Most Americans aren’t looking for much when sleeping away from home: cleanliness, a comfortable bed, and a few amenities to make them feel pampered. But unfortunately, a handful of hotel chains have a tough time satisfying even the simplest requests. Two surveys have recently come out about the quality of stays in America’s hotels, one in the July issue of Consumer Reports, and the other published on July 25 by J.D. Power & Associates, and many national chains fell well below par. At some locations, instead of clean rooms, guests have reported cockroaches and bed bugs, stains on the sheets, and strange odors they couldn’t identify.
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Though both surveys found that, overall, customers have become happier with their hotel experience in recent years – likely due to the fact that many chains have updated their rooms, added pools, and included more services like breakfast options, laundry facilities, and workout rooms – many chains nevertheless failed to improve customer satisfaction. In the Consumer Reports survey, one-fourth of respondents had at least one complaint, the most common being uncomfortable beds, noise, unsatisfactory heating or air conditioning, and décor.
The cost of a hotel stay has also risen in recent years. One night’s stay is expected to increase to an average of $107 this summer, up 5 percent from last year, and close to the peak of $108 in 2008. Despite rising prices, a few hotels have maintained value with customer satisfaction. Microtel Inn & Suites, for example, received top scores in the Consumer Reports survey and was near the top in the J.P. Power survey.
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The following rankings are based on Consumer Reports’ data, published in the July 2012 issue, and are taken from the experiences of 22,481 readers during 34,352 hotel stays at 44 chains, from January 2010 to January 2011. The five categories – value, upkeep (condition and cleanliness of rooms and grounds), comfort (quality of the bed and linens), service and check-in – were scored from “very satisfied,” “fairly satisfied,” “neutral,” “fairly unsatisfied” and “very unsatisfied.” All scores are out of 100. The following are ranked from bad to worst.