Using Hotel Ratings to Determine Preferred Lodging

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» Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Hotels, Industry Postings | 0 comments

Hotel rating systems used to determine the relative quality of individual hotels, or even entire brands, often reflect only the provision of amenities and do not necessarily take into full account those qualities that differentiate a desirable hotel from a non-desirable hotel.

While safety and cleanliness do enter into consideration for many rating systems, they too often are minimized by assessments that rely heavily on the number of amenities offered to determine the ultimate rating of a hotel.

For instance, two practically identical hotels in the same neighborhood could, theoretically, receive different ratings simply because one features a small swimming pool, or enclosed closets in the rooms instead of exposed clothes racks, or sets out muffins and juice each morning and calls them a continental breakfast. However, the lower-rated hotel that does not feature these extra amenities could, in fact, be the more professionally managed of the two and provide a cleaner, safer environment for travelers.

Many corporate lodging programs, and some government lodging programs, attempt to utilize existing rating systems to identify hotels of quality for their travelers. Although reasonable as a general rule, such blanket policies can result in lodging programs neglecting hotels of quality that would be acceptable to the average traveler. During my years in the travel industry, I have been able to work with several such lodging programs, with varying degrees of success, to get them to consider the inclusion of lower-rated hotels. It can take months, even years, of discussions and meetings with the administrators of the lodging programs before a site inspection is granted. If I have done my job properly, then I am recommending exceptions to their rules only at locations at which I truly believe the quality and convenience of a lower-rated inn equals or surpasses that of higher-rated inns that already service the lodging programs in question.

Particularly in times of restrictive budgeting for travel, quality lodging options with limited amenities and, therefore, lower daily rates should be a serious consideration for lodging program administrators seeking to curtail expenses. The upfront investment of time to investigate the options could result in significant future savings.

By:  Mark Feggeler

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