Whether you’re looking for luxury hotels that go above and beyond or affordable hotels that provide comfort, there are many options to consider. And as you weigh your choices, it’s helpful to understand what separates hotels from motels and short-term rentals so you can make the best decision for your travels.
J.D. Power—which also ranks the best airlines, airports and rental car companies—has published its annual hotel guest satisfaction study for North America. The results reveal a few new players that have risen to the top of their categories. But there are also some long-time standouts that have remained perennial favorites, regardless of economic conditions.
For instance, The Greenbrier, which calls itself “America’s Resort,” has been attracting guests since 1778. It’s a National Historic Landmark and a fixture on many “best hotel” lists, thanks to its sprawling 11,000-acre property with 710 rooms and facilities like an 18-hole golf course, mineral spa, casino and entertainment venue, chapel and tennis courts. Whether you’re traveling for business or leisure, this hotel has everything you need for a relaxing getaway.
There are several other factors that can help you determine which hotel is the best fit for your needs, including location and amenities. If you’re headed to New York City, for example, you might choose the Conrad New York Midtown because of its suite-style accommodations that feature living, dressing and sleeping spaces—and a kitchen that makes it easier to save money on meals. It’s located near popular shopping streets, world-class museums and Broadway theaters.
In addition to offering great rooms, many of the hotels in this year’s list offer special perks for travelers who book their stays through the hotel’s website. This could include free breakfasts, room upgrades or spa credits. These perks can be enough to convince some travelers that an expensive hotel is worth the extra expense.
When deciding which hotel to stay at, it’s important to take the time to read reviews before you book. According to a recent study, 95% of consumers will read at least seven online reviews before booking their accommodations. If you’re a hotel owner, listening to guest feedback and taking action on positive reviews can help improve customer satisfaction and fill your rooms faster.
If you’re a frequent traveler, consider signing up for a loyalty program that offers rewards like free nights or discounted spa treatments. Some of the best hotels in the world have them, so you can earn free rooms and other perks when you book through them. You can even earn points when you dine at the hotel’s restaurants or shop at its stores. And if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of checking in, some hotels have mobile apps that let you skip the line and check-in from your phone.