MUMBAI: The internet and smartphone age has given power to the people when it comes to hotel reviews, as Hotels.com reveals the formula for the perfect hotel stay, based on 148 million sentences from millions of customer reviews.
The formula was created to celebrate the millions of reviews that power the Hotels.com Loved by Guests Awards which recognise the very best hotels across the globe based on genuine guest reviews.
With over 25 million guest reviews on the Hotels.com site, a deep-dive into the data from 2016 delivers the right formula for the perfect hotel stay.
F25 + C35 + B10 + P2 + Q + Br + D7 + S + W + ½H = Hotel Perfection
F = How friendly are the staff
C= Perceived cleanliness of the room
B= How comfortable is the bed
P= Perceived Reasonable Price
Q= Quietness of the room
S = Swimming pool
Br= Breakfast is included
D = Location/Walking distance/access
W = Free WiFi
H= Hot drink available to make in room
HP = Overall hotel perfection
The research shows it’s the simple things that create hotel perfection, with luxurious extras seen as the cherry on the cake.
The Hotels.com data revealed that cleanliness and comfort are 36 times more important than a sumptuous (or lavish) breakfast, a luxurious pool or a deluxe coffee machine in your room. And surprisingly, in this connected world, the impact of friendly and helpful staff is 10 times more important than free Wi-Fi.
Consumer psychologist, Dr Simon Moore, who led the Hotels.com research, comments: “While we all dream of luxurious hotels and sun-soaked beaches, in fact the things we value most when selecting a hotel tell us something far more fundamental about the human condition. The analysis of over 148 million review comments from Hotels.com customers highlight that the main factors that guests really care about relate to their unconscious, basic human needs. From a psychological stand-point, risks and discomfort out-weigh comparative positive benefits five to one, so it’s no wonder travelers pay more attention to the fundamentals such as comfort and cleanliness over lavish pools and fine-dining.
“Cleanliness and comfort fulfils our need for relaxation, safety and security. A good location fulfils our needs to feel connected to others and that we have somewhere we can escape to in times of such need. The fact that staff friendliness plays such an important role in guest satisfaction shows that, as intrinsically social creatures, we love to be greeted with a smile and a chat. It makes us feel welcome and part of the group.”
Jessica Chuang, Hotels.com Director, Regional Marketing Greater China, SEA and India said comments: “More and more travellers than ever before are booking their trips based on peer recommendations and consumer behaviour is now telling us reviews are becoming even more important than the traditional hotel star ratings. But sometimes there is so much information out there it can be hard to decipher what’s important, so this new formula helps settle the debate of what makes the perfect hotel stay.”
If you’re looking to check in to the best of the best, then travelers need look no further than the 2,500 gold winners in this year’s Hotels.com Loved by Guests Awards. These hotels have been recognized as truly outstanding and have all achieved an average guest rating of 4.7 or higher. A further 1,000 hotels have also been crowned winners across ten bespoke ‘Best for’ categories.
Eight hotels in India have been revealed as the country’s ultimate hotel hotspots, according to the Hotels.com Loved by Guests Awards 2017, where the hotel guests are the real judges.
Mumbai topped the list of award-winning cities India, but travellers can check into prize-winning properties in five other cities across the country – Delhi, Bengaluru, Jaipur, Goa and Pune.
The Leela Palace in Delhi tied with The Oberoi and JW Marriott, both in Mumbai, by receiving guest rating of 4.8 out of 5.
While Jai Mahal Palace was the top-rated hotel in the pink city of Jaipur, St.Mark’s Hotel won the accolade in Bengaluru.
Jai Mahal Palace and JW Marriott Hotel Pune made their way to 2017’s winner list for the first time, making their wins a remarkable feat, especially since six of the eight of winners were featured for the second consecutive year.
Globally, hotels in the US were the biggest gold award winners, with 969 properties being recognized this year. Other top countries included the UK (171 hotels), Italy (153), Canada (86) and Spain (70).
Best in Class
Some of the finest hotels in Mumbai took the cake away as category winners from India. While Sofitel Mumbai BKC and Four Seasons Hotel won accolades in the Best for Spa category, Grand Hyatt Mumbai stood strong as the lone winner in the Luxury segment.
Hotels.com is the obvious choice for guests looking for a perfect stay. It has hundreds of thousands of properties to choose from and through its award-winning mobile app, travelers can book on the go after reading detailed customer reviews to help find the hotel that’s just right for them.
About the formula
Hotels.com pulled out the 500 most commonly used keywords from its 5 million + guest reviews from 2016. It then analysed 148 million sentences containing these keywords and the formula was calculated, by Dr Simon Moore, based on the volume of these keywords.
Dr Simon Moore then cross-referenced which elements of a hotel stay (stay attributes) were listed in customer feedback, against the underlying sentiment conveyed.
The frequency of stay attribute mentions was then combined with sentiment to create an impact factor. From this, the relative psychological impact of each stay attribute on the overall hotel stay experiences was calculated.
*To receive a gold award, properties must have received an average customer review score of 4.7 or higher, based on a minimum of 50 reviews as of December 31, 2016.
**To receive a ‘best for’ award, the 1,000 hotels with the highest average customer review score in each category were chosen, based on a minimum of 20 reviews as of December 31, 2016.
Musafir Namah Bureau