you know that last year Bangkok counted more international visitors (who stayed at least for a night) than any other city in the world??? 21.47 million to be exact, leaving reputable contenders such as London, Paris, Dubai, New York behind.

So what is it that attracts people in droves to Bangkok? Let me try to elaborate and I guess I am kind of qualified since I have been living here for almost a year now, at first very central in Sathorn before I later moved to the fringes of this megacity.

Here are my top 10 reasons:

Bangkok is affordable!

Absolutely. Compare it to other top cities in Asia such as Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul….you got the message.

Bangkok is great value for money!

Bangkok offers anything including some of the best hotels and restaurants on the planet and yet you don’t need to be deep-pocketed to enjoy life to the fullest here.

Bangkok is yummy!

Bangkok is the world’s street food capital and at the same token it got some top gourmet temples such as Gaggan which was voted the 7th best restaurant in the world.

Bangkok is the world’s rooftop capital!

Afraid of heights? Stay on the ground then. There is, however, a lot to be missed given 25 and counting cool rooftop bars from level 12 to 63 boasting the most spectacular views from very different angels!

Bangkok got weather!

Well, honestly, the sun shines here every day and when it rains it feels great. The bottom line is, the weather here is super reliable, hot and muggy. Too hot for me sometimes….and no, there is no winter here.

Bangkok loves animals!

You did not bring your pet to Bangkok? Well, no need, we got plenty! Cats and dogs live in the streets and are very friendly and really lovely. The get fed by many caring Thais so they are part of the community. Bravo!

Bangkok got some not so shabby places to stay!

You might have guessed it already, I am a hotel aficionado so Bangkok is a great place to be. Apart from the famous Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok which as The Oriental was awarded the world’s best hotel countless times, there is lots of other great places to stay and if this wasn’t enough there is a huge pipeline of new openings loomimg on the horizon.

Bangkok got culture!

Honestly, I am not a huge temple and museum person but I do know Bangkok got lots! Temples are home to friendly monks and provide shelter to homeless animals. Temples are open to anyone. Very peaceful.

Bangkok is well located!

Bangkok has an excellent strategic location within Asia and really lends itself as base from where to start and end your journey within Thailand or around Asia.

Bangkok got Thai people, mostly!

The Thais are super friendly and peaceful, always there to help despite very limited knowledge of English (my Thai is worse…) and if nothing helps they are masters of improvisation.

Bangkok…..the bottom line!

Bangkok is great to visit and to live!



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